Stoically Yours


Romance - Contemporary
330 Pages
Reviewed on 11/20/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Renee Shelbey is a new author who believes the following aren't oxymorons: smart women, gentle alpha males, and multicultural romance. She likes writing about characters who are flawed but redeemable, professional women who are strong but vulnerable, and capable men who aren't intimidated to show their tender side. Renee loves music, all things pop culture, and cake! She lives in Small town USA with her very own gentle alpha husband and their little one.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Stoically Yours by Renee Shelbey is a hilarious, coming-of-age story that follows the journey of a young woman as she realizes that opening her heart for love might be the best decision she ever made. Self-claimed perfectionist, Tabitha knows that she has no room for emotions in her life. She knows she is damaged and going the family route was never in the cards for her. All she wants from her life at the moment is to complete her pre-doctoral internship and get that Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She was all set to be the cat lady of her neighborhood but plans change. There are two men trying to get her attention and she may be inclined to open her heart to one of them. One is a musician who is charming the hell out of her while the other is her clinical professor. The only question is which of these two men will have the honor of winning her heart?

Beautifully constructed to win your heart and make you laugh out loud, this novel is simply perfection. The moment I started reading it, I knew I was going to love this and Tabitha. Her internal monologues are hilarious; she is one of those characters who you wish was your friend. We all need a Tabitha in our lives so that she can bring some color into it while giving you a reality check. I was amazed at how well-rounded she is; she knows she is damaged yet she is not letting that hold her back from achieving her goals. She is like a chameleon, she adapts herself to any situation and that is phenomenal. I have to admit, I was rooting for Mark the musician from the beginning. Something about him just complements Tabitha’s personality so well. The narrative itself was silky smooth, it flowed so beautifully and enamored me (I don’t have any other word for it because I am so blown away with that). What a great way to start your writing career! Brilliant, exceptionally well-crafted and written with love. I loved this book!

Maureen Dangarembizi

Stoically Yours by Renee Shelbey is a comedic romance set in contemporary times. Tabitha Merrin is a young woman of color on the brink of finishing clinical psychology doctorate. Given her track record with romantic relationships, she doesn't hold out much hope of a happily ever after in her future. She may be bad at relationships but she's good at her chosen profession and determined to make it a success. Things get a little complicated when her married professor, Dr. Reddy, makes a pass at her. Dr. Reddy is handsome, successful and intelligent. The kind of man she can see herself settling down with if he didn't already have a family. Then she meets Mark, a musician who plays at local clubs. He's a white male and his chosen passion doesn't fit into her white picket fence, 2 1/2 kids dream. Too bad her heart has other ideas.

Tabitha was the perfect heroine in Stoically Yours. You may not approve of some of her poor life choices but you will love her authenticity. Renee Shelbey doesn't pull any punches on this one. The story demonstrates the heroine's strengths and weaknesses in a tale that is so realistic and shows the grey area of human nature. The characters in this story are three dimensional. I really liked that the author wasn't afraid to show the ugly along with the good in the main couple. I really felt like Tabitha earned her HEA in the end. The story also addresses relationship issues not just in single people but also in married people. This book is not for the overly conservative as it has some very open views when it comes to sex and relationships. Regardless of reader taste, the story has an emotionally fulfilling conclusion.

Christian Sia

Stoically Yours by Renee Shelbey is a contemporary romance that is character-driven and tight in plot. Tabitha Merrin has never thought, even for the slightest moment, that she has any space in her life for a serious relationship. She has always believed herself to be in control of her choices and she has a principle to never be emotionally involved with a man. At least, not yet. Now in her psychology internship, her world is about to be turned upside-down by two men. A handsome musician who is fun to be with, Mark Thomas, and her clinical professor, a brilliant and attractive man. Her heart is torn between the two. Can she choose right and how long does she have the luxury of waiting?

Told in a first-person voice that is absorbing, this novel pulls readers into the life of a strong female protagonist torn between her values and the attraction of two men. The dilemma is strong and it feeds the plot generously. Character development is impeccable. From the very first sentence, the reader gets insight into the protagonist: severely emotionally damaged – like seriously messed up. "I’d never find love, never be in a serious relationship, never get married, and never have the 2.5 kids with the white picket fence or the romanticized fairytale." I was intrigued and wanted to know what happens to someone who has never and wouldn't consider a serious relationship. The writing is beautiful and filled with fun dialogues and descriptive passages. Life as an intern is neatly captured in the writing. Stoically Yours is a delightful, engaging romance with memorable characters. I couldn't stop turning the pages.