REVIEW: Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle

Posted April 10th, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, Review / 7 comments


In Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle, Romina Tempest comes from a long line of women who are witches. Not that she believed in that fact until she was out of high school trying to find her way after her romance with then boyfriend Alex King went belly up. Through her grandma’s tutelage, Romina found her calling as a flora fortunist where she uses her magic to pick the perfect flowers to help fulfill her customer’s wishes, mainly about love and romance. Too bad she can’t seem to find the right combination for herself. It’s when Romina and Trevor, her friend and the owner of the building where she sets up shop, end up in an awkward fake dating situation that Alex reappears in her life. At the worst possible time.

I peer up at him, but his eyes are fixed straight ahead. “Yeah?”
“I need you to know that I’m coming for you. Okay? Making my intentions unmistakably clear. I’m not going to play games. I know what I want and I’m not stupid enough to let you go twice.”
I nearly walk into a lamppost.

Romina and Trevor must keep up the ruse of dating if they hope to get his father–who is soon to be Alex’s stepfather!–on board with loaning them the funds to improve the new lot she purchased next to her shop. Otherwise, it will make them look bad. Or, well, even worse than they already look. Because it’s pretty clear to Trevor’s father Daniel, Alex, and Alex’s mom Kristin that Romina and Trevor aren’t really in sync. Alex takes that as a sign that Romina is free to pursue a relationship with him again. And while she’ll admit that she’s never truly gotten over her first love, she’s not sure she can trust her heart to him given her terrible track record. But Alex is pretty convincing–as is basically everyone in her hometown of Moonville, Ohio. Maybe giving it another shot might not be a horrible idea after all.

‘I’d thought the Alex chapter of my life was long closed, never dreamed I’d have his skin on mine again, feel the brush of his mouth.’

Sarah Hogle’s latest novel, OLD FLAMES AND NEW FORTUNES, kept me delighted the whole way through. A great blend of magic, family drama, second chances and new beginnings–all set in a cozy little historic town–I think readers will love this playful romance.

“King, you flirting with my girl?”
“No,” he returns with a lazy dazzle of a smile. “I’m flirting with mine.”
I bristle, hurrying past him. “You wish.”

OLD FLAMES AND NEW FORTUNES was a story that covered so much ground and included so many interesting tropes that to me it didn’t fit into any one category–but I enjoyed every moment spent with Romina, her sisters, and their offbeat group of friends. It definitely had elements of paranormal and magical realism. But at its core, this was a small town second chance romance that had just the right amount of flashback passages to explain Romina and Alex’s high school relationship and how they ended up apart for a decade. (Can anyone say miscommunication?)

Sarah Hogle’s writing style truly made this book come alive. At times it reminded me of Alice Clayton or Christina Lauren’s work, with lots of funny banter and silliness that had me chuckling out loud. Then there was the slow burn buildup between Romina and Alex. Whew. *fans face* Having so much history between them, it was easy to see why things went wrong in their late teens and why they would still be hung up on each other. I loved that even though this was told strictly from Romina’s POV, Alex was so expressive in his actions and conversations that there wasn’t really any guessing what his intentions were. He did surprise me with how much his life had changed, particularly in the past five years or so, but not in a bad way. If anything, Alex proved to be a man capable of depth, loyalty, and oh so much love. Exactly what Romina needed after being burned so badly in the romance department too many times.

QOTD: Have you ever chosen flowers based on their “meaning”? (Red rose for romance, pink carnation for love and affection, blue hydrangea for gratitude, etc.)

Book Info:

Publication: Published: April 23rd, 2024 | G.P. Putnam’s Sons | Moonville #1

A steamy second-chance romance about a magical florist’s unexpected reunion with her high school sweetheart as she fake dates his soon-to-be stepbrother.

A small, magical town tucked away in rural Ohio, Moonville is the perfect place for flora fortunist Romina Tempest to expand her shop, where she uses the language of flowers to help the hopeful manifest their love lives. After giving up on her own big romance eleven years ago, at least she can bask in the promise of others’.

So, when the shop’s potential financier shares news of his wedding, Romina jumps on the opportunity to discuss buying the business. What better place to negotiate a deal than at a wedding, even if she has to fake-date her chaotic colleague Trevor to get an invitation? But all hell breaks loose when she discovers Trevor’s soon-to-be stepbrother is none other than Alex her high school sweetheart. Her greatest love. The boy who, eleven years ago, broke her heart, and who now thinks she and Trevor are dating.

What starts as an innocent misunderstanding becomes a week-long fake dating scheme, as Romina resolves to make Alex pay for breaking her heart. The only issue? She can’t deny their still-burning connection. Caught between proving to Alex what he lost, and coming clean and risking her business, Romina must decide whether giving Alex another chance means going back on herself, or finally releasing her hold on the past.



7 Responses to “REVIEW: Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle”

  1. Glenda M

    Thanks so much for the review!
    I haven’t chosen flowers based on their meaning, but I have avoided flowers because they are toxic to pets

  2. Amy R

    Have you ever chosen flowers based on their “meaning”? (Red rose for romance, pink carnation for love and affection, blue hydrangea for gratitude, etc.) No
    Thanks for the review.

  3. Dianne Casey

    I don’t choose flowers based on their meaning, I choose flowers I like and are not harmful to my pets.

  4. psu1493

    Meaning of flowers don’t really play a part in which ones I choose. I pick what I like. Thank you for the review.