Summary (from the publisher): Violet Covington pens Dear Sweetie, the most popular advice column in the state of North Carolina. She has an answer for how to politely handle any difficult situation…until she discovers her husband, Sam, has been cheating on her. Furious and out of sensible solutions, Violet leaves her filter at the door and turns to her column to air her own frustrations. The new, brutally honest Dear Sweetie goes viral, sending more shock waves through Violet’s life. When she burns Sam’s belongings in a front-yard, late-night bonfire, a smoking-hot firefighter named Dez shows up to douse the flames, and an unexpected fling quickly shows potential to become something longer lasting.
A lot of people want to see the old polished Violet return—including her boss, who finds her unpredictability hard to manage, and Sam, who’s begging for another chance. But Dez appreciates Violet just the way she is—in fact, he can’t get enough of her. The right answers don’t come easily when Violet finds herself at her own personal crossroads. But maybe, by getting real, Violet can write her own happy ending.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I read Libby Hubscher’s debut, Meet Me in Paradise, last year on my first beach day of the season and I remember absolutely devouring it over my beach day. Fortunately, I had the same must-read-the-entirety-of-this-book-now approach with her latest release, If You Ask Me!
If You Ask Me follows newspaper advice columnist, Violet, whose life falls apart just as she receives the news that her column is up for national syndication – she literally walks in on her husband in bed with their neighbor. In a very non-Violet way, Violet’s bonfire of her husband’s belongings leads the local firefighters coming to her house to put out the flame, including Dez. Dez is any woman’s dream man, and Violet can’t help but fall for him even as her life crashes down around her.
I ate up If You Ask Me in about two sittings. There’s just something about Libby Hubscher’s writing style and plot that grabs me immediately. Her books have this lightness to them, as seen in Dez and Violet’s banter and Violet’s relationships with her mom & friends. There is seriousness to the book, including but not limited to, in Violet’s case, cheating and miscarriage. Violet and her husband, Sam, struggled with infertility and miscarriages throughout their marriage. Violet receives harsh comments about motherhood and her miscarriages throughout, bringing attention to issues that many women experience but aren’t talked about. I thought Libby Hubscher well-balanced the book’s harder moments with light and fluffy scenes. Dez is any romance reader’s dream man, between his career as a firefighter, his caring attitude, and his love for books and movies.
I also really liked the book’s storytelling style, flipping between Libby’s present, her Dear Sweetie advice columns, and a handful of scenes set in the past exploring her marriage. Violet makes some rash decisions throughout, with both positive and negative consequences. The book is really about becoming her self through ignoring people’s criticism and being intentional about her actions and the people she includes in her life.
I normally don’t read the excerpt of an authors’s upcoming release at the end of a book , but I just had to read the first few pages of Libby Hubscher’s 2023 release, Play For Me. Based on those few pages, I am already SO ready for this book, following an pro baseball athletic trainer who loses her job after making a necessary decision that influences a big baseball game (played by the Boston Red Sox) and decides on a fresh start as an athletic trainer at a boarding school in Maine. I will now basically read anything that Libby Hubscher writes, but I especially need this book now!
Have you read If You Ask Me or Meet Me in Paradise? What were your thought? What contemporary romances have you been loving lately? Share in the comments!