Book Review: For the Love of the Bard by Jessica Martin

Posted June 28, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 26 Comments

For the Love of the Bard
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Jessica Martin
Publication Date June 28, 2022
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Women
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Reading Challenges: 20 Books of Summer 2022

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

“Perfect to read on the beach.” –The Boston Globe

To go for it or not to go for it? That is the question when two former high school flames return to their Shakespeare-obsessed hometown for a summer of theater and unexpected romance, in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jessica Martin.

Literary agent and writer Miranda Barnes rolls into her hometown of Bard’s Rest with one goal in mind: to spend the summer finally finishing her YA novel, the next installment in her bestselling fantasy series. Yet Miranda’s mother, deep in the planning stages for the centennial of the town’s beloved annual Shakespeare festival, has other ideas. 
Before you can say “all’s fair in love and war,” Miranda is cornered into directing Twelfth Night—while simultaneously scrambling to finish her book, navigating a family health scare, and doing her best to avoid the guy who broke her heart on prom night.
When it comes to Adam, the veterinarian with a talent for set design and an infuriating knack for winning over Miranda’s dog, the lady doth protest too much. As any Shakespeare lovers knows, the course of true love never did run smooth, and soon Miranda realizes she’ll have to decide whether to trust Adam with her heart again.

For the Love of the Bard by Jessica Martin was exactly the book I needed.  It’s fun, light, and nerdy, and I really enjoyed it.  

Miranda Barnes co-owns a  literary agency with her best friend Ian in Boston.  She is called home to her Shakespeare-obsessed hometown to help with the summer festivals and her mother ropes her into directing one of the three plays the town is presenting, Twelfth Night.  Miranda has been suffering from writer’s block as she’s been struggling to finish the next installment of her popular YA fantasy series.  

Miranda faces many issues when back in Bards Rest, and one of them is the handsome veterinarian, Adam, who also stood her up at her senior prom.  And it doesn’t help that her dog, Puck, adores Adam.  Between directing the play, dealing with her mother’s health scare, trying to finish up her book, and dealing with her sisters, Miranda doesn’t have time for Adam anyway.  But, for some reason, she can’t avoid him, until she doesn’t want to avoid him!  

There is a lot going on in this book.  A lot of action and dialogue, which made for a fast read.  The characters are a lot of fun. I love a town full of quirky characters, and Bards Rest is full of them.  Adam is a veterinarian, and he lives with a pig named Lucille! And Miranda’s dog, Puck is simply adorable too, but Lucille and Puck together make for a lot of laughs.  

Humor, quirky characters, witty dialogue. This book has it all.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Jessica Martin

I’m a lawyer by trade, a writer by choice and a complete smartass by all accounts. I live in the suburban wilds of Boston with a finance geek, a small sass-based human and a pair of dogs named after Bond characters.

Books, dogs and Bard's Rest got me through this pandemic. An embarrassing amount of time was spent editing this book in the front of my car in a state forest by my house. There was a lot of Chapstick, lukewarm tea and weird looks from passing teenagers involved.

This book is a love letter in more ways than one. Growing up in New England, my best summers were spent in tiny New Hampshire towns swimming in lakes with silty bottoms at the base of mountains. As far as I’m aware, there’s no town of Bard enthusiasts holed up in the granite state putting on an annual Shakespeare festival. But don’t you think there should be?

Book Challenges:

For the Love of the Bard counts towards my 20 Books of Summer 2022 challenge.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

26 responses to “Book Review: For the Love of the Bard by Jessica Martin

  1. This sounds like a lot of fun, Wendy. I was declined for this one, so I will wait and see if my library gets it. Nice review.

  2. ahhhh i’m so glad you enjoyed this book AND LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR REVIEW!! also, the book sounds amazing??! i mean, featuring a main character who’s a writer??? PLUS SHAKESPEARE???? EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO DEVOUR THIS!!!

  3. This sounds like such a fun summer read! Small town with quirky characters and a pet pig sound like just what I want to read! Wonderful review!