About the Book:
Title: If You Ask Me
Author: Libby Hubscher
Page Length: 368
Publication Date: March 8, 2022
Synopsis: When an advice columnist’s picture-perfect life implodes, she opts to go rogue in this hilarious, heartwarming romance from the author of Meet Me in Paradise.
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.
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If You Ask Me follows Violet, an advice columnist who has just found her husband in bed with another woman. Heartbroken and enraged, Violet burns his clothes in the street, prompting the fire department to come, which is how she meets a handsome firefighter named Dez. As Violet deals with her break-up and other life-changing events, she and Dez grow closer. But with mishaps at her job and a husband begging for forgiveness, Violet must decide what she wants for her future.
Violet went through a lot over the course of the story, and I like that she grew and learned so much about who she is and what she wants in life. She has a seemingly picture-perfect life with a great career and marriage until she finds he husband in bed with another woman. Now, everything she ever knew about her life is in shambles, and she is a mess. Her husband’s betrayal incites a complete change in Violet’s life, and her journey in finding happiness, accepting herself, and taking another chance on love is at the forefront of the novel.
Violet’s situations are relatable, and I sympathized with her character even though I didn’t always love the impulsive things she did. She goes through a rollercoaster of emotions, and the anger, frustration, hopelessness, and desire for revenge that Violet feels after she is spurned by her husband is very realistic. She falls apart and becomes quite angry and bitter, which is reflected in her advice column. With her career, relationships, and well-being at risk, Violet really has to search within herself and figure out who she is and what she really wants in life. Does she want to be this angry and bitter? Can she forgive? How has her marriage and relationship with family affected and shaped her? She learns all this and more about herself as she searches for self-acceptance, happiness, and love.
Dez, Violet’s potential love interest is super sweet and supportive, and I love how he accepts Violet for who she is. He has also gone through heartbreak, and his calm, centered support is exactly what Violet needs. He is a thoughtful and encouraging man who never pushes Violet, and he becomes a constant that she can depend on. Plus, he gives the most lovely forehead kisses that are positively swoon-worthy!
I also really like that the story includes Sweetie’s advice column, as well as text messages with Dez. It adds more context and depth to the characters and their different relationships. The inclusion of the advice columns shows how drastically Violet’s life has changed and how much her personal life affects all aspects of her life. And the texts with Dez show how much their relationship is growing and deepening.
I enjoyed this story. It’s funny and a bit heart-wrenching, and includes many heavy topics like infertility, alcoholism, anxiety, infidelity, grief, and more. It’s not a light and fluffy rom-com, though there are many funny, heart-warming, and laugh-out-loud moments. Instead, it is a journey of self-discovery, change, and finding oneself. Thanks so much to Berkley Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- Violet’s journey.
Grief is grief, and it’s work to endure, and it sucks, and it makes home feel like a place you can’t be anymore. So you run or you burn your home to the ground because the alternative, feeling that pain and loss, living and swimming in it every moment, is just a bit more than I think humans were designed to bear.
I would definitely recommend checking out the note/content warnings at the start of the book. There are many topics addressed that could trigger readers.