The Practically Romantic Groom by Maria Hoagland – Review

Posted May 4, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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The Practically Romantic Groom by Maria Hoagland – Review

The Practically Romantic Groom

by Maria Hoagland

Series: Country Brides and Cowboy Boots
Series Rating:
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date March 20, 2018
Genres: Clean Romance
Setting: Wyoming Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 220


When words don't come easily... Cobble Creek's divorce attorney, Isaac Murphy, is not interested in romance. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a supportive brother for his sister raising a daughter with selective mutism, Isaac has seen enough disappointed hearts and broken marriages to know love takes more than a bouquet of roses or flowery phrases. No, Isaac is all about being pragmatic when it comes to relationships. As the small-town florist, Brooke Holt is passionate about romance in everything from picnics to horseback riding. A closet musician, she pours her romantic dreams into writing country love songs-which she might even share someday, if she weren't stricken with a severe case of stage fright. When Brooke's brother shows interest in Isaac's sister, what starts as a friendly wager between Brooke and Isaac to prove whose way is right brings out their competitive streaks and rekindles their old high school friendship. As feelings start to turn into something more, though, expressing those feelings seems like an awfully risky gamble.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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Romantic. The first definition given by Merriam-Webster is “having no basis in fact”. It isn’t until the 5th definition, letter b, that we get a definition closer to the one that most women use for it “marked by expressions of love or affection”.

Isaac is afraid of romance, afraid of getting hurt. He might even, in a way, think that romance best fits that first definition. Yet the everyday things he does for Brooke speak so clearly of the best kind of romance. He opens her doors, he treats her like she is important, and he listens to her.

Brooke has a much better view of romance, realizing it isn’t all about flowers and fancy restaurants. It is about the tender looks, going on picnics, finding the things that have deep meaning to the one you love and doing them. Even she, however, is fearful of making any kind of overture towards Isaac, or any man for that matter, ending relationships before they have a chance to go bad.

The ongoing bets that Isaac and Brooke made were so fun! Especially because they ended up being so complicated they couldn’t keep track of who was winning. Moreover, they really didn’t care.

Gemma, Isaac’s little seven-year-old niece, was so very precious. She suffered from anxiety disorder and selective mutism. I loved her relationship with Isaac, and the way he kept giving her new nicknames. Brook’s acceptance of her and the fact that she never spoke to her was very touching.  I really hope to read more about her in another story.

Usually, she looked forward to gardening as her time to unwind. Sacred, personal time away from customers, away from phones, even away from music with only the whisper of wind through the trees and the occasional call of a blue jay. Brooke was of a mind that too much silence would be deafening and claustrophobic, but in small doses, it made a statement as important as a rest in a concerto or the white space on the printed page – a relief, a brief moment to regroup and prepare. Without silence, no one could appreciate hearing what they loved most. Today, though, Brooke filled that silence with laughter in joking with Isaac, using abdomen and intellect muscles that had started to atrophy in her loneliness, and the time passes way too quickly.

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