Friday, May 12, 2023

Guest Book Review: New Normal

By Melissa Smoot

After the sudden death of her husband, Emilie Russell just wants to feel normal. But being a middle-aged widow doesn't come with a how-to manual. Her well-meaning friend, Viv, believes the cure to all that ails is simple: a new man. So, she sets Emilie up with her handsome and charming new neighbor, widower Colin. There's only one problem with the plan-Colin is gay.

Emilie embarks on a rollicking journey of self-discovery with Colin as her mentor and best friend. From learning to swipe right without cringing while midlife dating in constricting shapeware to cougar moments in Key West, Emilie reenters the dating pool with both humorous and soul-crushing results.

With the encouragement of her friends, including a new furry one, plus a little therapy, Emilie begins forging a new life, one where she exchanges tears for laughter, and one that maybe-just maybe-includes the courage to find love again. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

When I was given the opportunity to review this book, I wasn’t sure if the story would be relatable, as I am not widowed. Once I started reading, I realized that there is something in the story for everyone. I may not have lost a partner to death, but learning to put yourself out there again and start dating after any long relationship isn’t easy and I found that I had more in common with the main character than previously suspected. 

New Normal is about a young woman who loses her husband unexpectedly and then has to begin again, navigating her grief, dating, rejection, loss, and what her life will look like after the pain and trauma. 

I really enjoyed this book as well as the author’s ability to bring the characters and the setting to life. I liked how supportive and encouraging the main characters friends were and that she had different relationships with each of them. I would recommend this book to anyone going through any major life changes as well as to those just looking to read a heartfelt and inspiring story. 

Thanks to Michelle Paris for the book in exchange for an honest review. We are also reviewing this for Lola's Blog Tours.

Melissa Smoot became an avid reader as a small child, growing up in Chicago. The first book she remembers reading (and loving) was Mandy by Julie Andrews. She has since become a lover of Women’s fiction as well as mystery and suspense and everything in between. Melissa graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in American Indian Law and is also pursuing an M.L.S degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State, with a focus on Tribal Law and Corporate Compliance. In her spare time, she likes to read, do jigsaw puzzles, go for long early morning walks, spend time with family and friends, and try new places around town. She works in finance and currently lives in Scottsdale with her Jack Russell Terrier, Dolly.

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