Reviewing 2021 Releases: Twice Shy, The Intimacy Experiment and Meet Me in Paradise

Hi everyone! Today’s post is very exciting, because I’m having a lucky streak in April with all the amazing new releases that I have been reading, and I want to share some of my thoughts about these books:

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous—and it turns out he has very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.

4.5 stars

This is such a sweet, wonderful slow burn, sunshine/grumpy romance with a good dose of forced proximity.

When each of the main characters was introduced I had a brief moment of thinking I wasn’t going to like them, but it was a false alarm, I ended up loving both of them. And the same happens to them, they have a bad impression of each other at first, but then slowly that changes and it was beautiful to see. Wesley was so precious, once he got over his extreme shyness and grumpiness, he was still shy and grumpy but he was also kind, sweet and charming. And Maybell was such a genuinely nice, caring character, she was easy to root for.

I do think the shift from antagonism to liking each other was a bit abrupt, but I got over it because Wesley and Maybell were wonderful together and once they were together, they approached every situation and misunderstanding with so much compassion and care, which was very refreshing, because there wasn’t some dramatic conflict, they faced obstacles together and got through them. This is not an angsty romance at all, it’s just a sweet, lovely romance and I loved it for it.

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan

Naomi Grant has built her life around going against the grain. After the sex-positive start-up she cofounded becomes an international sensation, she wants to extend her educational platform to live lecturing. Unfortunately, despite her long list of qualifications, higher ed won’t hire her.

Ethan Cohen has recently received two honors: LA Mag named him one of the city’s hottest bachelors and he became rabbi of his own synagogue. Taking a gamble in an effort to attract more millennials to the faith, the executive board hired Ethan because of his nontraditional background. Unfortunately, his shul is low on both funds and congregants. The board gives him three months to turn things around or else they’ll close the doors of his synagogue for good.

Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a buzzy seminar series on Modern Intimacy, the perfect solution to their problems–until they discover a new one–their growing attraction to each other. They’ve built the syllabus for love’s latest experiment, but neither of them expected they’d be the ones putting it to the test.

4 stars

My favorite part of this book are the main characters, both of them are very compelling, likable and easy to root for. The heroine is badass and prickly and the hero is a complete cinnamon roll and they are so cute together. They slowly become close and it was entertaining to witness their encounters, Ethan got really flustered when Naomi was around , and Naomi was so surprised by how much she liked him, which was kind of funny.

This is a very sex positive book, from the modern intimacy classes to the steamy scenes between the main characters, which was great and especially the classes added an interesting element to the story. And while I’m not someone who enjoys books that deal with religion, the way this book talks about religion and faith and the interception with romanctic relationships in modern times was very smart and thought-provoking.

My main issues with this book are that it was a bit longer than it needed to be, so there were some parts that were a bit too slow. Also, Naomi let go of her defense mechanisms when it came to relationships really easily, which seemed a bit out of character. And finally, the last part didn’t work so well, Naomi was completely unprofessional which was so out of character, and both of the main characters get to give speeches about their feeling at the end, which felt a bit forced.

Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher

Ever since her journalist mother died on assignment, Marin has played it safe, refusing to set foot outside the state of Tennessee. Her wild-child younger sister, Sadie, has trotted the globe as a photographer, living off of art and adrenaline.

When Sadie returns from a tough assignment abroad and looks a little worse for wear, Marin reluctantly agrees to a sisters’ spa weekend on the tropical island of Saba. But her lifelong fear of travel is affirmed when Sadie misses the flight, Marin’s luggage gets mixed up with another passenger’s, and an episode of turbulence sends her hurtling into the lap of Lucas Tsai, the handsome stranger who stole her sister’s seat.

For the first time in a long time, Marin has to step outside of her comfort zone as she explores the island with Lucas and learns what she’s been missing out on. With each breathtaking new experience, Marin gets closer to her real self, the man she’s falling for, and the heart-wrenching truth about why she’s there in the first place.

4 stars

This book destroyed me, I cried so much reading it, which doesn’t happen often. I thought this was a romance book, and while there is a romance in the book, this is definitely women’s fiction. The focus is on the main character’s personal growth and her relationship with her sister, and it was such a gripping story.

Most of this book is spent seeing the main character basically coming back to life: learning to face her fears, reigniting her passions, and connecting with others. The journey she goes through is captivating. The romance is also a significant part of the book and while I liked both main characters and liked them together, I wish they had a bit more chemistry. Still, it was fun seeing this two very different people go in adventures together, get to know each other and fall in love.

The final part of this book is so heartbreaking, the reader knows early on that something devastating is going to happen, but the main character doesn’t know and seeing her come to the realization and deal with the consequences is really sad.

Have you read these books? Did you like them? What 2021 releases have you loved?
Add me on
Bookstagram | Twitter  | Ko- fi | Goodreads Bloglovin Pinterest Letterbox

2 thoughts on “Reviewing 2021 Releases: Twice Shy, The Intimacy Experiment and Meet Me in Paradise

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s