The Good Ones
Happily Ever After #1
By Jenn McKinlay
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Ryder Copeland is an accomplished architect and one heck of a father…not to mention tall and sexy. He’s everything a hero should be, and Lord knows, Maisy Kelly has read enough of her great-aunt Eloise’s romance novels to recognize one when she sees one. But like all fairy tales, Maisy can’t help but wonder if this Prince Charming is too good to be true…
Ryder is drawn to the shy, curly haired professor who hires him to convert the Victorian house she’s inherited from her aunt into a romance bookstore. Attracted to a woman for the first time since his divorce, Ryder finds himself wishing for a future with Maisy that he knows is impossible. Ryder has never wavered from his plan to leave the small town of Fairdale, North Carolina, so he can give his daughter the life she deserves. But suddenly he’s not so sure. And the closer he gets to Maisy, the harder it’s going to be to walk away… (Goodreads)
As a big fan of Jenn McKinlay’s cozy mystery series, I felt compelled to follow her crossover into the romance genre. I enjoyed The Good Ones, the tale of a young woman who always seems to choose the wrong guy and a single father who openly carries his childhood scars and baggage. It is fairly predictable but entertaining.
The Southern town setting and Maisy’s aunt’s home overflowing with romance novels is a comfortable, cozy place for the embers of love to bloom in this sweet romance. . Opposites attract in the backdrop of a romance bookstore renovation project. Maisy is a dreamer, and her impractical nature made me doubt her ability to run a business and make the Victorian home turned bookstore flourish. To me, she is a bit immature and too impulsive, but other readers will probably find her endearing. Ryder is a much more interesting, complex character. His mother’s death when he was quite young, his father’s neglect, and his failed marriage have all had quite an effect on him. He shows how much he loves people but fails to say the words, especially to one who needs to hear it the most, his daughter and pride and joy Perry. Perry is my favorite character. Her youthful enthusiasm and obvious love for those around her is delightful. As a pet lover, the inclusion of the tiny, abandoned kitten King George is fabulous and provides most of the funny and some of the sweetest moments in the story.
What bothered me about the book is its slower pace. Not a lot goes on to further the plot – there is quite a bit of push and pull between Maisy and Ryder, a lot of assumptions on both of their parts, and inner dialogue that becomes repetitive. Most of all, I wish there had been more chemistry between Maisy and Ryder. Everything wraps up a little too neatly in the end.
I liked The Good Ones, but I did not love it. Given the opportunity, I will read the next book in the Happily Ever After series with hopes that I find it more appealing. That said, I do recommend The Good Ones to Jenn McKinlay’s fans and romance readers looking for something familiar and comfortable to read.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*