Maybe This Time is a phenomenal contemporary romance by Nicole McLaughlin. Ms. McLaughlin has given us a well-written book, a nice smooth read. The characters in this book will tug at your heartstrings in this second chance romance. Kudos to Ms. McLaughlin for the outstanding characters. Jen is crushed when the community theater she works for closes. She is forced to take a temp job working for the Stag Distillery. TJ is one of the owners of the Stag Distillery and broke Jen's heart when they were kids. Their story is an emotional rollercoaster of drama, humor, hurt feelings, worry, sizzle and misunderstandings. I enjoyed reading Maybe This Time. This book captured me at the first page and kept me glued to my kindle until the end. Maybe This Time is book 2 of the Whiskey and Weddings Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.
My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin
Maybe I Do has a lot of things going for it: a beautiful setting I’d love to spend time in, a warm and welcoming supporting cast, and a premise I was totally on board for. Nicole McLaughlin charmed the hell out of me with the setting; I wanted to drop in and live in Maple Springs, Kansas. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to love this book, it ended up falling short for me thanks to the romance.
Charlotte is a wedding photographer who is wary about marriage after having been left at the altar by her high school sweetheart. Charlotte is talented, hardworking, and genuinely caring, which makes her easy to like. What I didn’t love about her was that she wants Dean so much that she takes scraps of affection from him, puts up with his push-pull attitude for way too long, and she takes way too long to stand up for herself. Dean is where Maybe I Do crashes and burns. He’s not a bad person, but to me he was a bad hero. Ms. McLaughlin did paint a clear picture of why his disastrous marriage made him insecure. However, though I understood where he came from, his jealousy, insecurities, and tendency to make decisions for Charlotte without actually asking her irritated me. As the story went on, Dean’s fears and doubts became his defining characteristics, which was incredibly unappealing. By the end of the story, I liked Charlotte’s ex (who I wanted to hate) more than I did Dean. Added to that, Dean and Charlotte spent much of the book internal monologuing rather than actually talking to one another. A lack of communication and a disappointing lack of chemistry made this romance fall flat. I had a litany of problems with the romance, but it feels overly harsh to continue. Suffice it to say, it just didn’t work for me.
Even though Maybe I Do wasn’t the book for me, I still want to read the next book in the Whiskey and Weddings series. Charlotte and Dean’s friends were lovely, the Stag was a well-imagined setting, and overall the series has potential.
FTC Disclosure: I received the e-book edition of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Whiskey and weddings. Not necessarily a good match, but in the case of Charlotte and Dean it proves a winning combination. As card carrying members of the broken hearts club, successful careers have made them unlucky in love. When work brings them together will the pain of the past tear them apart? Sparks fly, hearts break and hope springs eternal in this temptingly charming total eclipse of the heart.