by Lucy Score
Publication: June 21, 2022
**I was provided a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**
Maggie Nichols is a rising YouTube star who flips homes, and her most recent purchase is a mansion in the small town of Kinship, Idaho. With plans to renovate and sell it, it doesn’t make sense for her to stick around longer than a few months. Her newly hired landscaper Silas Wright is a complication she didn’t plan for. The more time they spend together, the more she begins to realize how difficult it will be to move on.
Lucy Score ranks in my top 3 favorite romance authors list, so I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to review an eARC of Maggie Moves On. While I adore what I’ve read of Score’s work, this particular novel did not meet my expectations. It contained several of my favorite tropes but did not expend sufficient attention on the central relationship.
There are several elements I loved. Family is a strong theme, and Score included bonds with members of the family you’re born into and the ones you create–I have a soft spot for found family. The secondary characters helped illuminate this theme, filling the book with humor and affection. They added fun banter to the novel, especially Silas’s siblings. The inclusion of a loveable pet, Silas’s dog Kevin, was one more thing I checked off my list of things that make a book appealing. There was so much to love, yet my perceived lack of chemistry between the leads obscured much of it.
The physical attraction between Maggie and Silas is immediate, but the feelings beyond this feel forced. With their similar interests, they could complement each other well, but there was not a strong foundation to convince me they were in love. Maggie is not as introspective as Silas, who easily acts on his feelings. She is driven by rationality rather than her emotions. It’s love at first sight for Silas, which I did not initially mind. I appreciated this as a tool to begin their dalliance since Maggie didn’t take him too seriously. I hoped their feelings would further be established throughout the book, but there’s a lot of telling rather than showing how they feel. Additionally, it became difficult to digest how quickly and strongly Silas pursued Maggie. Normally, Silas’s flirting would be something I would laugh at and even enjoy, but I couldn’t do that here. His pursuit of Maggie was paired with the attitude that he knew what was best for her, and it became extremely difficult for me to like him after that realization.
Maggie Moves On contained so many elements I enjoy in a romance, but a lack of chemistry between Maggie and Silas made it difficult for the pieces to fit together well. I was convinced of their physical attraction but not that it was love. Maggie Moves On differed from Score’s previous work. It didn’t leave me with a book hangover, and the emotional connection was missing.
Fans of Lucy Score and readers new to her may like the book, but it doesn’t do justice to how wonderful her previous works are. For a small-town romance, I would go with Rock Bottom Girl. For romance and renovations, Mr. Fixer Upper would be my recommendation.
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