Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
With Ashley Herring Blake’s Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail we’re back with the same magnetic, loving, boisterous & balanced friend group, this time watching Astrid—who feels an imperative to always seem calm, cool, & collected—take on the renovation of a beloved inn before the eyes of the inn’s family members, a tv crew…& as always, her overbearing mother.
Also before the eyes of carpenter Jordan Everwood, the same woman who Astrid had a nasty moment with at the end of Delilah’s book & the beginning of her own, about some spilled coffee & her power dress.
Astrid isn’t someone who is open easily—we see that even with her close circle—& it’s lovely watching her find that safe place to land with the person who she started off so antagonistically with.
Jordan, too, needs that safe place.
As always, my heart cheered for two people finding a home & a refuge with each other, especially when I can relate to one of them in some way (hello self-consciousnesses & fear of failure etc. it’s nice to see you again ).
This book has an interesting tension that strikes at the heart of what both women desire for themselves, heart-grabbing backstories about growing up & in the present, trying to wrestle back an identity & purpose for themselves, & that aforementioned wonderful group of friends.
The “villain” in this story feels a bit obvious & I would have liked a bigger conclusion to that whole storyline, but on the whole, this is another emotional, powerful, sensual read with a great group of characters. Can’t wait for Iris’s book!
4.5⭐️. Out 11/22.
CWs: mother’s manipulation & overbearingness, & there’s a reference to her homophobia. Jordan’s ex wife had cancer & left her soon after learning she was in remission.
Give me that HEA, please.
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