Title: The Good Ones
Series: Happily Ever After #1
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Format: eBook/Mass Market Paperback, 312 pages
Published: February 5th 2019 by Berkley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
A romance bookstore owner finds her own happily ever after with a single dad in a new romance series from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Dog Has His Day.
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...
The Good Ones is a cute contemporary romance that is sure to endear itself to fans of the sub-genre with it's cozy setting, lighthearted banter, and charming characters.
Maisy Kelly hasn't had it easy lately, but she knows that converting her aunt's old Victorian home into a romance book store is just the change she needs to turn her life around. When Ryder Copeland walks through her door, Maisy doesn't bother obtaining quotes for the restoration from any other company. She knows that this cowboy straight off the front of one of her aunt's many romance novels is just the man for the job. However, Ryder isn't so sure. The instant attraction that he feels towards Maisy is not something that he wants, or needs right now in his life. Especially since he doesn't plan on sticking around in town long enough to start any sort of relationship. Will the pull between Maisy and Ryder be too strong for them to deny? Or will Ryder decide that the chance at love isn't worth altering the future he already has planned for him and his daughter?
The Good Ones is the age-old romantic tale of right place, wrong time. I loved the premise of this book; the idea of the heroine opening a romance book store in her aunt's old Victorian home was fantastic. The author did a wonderful job of bringing the setting to life. All of the details and hidden nuances of the home were a delight to uncover with each page. Yet, despite a good start, the story itself moved incredibly slow and didn't quite hold my interest. It took me twice as long as normal to finish this book. The author's writing style of telling, as opposed to showing, made for a lack of authenticity between characters and the redundant inner monologues dragged the plot down further.
The synopsis hints at a western romance, but besides the hero of the story dressing the part of a cowboy and driving a big truck, the book takes place in a small town in North Carolina. Ryder is a complicated character with a lot of baggage, but all in all he is a good guy and a great father. Maisy is a bit of a dreamer, but has a good heart and a great group of friends to support her. There were several characters throughout the tale that were fun; Maisy and Ryder's friends along with Ryder's daughter. I think they may have distracted from the main couple though, as I never felt that real spark of connection between them. There was attraction, desire, and tension between the two. But there was also a lot of push and pull. The constant indecision that the characters faced put a damper on what should have been a light and pleasing plot.
All that being said, I found the characters in next book to be intriguing, so I will probably continue the series and cross my fingers for a more fulfilling story. As this was my first read from this author, I can't speak to how it holds up against her other series, which I believe are mainly said to be cozy mysteries. Devoted fans of contemporary romance may find this book more appealing then I, as I said, it was cute but not as satisfying as I had hoped for.