Maybe I Do by Nicole McLaughlin
Series: Whiskey and Weddings #1
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on August 29, 2017
Source: the publisher
Buy from Amazon|Buy from Barnes & Noble|Buy from Book Depository
She doesn’t believe in fairy tales. He is married to his job. Maybe whiskey is the secret ingredient that will bring them together–and give true love a shot.
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?
I received 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.
I’ve been so excited about this book, not only because it’s the start of a new Nicole McLaughlin series
, but because I can’t seem to get enough from her and I will read anything she writes. Her stories are always so fun to read but they always have what I consider a perfect amount of romance + serious + emotion laced throughout them for what I’m looking for at the time. They’re always perfect for me and I always find myself smiling while I read.
The story of Dean and Charlotte is no exception. I loved it. My feelings ranged from thrilled at various parts to my eyes tearing up at a part of the story that deals with one of Dean’s family members. I also felt pretty angry at the people that Dean and Charlotte were involved with in relationships before this book. And holy Batman, there is a photography scene involving a motorcycle that is just — wow.
Dean is a 41-year-old previously married man who has been crushing on 29-year-old wedding photographer Charlotte for the past few years. Dean is co-owner at a successful distillery and wedding reception venue in the Kansas City area, so he and Charlotte end up working together often. The two flirt almost constantly and get along very well. And Charlotte has a mad crush on him too.
I absolutely love the tension between Dean and Charlotte. I love that Charlotte isn’t afraid to be the first to flirt, but she is still classy without being too forward. Of course, there are some obstacles once these two begin to move ahead with their relationship, but these things eventually work themselves out in true romance-novel fashion.
I love that Dean shows his vulnerability when he feels like the age divide could be a problem. In the beginning, Charlotte thinks that his age is the bulk of his concern; she continues to show Dean that she is interested. In truth, Dean is hiding more behind this age concern. Both have issues that they need to work through — plus a couple of outside obstacles concerning family and community members. I really felt like all of this brings a slightly more emotional feeling to the story than I was expecting. It wasn’t a heavy story or anything, but I wasn’t expecting some of these issues to read their heads (fertility vs infertility, deployment, for example). I think these things are handled really well in terms of tying into the tone of the story and I was increasingly invested as the story continued.
The secondary cast is great in this story. I think I can see where the next couple of books may be headed. (Possibly? It’s fun to try and guess.) Dean’s best friends and distillery co-owners are a lot of fun, and I love his sister Alex. As much as liked the secondary cast, both Dean and Charlotte have people from their past that show up in this story – this is something that I don’t typically love. While neither ex-person is a threat to Dean and Charlotte, I was still incredibly annoyed with these two people every time they were on the pages. I just wanted them to GO AWAY. Perhaps this is because of the emotional traumas they caused Dean and Charlotte in the past, but more likely this is because I just wanted no barriers to their fledgling relationship.
Also, sidenote: I love the backdrop of a whiskey distillery for this series. There is plenty about the distillation process and the marketing of the product, etc in the story. Because this is something that enjoy in my real life, I loved that it was included in the story. As usual, I’m already dying to get my hands on the next new story from Nicole McLaughlin. Her stories are just some of my absolute favorites.