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…
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
➳A single father in need of finding the connection he should have with his loved ones, and a shy bookstore owner who wants nothing more than to spread love to the world…
➳Can we talk about cowboy romances, especially ones that have your panties melting for more cherished characters and loving individuals such as Maisy and Ryder? Yes please! Let’s talk about them because there is no denying that this is a romance novel that will have everyone hooked for more sweetness and care towards this fictional world. Especially when you involve a swoon worthy single father that does construction and remodeling for a living. **sighs** I am swooned away… I have been blown away by this romance novel!
➳Seriously y’all! There is no denying that I truly fell in love this Ryder… and Maisy? YESSSS! Preach for Maisy and her quirky attitude! The fact that she wants to open a romance bookstore just makes this ten times better of a novel. The raw attraction that Maisy has towards Ryder is also one that truly does take your breathe away, even when they are being the most cutest and sweetest individuals ever.
➳Can I please have me a cowboy like Ryder? Please? Because I seriously need him in my life! Maisy is one lucky gal, especially when he just seems to be everywhere. On her mind… on her… mind… Yeah, around the corner whenever he is fixing her house… on her mind again… in her, house… I don’t know, I don’t want to sound filthy but this novel is filthy for certain in the department of sexual tension between Maisy and Ryder. And my gosh, you will all be sweating when reading their story.
➳Overall, this was truly a southern romance novel that will have you captivated to the next page, wanting more of Ryder but also craving the attitude of Maisy’s. I am looking forward to reading more sweet romance novels by Jenn. Thank you so much to the beautiful team at Berkley for letting me read this fantastic novel, looking forward for more!
➳ARC kindly provided by Berkley in exchange for an honest review…
➳Follow Me On:
Jenn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several mystery series and will be debuting a new women’s fiction series in June 2017, starting with the title About a Dog. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets and her husband’s guitars.
“I’ll have you know, I’m twenty-nine,” Maisy Kelly said. “I have two master’s degrees, I’ve been published in Tin House and Room Magazine, and I don’t take garbage from anyone.”
Ryder blinked in surprise. “Well,” he said.
“Exactly.” She gave him a curt nod and strode out of the room, leaving him and his fourteen-year-old daughter Perry to follow or not.
“Not to be all Captain Obvious about it, but you really blew that,” Perry said. She gave him a roll of the eyes with the sort of utter disdain only a teenager could execute and stepped around him to follow Maisy down the hall, leaving Ryder to mull over his own stupidity because wasn’t that always a good time?
He wanted to call Maisy back and apologize. He had been a complete tool in assuming she was barely out of college, but in his defense with her enormous brown eyes and head of impish curls, she looked like she was barely out of high school, never mind college. And in her oversized sweatshirt he’d been sure she was an undergrad. At least, the attraction that had slapped him upside the head when she smiled at him wasn’t completely inappropriate. Still it was a complication he didn’t need or want.
He glanced back at the room. This place as a bookstore? It could work. In fact, it was a brilliant way to deal with all of the books, but could he get the job done in just a few months?
Ryder wanted to help Maisy open her bookshop, and he wanted to see the great beauty hidden beneath the clutter and disorder of the old Victorian house’s present state fully revealed. He wanted it bad. Without overthinking it, Ryder turned around and charged after Maisy and Perry. He found them in the last bedroom. Maisy was handing Perry a book.
“You’ll like this one,” she said. “Trust me.”
“That’s what the school librarian told me when she handed me the latest young adult bestseller,” Perry said. “All the characters died at the end. All of them. Seriously, why would I want to read that? I cried for four days.”
Maisy smiled and patted the cover of the book. “No one dies. In fact, in this entire house the only endings are happy ones, because truly, isn’t life hard enough?”
“I’ll say.” Perry nodded.
Ryder glanced at the book. Scrolled across the front cover was the title Pride and Prejudice. He glanced at Maisy in question.
“Great Aunt El gave me that very book when I was Perry’s age,” she said. “It’s a classic.”
“Really?” he asked.
Maisy studied his face as if she was trying to decide if he was teasing her or not. “You have heard of Jane Austen, haven’t you?”
