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Review: Searching for Billy Shakespeare by Crista McHugh

Hey all, Dani here.

I may have mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again. I enjoy Shakespeare, maybe even like him/his works. I’ve read most of Shakespeare’s plays and several of his sonnets. Actually, one of my friends wanted to buy me a book when we graduated high school and I told her to get me a Complete Works of Shakespeare from our local Waldenbooks. Man, I miss having an actual bookstore in my hometown. Anyway, in college I even took a class on Shakespeare as part of my B.A. in English Literature.

So finding out that an author I enjoy was releasing a new contemporary romance and the main character is working on a dissertation on Shakespeare for her doctoral degree…yep, I knew I wanted to read it.

Luckily enough, I am in her fan group on Facebook and she does an ARCs for review process, and I managed to snag a copy. I’ll just go ahead and say this: I downloaded the book on a Friday and had it finished on Saturday morning. Anyway, I also need to say that being in the fan group and receiving an early review copy did not influence my rating or my review in any way.



Intensely introverted and socially awkward grad student Kate Mireau has loved only one man since she was a little girl.

William Shakespeare.

Unfortunately, he died over four hundred years ago. 

Since no modern-day man will ever compete with the Bard’s wit and wisdom, Kate is destined for dissatisfaction in matters of the heart. Besides, any attempt she makes to step out of her comforting world of books usually ends in humiliating disaster. But when she agrees to help her new roommate’s brother prepare for an upcoming audition, she meets a man who makes her pulse race almost as fast as Shakespeare’s insults. ‘Tis said the course of true love never did run smooth, and Kate discovers that Gabe is not an aspiring classical actor—he’s one of Hollywood’s sexiest leading men.

Experience has taught Kate that she’ll just end up embarrassing them both. Will she retreat to her safe world of beloved plays and poetry, consoling herself with the notion that he is a star out of her reach? Or if all the world’s a stage, then maybe Gabe is her chance to find there’s more to life than just words, words, words.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

This book connected with the Kelly Brothers series!! We got references to Ethan and actually got to see Gideon and Sage/Sarah. I was not expecting it and it made me so happy. I really enjoyed the Kelly Brothers series, and I recommend it if you haven’t tried them. The series is a modern take on “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”.

The reason I marked this down is because it utilizes a trope that kind of bothers me…the attractive female character who doesn’t realize she’s pretty until someone gives her a makeover. Still, it was a fun and fast read and I really enjoyed Gabe as a romantic interest.

Though, of course, I will say that this was a short book, just under 200 pages, and it was a quick read. Also, there are a number of predictable events in the story, but that didn’t make it all any less enjoyable.

Obviously when you’re reading a romance and the book summary names the romantic interest but then you start the story with the female lead already engaged to someone else…it’s pretty obvious what is likely going to happen to really get the story started.

But anyway, I had a great time reading this book, and I’ll actually be really happy if McHugh keeps putting out contemporary romances that connect in some way to the Kelly brothers…or honestly, she could just give us a couple more books following the Kelly family; I’d be okay with that too.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order Searching for Billy Shakespeare from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository. It will be released on December 26, 2017.

10 thoughts on “Review: Searching for Billy Shakespeare by Crista McHugh”

  1. Poor Kate! Even if Shakespeare was alive, I think he was gay right? I have a hard time understanding Shakespeare but people have told me that most of the sonnets are about a young man. I’d like to hear what you think about Shakespeare’s sexuality. Gay or no?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many of the sonnets were about women Shakespeare loved, so I don’t think I can go with Shakespeare himself being gay.

      But with this story, Kate has been reading Shakespeare her whole life because she lived in a home with no television. So, the love she feels for him is more like adoration, similar to what we feel for our favorite authors. At the start of the book, she is still trying to finish her dissertation and has a fiance named Mike.

      Liked by 1 person

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