Jane in Love by Rachel Givney (2020)
After a visit to a matchmaker/witch, Jane Austen finds herself time traveling to the 21st century, where she meets actress Sofia and her brother Fred. As feelings bloom between her and Fred and her return to 1803 is put off, she is horrified to find that her books are disappearing from existence. In the end, she'll have to choose between true love and her literary legacy. I thought this was a delightful, charming read! I loved watching Jane's reaction to finding out her books are famous classics and how she navigates living in a new century. Although I felt that some of Sofia's dialogue was really stilted and awkward, I also enjoyed her secondary storyline of being an aging actress who was recently left by her director husband. Even though the book is rather long, it never felt that way - the pacing was excellent, and I found myself wanting to read on and find out what fate Jane chose. I really felt for her - either way she had to give up something precious, the writing she loved so much or the love she never thought she would find. Very entertaining and a great addition to the time travel romance genre! 4 stars
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle (2021)
Maybell is surprised to find out that her great-aunt Violet has passed away and left Maybell her grand Tennessee estate. Then she finds out she has to share her inheritance with Violet's groundskeeper, Wesley, and they have very different visions for the property. I really loved Hogle's last book, so I was very much looking forward to this one, but I was so disappointed - it felt like another author completely. Maybell has not had an easy life with her flake of a mother, but the one glorious summer she spent with Violet as a child always remained in her mind. She's excited for the opportunity to start over. Wesley didn't pop for me as a character very much. He's so rude to Maybell at the beginning, but once it's revealed why he behaves the way he does, his personality does a 180 and he becomes this clingy, overly cutesy admirer. With the way he was constantly reminding Maybell to stay hydrated and tying her shoes for her, he felt more like a mother than a love interest. I liked watching them restore the manor to its former glory, but that was about it. Hogle's previous book was fun and relatable, but this book had no depth. It was just saccharine insta-love. Even when it tried to be serious about mental health issues, it still failed for me. Maybell's daydreams felt dangerous, not cute - she could lose hours in them, including one time she literally got lost in the woods in bear country. 2 stars
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