ARC review: The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life by Sharon Pywell

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World War II has just ended, and Neave and Lilly Terhune find themselves suddenly unemployed as their positions are given to newly returned soldiers. With Lilly’s charisma and sales experience and Neave’s business sense, the two sisters build their own cosmetics business from the ground up. Just as their business really starts to boom, Lilly disappears and Neave is left to figure out what happened to her. Meanwhile, Neave’s life begins to parallel the pirate romance she loved as a young girl, passages of which are included in this book.

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the story was wonderful – unique, beautifully written, and full of mystery and intrigue. We follow Lilly and Neave (as well as their other siblings, Snyder and Jane) from childhood through adulthood and all of the ups and downs along the way. By the end of the book, I felt that I really knew all of the characters, almost as if they were real people.

Pywell does a great job of not only writing this historical fiction novel but also writing the steamy pirate romance that Neave stole from her childhood employer. I was intrigued by the story of Electra and Basil from the start, but as Neave’s life began to mirror Electra’s more and more, I couldn’t wait until the next excerpt! Although nothing too shocking happens throughout the course of either story, it was written in such a way that I wanted to stay up all night to find out what would happen next.

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to any romance fan, as well as anybody who likes a good mystery! I’ve already followed Sharon Pywell on social media, and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron Books for the ARC!

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