A Fake Dating, Neurospicy Romance!
“You deserve someone who appreciates you for who you are, not who they want you to be.”
It’s the perfect time of year to revisit Townsend Harbor by way of this amazing upcoming release from Cynthia St. Aubin and Kerrigan Byrne. Bazaar Girls features a vibrant neurospicy main character, and a reformed bad boy who is not only chivalrous but also desperate to keep his past away from his present.
Our heroine, Gemini (Gemma) McKendrick is a twin and while Lyra got the neuro-typical brain, Gemma has been gifted with the neurospicy genes presumably from their mother. Where Lyra is lauded, Gemma is lamented. I related to Gemma and felt so bad for all the flack she took growing up and attempting to find footing in her family. While Lyra left Townsend Harbor as soon as she was able, Gemma wanted nothing more than to start up her own shop and sell yarns for like-minded enthusiasts. However, her parents are determined to pull the plug as their confidence in Gemma’s success is in the metaphorical basement.
Gemma was sweetness and light, the girl next door with a heart of gold.
This is where our reluctant hero, Gabriel (Gabe) Kelly enters the picture. He came to Townsend Harbor to help his pal from Boston, Darby, make her presence and acceptance known. He stayed in Townsend Harbor and re-opened the only auto garage. Scraping out an existence of seemingly nothing is hard to do with a criminal background, but Gabe is determined to keep himself out of trouble and keep his past in Boston where it belongs. I was instantly charmed by the fact that both Gemma and Gabe cannot take their eyes off the other and all of their mutual friends see through their poorly disguised excuses.
When Gabe rescues Gemma from her broken down car on the side of the road, she offers up the basement apartment of her home on a whim. Gabe quickly accepts and from there he inserts himself in the most romantic and quiet of ways: A clean kitchen, coffee and breakfast taken care of without question, even offering to do what he can to help her save her beloved business, dubbed Bazaar Girls. Their short-lived happiness is interrupted by Gemma’s family descending upon Townsend Harbor determined to save Gemma from herself.
For the first time in a long time, Gabe was eager to see what tomorrow was going to look like. Because it would be the first time in as long as he could remember that a woman trusted him enough to stay the whole night in his bed.
When Gemma’s family comes to town is when Bazaar Girls truly gets to the heart of the story. Which is why I’ll leave the summary here and tell you exactly why I think you all need to read this charming and emotional story. Being neurodivergent is a reality for many people, and Gemma’s story truly pulled at my heartstrings. Gabe also charmed me to no end. His earnest and determined attitude gives off a knight in slightly tarnished armor kind of vibe. The way both authors have handled the McKendrick family drama, as well as the Kelly family drama that pops up is done with respect and lots of feelings.
I love being able to go into a story and think I understand the characters, but then everything gets turned on its head and I end up loving these characters even more than when I started. Aubin and Byrne have created such a whimsical and charming town in Townsend Harbor and I cannot wait to see what else is in the works. Bazaar Girls is definitely not to miss!
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.