“Um… yeah, the name sounds familiar,” he hedged. “She’s the heroine of the book, right?”
“More accurately, the author.” Maisy crossed her arms over her chest. “The heroine is Elizabeth Bennett.”
“Oh, yeah, that’s right,” he said. He was bluffing. While he’d heard of Jane Austen, he had no idea what she’d written, and Perry was no help as she flipped open the book and began to read, completely ignoring him.
Maisy shook her head at him. She was not fooled by him not even a little. Of course, this perversely made him want to tease her all the more.
“You’ve never read it,” she said.
“Sure, I have,” he protested. “Bennett works in an office, helping…er…spies on their missions. She’s in love with one of the spies and when he goes missing, she jumps into the spy game to save him.”
Maisy stood staring at him with her mouth hanging open. It took everything Ryder had not to laugh.
“Oh, my god, you just described a Melissa McCarthy movie. So not only have you not read it, you haven’t seen the movie either,” she said.
“There’s a movie? Chick flick, right?”
“Date movie,” she countered. She looked outraged. “How have you missed one of the greatest love stories of all time?”
“Dad, pro tip, it’s set in regency England. There are no spies,” Perry said. She didn’t glance up from the book.
“Well, that’s a bummer,” he said.
Jenn McKinlay’s Recent Blog Post
When I first thought of the idea for The Good Ones, wherein English professor Maisy Kelly inherits an old Victorian house stuffed to the rafters with her Aunt Eloise’s romance novel collection and hires architect Ryder Copeleand to help her renovate the place, it didn’t occur to me that what I was writing into the story about the Happily Ever After Bookstore was my own longtime love affair with romance novels.
I remember with perfect clarity, the year I discovered Harlequin Presents novels. It was during seventh grade biology with Mr. Peterson. No, he was not a hottie and inspired no internal flutterings within me. Still, he was a very nice man and (bonus points here) he was the quintessential science nerd and once he started talking about cell theory, gene theory, and homeostasis, he had no idea there were students in the room never mind notice what we were doing.
My lab partner Lynn Driscoll immediately took full advantage of this and propped her notebook up on the desk, using it as a shield to hide the paperback book she pulled out of her backpack. I remember it was white with Harlequin Presents scrawled across the top and within an oval there was an artist’s rendering of a redheaded heroine walking along a beach, holding hands with a dark haired hero. Lynn read through the entire class not even taking one note. Yeah, my lab partner was gone, baby, gone.
This went on for a few weeks. I’d do all the heavy lifting of note taking and Lynn would surface when we actually had to do a lab. During one of these labs, I asked her about her obsession with these books. She gushed, she crushed, she convinced me to read one. Being a huge reader, I had already plowed through all of the available Elizabeth Peters and Victoria Holt books, so I was game. She handed me one of her favorites and I went home and devoured it. This was an unfortunate turn of events for our science grade. Since we sat in the middle back, we both propped up our notebooks and read our shared stack of Harlequins instead of taking notes. When this was reflected in our grades, Mr. Peterson did notice and separated us. Still, our bond from our mutual love for Harlequin books remained and we continued to swap books for the rest of the year.
As I got older, I graduated from the sweet romances (not so sexy) to the steamier stuff. Historical romances by Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught, and Patricia Gaffney were my jam during high school, because at a freakishly tall height of six feet what girl doesn’t want to read about the wallflower or awkward young miss catching the eye of the handsome rogue. When teenage boys in real life disappointed, it was so lovely to escape into a book where the heroine was valued for her smarts, her wit, and her courage. They made me believe that on the other side of these painful years there was something better waiting for me.
And the most important thing I learned during my love affair with romance was the same lesson learned and relearned by the heroines I most connected with and that was that before you can truly love anyone else, you have to love yourself. Romance novels teach readers to love themselves in all their quirky, flawed, and awkward glory. It took me until I became a writer of romance to see that the real romance to be found in a romance novel is between the reader and herself.
Wishing you nothing but happily ever afters!
XOXO, Jenn McKinlay