About the Book:
Title: Said No One Ever
Author: Stephanie Eding
Page Length: 320
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Synopsis: A peaceful vacation turns into a roller coaster ride of family drama.
Two handsome men with competing agendas cause mix-ups and betrayal.
Sometimes you have to put your foot down to get what you really want in life.
Ellie Reed’s self-esteem can’t take any more of her family’s constant criticism and attempts to control her life. But when she rents an Airbnb on a gorgeous farm in Montana, she encounters a whole new set of family drama and finds herself the caretaker of a barn full of farm animals, caught between two handsome men competing for control of the farm, and the sudden best friend of a spunky elderly widow whose outrageous ideas just might change her destiny…
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Funny and heartwarming, Said No One Ever is a light and quick read about a woman whose life takes an unexpected turn when she goes on a vacation.
I would probably categorize this as women’s fiction, not romance, as the story focuses more on Ellie’s growth than the love story. Ellie had a great character arc. At the start of the story, Ellie was floundering. With a recent break-up and almost certain job loss, Ellie decides to go on a vacation to a rural town in Montana. Here she plans to regroup and reevaluate her life. However, when her host has an accident upon Ellie’s arrival, Ellie’s life is changed, and she finds herself in the midst of a chaotic and entertaining journey taking care of farm animals, visiting with her host, and being pulled into family drama.
Ellie is such a relatable character who faces the criticism of her family, the break-up of a six-year relationship, and job insecurity. She’s constantly criticized by her family, and her self-esteem is not great. Between the break-up and the family pressures, not to mention that she needs to look for a new job, Ellie has a lot on her plate. However, she grows a ton over the course of the story, and she learns a lot about herself during her stay. Kind, caring, and compassionate, she never loses her spunk and generous spirit. I think her story and her situations will resonate with readers.
The friendship between Ellie and Marilyn is one of the highlights of the novel. I love that these two women connect, and Marilyn is an absolute riot! She is always up to something, and her shenanigans are hysterical. Warren, Marilyn’s grandson, is also wonderful. A bit of a grump, Warren is very devoted to his grandmother, and they have a lovely bond. And the banter between Ellie and Warren is fabulous – definite grumpy-sunshine vibes going on with these two!
This is a light, fun, and comical read and one that contemporary romance readers might enjoy. And a special shout-out to the farm animals. They were adorable, and like Marilyn, they were up to all kinds of shenanigans in the story. Ellie’s interactions with them are fantastic!
Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The friendships.
- Ellie’s character arc.
- The farm animals!
- city girl out of her element in the country
- small town
- found family