Showing posts with label Maria Hoagland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maria Hoagland. Show all posts

Monday, May 7, 2018

Review: The Practically Romantic Groom by Maria Hoagland

Heidi Reads... The Practically Romantic Groom by Maria Hoagland

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


When words don’t come easily…

Cobble Creek’s divorce attorney, Isaac Murphy, is not interested in romance. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a supportive brother for his sister raising a daughter with selective mutism, Isaac has seen enough disappointed hearts and broken marriages to know love takes more than a bouquet of roses or flowery phrases. No, Isaac is all about being pragmatic when it comes to relationships.

As the small-town florist, Brooke Holt is passionate about romance in everything from picnics to horseback riding. A closet musician, she pours her romantic dreams into writing country love songs—which she might even share someday, if she weren’t stricken with a severe case of stage fright.

When Brooke’s brother shows interest in Isaac’s sister, what starts as a friendly wager between Brooke and Isaac to prove whose way is right brings out their competitive streaks and rekindles their old high school friendship. As feelings start to turn into something more, though, expressing those feelings seems like an awfully risky gamble.

My Review

This is a fun story with vibrant and optimistic Brooke reuniting with her middle school boyfriend, the now jaded Isaac. It took me a while to get a feel for both Brooke and Isaac since they start out expressing some extreme opinions but quickly fall back into a friendship despite their disagreements. They love to banter and don't go easy on each other. Their relationship is all about fun and they enjoy feeling good around each other, even when they often get frustrated. The subplot of Brooke's brother dating Isaac's sister added another dimension, especially with the disability of Isaac's niece and the way her family and friends supported her and handled the difficulties that arise.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Check out all the books in the Cobble Creek Romance series . . .

The Sheriff's Bride
The Inventive Bride
The Lumberjack's Yuletide Bride
The Practically Romantic Groom
The Snapshot Bride
The Combustible Engagement

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Review: The {Re}Model Marriage by Maria Hoagland

Heidi Reads... The {Re}Model Marriage by Maria Hoagland

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


From the outside, Kirk and Jamie appear to have a beautiful home and the perfect marriage. Inside, the aging Craftsman is falling apart, their marriage is crumbling from neglect, and Jamie Royce wants out! Kirk, on the other hand, isn’t ready to give up on either the house or their relationship.

With their divorce scheduled for the day after their daughter’s high school graduation, Jamie and Kirk have to fix the home’s problems to lift their selling price out of the basement. Working to renovate the home together, they discover secrets—in the home, in their marriage, and in the fertility clinic that helped give them their daughter—and find themselves questioning what true love really is.

My Review

I don't read many romance books with a troubled marriage as the focus, but this one did it right. It was sad and disheartening to see how insecure and defensive Jamie and Kirk were, and how they let pride prevent them from being honest with each other. That was balanced out by the author skillfully weaving in pieces of their falling-in-love story to illustrate not only why their relationship was worth saving, but also the root of some of their issues. Communication, or the lack thereof, is the biggest hurdle they need to overcome. It's too easy as a reader to want to yell at them, "just say something!!!" but also recognizing that the difficult emotions they are feeling are all too realistic. I kept on reading quickly, trying to hurry to the point where they turn things around, but also found myself fascinated by the home renovations they undertake originating with demolishing a leaky bathroom. I found it to be a good metaphor for how they needed to fix their marriage- strip down the "quick fixes" until the true problem under the surface is revealed, and start over from there, building things carefully and correctly. Each chapter has a helpful tip about various aspects of home renovation, several of which I want to remember for the future!

(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)