Thursday, August 15, 2019

REVIEW: Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Maybe This Time

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year's Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn't so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

I wouldn't consider this my favorite Kasie West book. I wanted a little bit more. To be honest, I keep hoping for Kasie West to write another book as great as Pivot Point and while her other books are still wonderful, I keep starting out with high expectations. Maybe This Time is still a great contemporary romance. It made me smile and I liked that the book had a little bit of a different layout.

Sophie dreams of leaving her small town and becoming a fashion designer in New York. Right now she has to deal with working at a florist that helps out with every major event in town (she couldn't get a job at the one place that fixes clothes). When her best friend's dad, a local caterer, wins a contest to be mentored by a famous chef, going to all of the major events in town have become less routine. Now Sophie has to deal with the judgemental and quick to anger chef and, worse, his son. Sophie sees him as judgmental as well and quickly sees him as an enemy rather than a friend, but throughout the year the two will get to know each other.

This book is divided by occasion and takes place throughout the year. We only see Sophie and the rest on the characters when they are at the event, anything between is either quickly summarized or inferred. I really liked this layout, I've never seen a book organized in this specific way. At times I did feel like I didn't know enough about the characters' outside lives, but at the same times, it really worked for the book. Sophie and Andrew only see each other at these events, so it really makes sense that we only see them at the events.

I love hate-to-love relationships in books but I wasn't completely on board with this one. I knew from the get-go that they were going to end up together and while there was supposedly dislike coming from Sophie's end, I never believed that she hated him. Annoyed maybe, but they acted like friends for most of the book. There was great banter between them and, don't get me wrong, seeing them talk with each other just made me smile, but... there wasn't enough conflict in this book to even trick me into believing that they would not end up together. 

I do like that the book focused on other aspects of life so it wasn't all romance. Sophie is embarrassed by her mom, helping to take care of her brother, has a father who left them, and is stressing out about leaving to a big city. She also has a great best friend. Most of this comes through in just the character interactions because, again, we only see them during special occasions. 

Overall, I did like this book and it is a great contemporary read. I liked the new format to the book but I also wanted more. It's not my favorite book by Kasie West, but she is still going to be an auto-read author for me.

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it.

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