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Review: The McCullagh Inn in Maine by Jen McLaughlin

The McCullagh Inn in MaineHer second chance at love. . .

Chelsea McCullagh escapes to Maine with a gun and fresh bruises. She’s ready to begin anew-until she runs into her old flame, Jeremy Holland. As he helps to fix her inn, her heart heals and they rediscover what they once loved about each other. But as the two play house, it starts to seem too good to last. . . .

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This is one of those times when I wish I didn’t read a particular book. On the plus side, I’m convinced that the author is talented and I’m curious to read some of her other work. However, it is the attachment to James Patterson’s newest cash cow, BookShots that has me wondering if I should avoid at all cost.

I like novellas. In fact, if they are part of a series, I find them to be a fun way to add in some side stories without wasting an entire book. But in this case, making this story a novella didn’t work in the author’s favor. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the set up and what not. But I felt that if you are going to write a novella, it shouldn’t be the introduction to a new series… which this one is.

At times I was intrigued by Chelsea’s background and even amused by her renewed relationship with Jeremy. I appreciated the fact the author tried to make this something more than just a simple romance novella. But the story lacked as a result of being only 137 pages long. There was no character or plot development, everything felt pushed and rushed and it was a complete let down. There wasn’t enough time to develop anything and even the main characters relationship felt empty. So they had a past? That doesn’t mean I, as a reader, am going to instantly feel the heat between to the two. They still needed developing, even if it was just spending more time exploring their past relationship. I think had this been a true book and not a novella, the story would have had time to grow naturally and things might have played out better.

Also, can I say how boring it is to make her, a Miami assistant D.A. on the run, be in love with someone in law enforcement (of some kind)? Why do romance authors always do this? Why not make him ordinary? Or what I thought would have been interesting was have him take over her felon of a father’s “business”? This is probably my biggest complaint with romance novels, they are so obvious and it physically hurts to read them because of it. I just wish for once, one of them would be original and do something different. He doesn’t have to be a white knight in shining armor. Nor does he have to be the loser bad boy who is in need of saving. Why not mix it up some time and just make him normal?

I don’t know what else to say. I suppose I would offer the advice that if you are a New York Times Bestselling author, maybe you don’t need to lower your standards by doing these BookShots?



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About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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