Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Hooked on You by Kathleen Fuller

Hooked on You by Kathleen Fuller

New release!

Look at that gorgeous cover! A different take on the bookshop craze—a knitting/yarn shop!

Let’s begin with the summary:

She never wanted to come back. He never wants to leave. The town of Maple Falls has plans for them both.

Riley McAllister is living the dream in New York City . . . if the dream means being a struggling mixed-media artist, part-time food delivery driver, and having a carefully curated social media to hide all of the above. She refuses to admit defeat and move back to small-town Maple Falls, but when her grandmother breaks her leg sliding into third base during a softball game (she was safe, by the way), Riley reluctantly agrees to go home and help the woman who raised her—while secretly hoping she can convince Mimi to sell her house and yarn shop and move in with a good friend. Then Riley can return to her new life in NYC, on her own and for good.

But Mimi has her own plans, which include setting Riley up with local baseball star Hayden Price, who returned to Maple Falls after an injury ended his major league career. Now he works at his father’s hardware store, coaches the church softball team, and worries about the declining town. It’s not the life he dreamed of having.

With a little meddling and a lot of kindness from the town, Hayden and Riley find themselves unexpectedly falling for each other as they discover the true meaning of home.

Welcome to Maple Falls, where everyone knows your name and your business.

And now, my review:

Our heroine is an artist, which is an interesting career to read about. She’s struggling to achieve her dreams, and I think readers will relate with that. I enjoy story lines that include a character chasing their aspirations, working hard, sacrificing. She’s ashamed of the length of time it’s taking. Perhaps she’s looking for validation in the wrong area—again, relatable for readers.

Our hero hasn’t achieved his goals either. He coaches the elderly in their softball team, which brings him in close proximity to the heroine and her grandmother in a unique way. I liked that we shared time in his POV. He’s just as much a victim of Mimi’s meddling, but that adds to the fun. We get to spend time in Mimi’s POV. She’s eccentric and feisty. So many interesting characters.

The small-town atmosphere is a charming setting. I liked the originality of the artist's career and the yarn shop. 

Unfortunately, though, the book plodded along for me. I couldn’t get hooked into the story. To be fair, I read the ARC, but I found so many repeated words and phrases needing tightening. The story pacing stalled in redundancy, and I didn’t find rich layers. It’s possible those elements were addressed in the editing phases. As Kathleen was a new-to-me author and since I loved the cover, I had high hopes for this one. But I gave up at 15 percent. Perhaps the plot and setting felt too similar to other series that without an engaging hook, I couldn’t stay with it.

I have another of Kathleen’s book in my wish-list pile, and I look forward to checking out her work again. I received a complimentary copy of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

I wish the author and publisher all the best.

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