The Plot (from Goodreads):
Gabriella Monroe is doing her best to pretend that everything is fine, but her life is a mess. Sales are down at her vintage dress shop, her beloved grandmother isn’t her usual spunky self, and Gabby desperately misses the closeness she had with her sisters, Margaret and Emma—who were once so inseparable that their family called them the Monroe Musketeers.
When the sisters stumble across a stash of letters that reveals their grandmother’s secret life, Gabby sees an opportunity to bring the sisters back together again and best of all, raise her grandmother’s spirits. And sure, this new project makes it easier to pretend her own life isn’t crashing around her, but concentrating on helping everyone else and ignoring her own feelings is what Gabby does best.
Except when it comes to Jake Maddox. Once the boy next door she crushed on—hard—he’s grown into an even more intriguing man, and her attraction to him isn’t so easy to hide. It’s clear he’s just as interested in her, but dating Jake would only muddy up her already complicated life. Or is it finally time to put herself first and risk it all for a chance at happiness?
Thank you to Forever for a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
The first in a new series, The Marvelous Monroe Girls follows Gabby as she struggles to keep her family together, manage her small business, and figure out her love life. If you liked Sara Richardson’s Juniper Springs series, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on this one too!
Jake was by far my favorite character, seconded by Eleanor. I appreciate Jake’s determination to follow his own dreams, despite his father trying to hold him back. I enjoyed the storyline between Jake, his cousin, and his father, but I do wish it felt more resolved. His love for Gabby was so genuine; I was rooting for him right from the beginning. Friends to lovers is my favorite trope, so I loved learning about Jake and Gabby’s backstory as childhood friends.
I don’t know how these characters found time to sleep! Gabby had a ton on her plate as mentioned, but Jake did as well. He was practically working three jobs, one of which was his own startup, as well as helping Gabby and her grandmother with various chores.
Although I don’t believe a season is mentioned, I’d recommend this as a summer beach read. The Marvelous Monroe Girls tries to tackle a lot of different themes, and in doing so doesn’t go much into depth about any of them. Themes of family, grief, friendship, honesty, and love are all hinted at, but most of the conflicts are either resolved effortlessly or swept under the rug.
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