Maybe I Do by Nicole McLaughlin
Series: Whiskey & Weddings #1
Published: August 29, 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Wedding photographer Charlotte Linley loves her work –even though she hates weddings. Sure, she still holds a grudge after being left at the altar by her high-school sweetheart. But today Charlotte is just happy to have complete control over her career, which is flourishing. Especially since she joined forces with one of the three gorgeous owners of The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s hottest wedding venue.
Dean Troyer, bitter after the end of his own marriage, knows that Charlotte is the real deal–beautiful, talented, and successful. He may flirt with her every time she comes to The Stag, but Dean is determined to keep his professional distance…particularly now that she’s helping him with his own sister’s wedding. The only problem? The more time Dean spends with Charlotte, the deeper their connection grows. Is this a rom-com cliche’ or could it be that these two jaded souls in the wedding business have finally found their real-life happily ever after?
This was a pretty enjoyable contemporary romance, but I would definitely categorize it in what I like to think of as “real life romances”. I think of these reads as dealing with very real and tough situations and emotions and they often involve the characters having to make hard choices or compromises. I personally like a bit more distance from reality but I don’t mind these. The basis of the series was a cool and unique idea and I can’t wait to see more of The Stag.
I really enjoyed Charlotte and felt like she was a very mature and likable heroine. I appreciated that even though she herself didn’t want to try getting married again, she wasn’t bitter about love and romance. I also got a kick out of her side job of doing photography for romance covers. Charlotte needed to learn how to take the initiative. She spent 3 years flirting with Dean and hoping it would amount to something. I can understand at first, being hesitant, but at some point she should have just asked him out. She wanted to be with him but was waiting for him to take all the steps. In some respects, Charlotte was very independent and strong but in others she was pretty meek.
Though Dean’s insecurities sometimes got on my nerves, I liked that he wasn’t over the top alpha. Even when he was experiencing jealously he mostly kept it under control and didn’t try to dictate Charlotte’s life (though he had 1 green-eyed monster induced comment that was hurtful).
I wasn’t crazy about the romantic/sexual connections between the characters. I found John, Charlotte’s ex, being around as very awkward and I personally would not have been comfortable with my ex working with my new guy. On top of that we had Dean’s ex-wife, Amy, around though I understand the circumstances that meant she would be. In particular, I found the fact that Dean slept with Jen (the bartender at The Stag) as completely unnecessary and just another reason to possibly cause problems in a future book.
3 stars – it was good
ARC provided by NetGalley for honest review
Whiskey & Weddings reviews
Click on a cover to see the review