The McCullagh Inn in Maine by Jen McLaughlin Review!

Started: July 31, 2016

Finished: August 3, 2016

Rating: 3 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

I bought this book on a suggestion from my mom because she had noticed these little Bookshots novels from James Patterson, and I discovered that they had romance novels in the Bookshots category. I really like romance novels (not the kind that have half-naked men on the cover) and I was excited about it.

I liked this book, but I didn’t like it anymore than three stars.

The story was pretty decent for a romance novel. Girl runs away from abusive boyfriend, goes to small town, meets old flame (sometimes new flame), conquers abusive boyfriend, lives happily ever after. It was pretty suspenseful for a romance novel, and I really liked Jen McLaughlin’s writing. She knew when to keep something a secret, and when to put it in the narrative.

The characters were pretty enjoyable, except for Chelsea. I’m usually pretty okay with unlikeable main characters, but Chelsea was just aggravating. I couldn’t stand her, and she didn’t get any better as the story went on. I understand that traumatic things happened to her, but she was just unbearable as a character.

The one thing besides Chelsea that really got on my nerves about this novel was the alternating POVs. I really like alternating POVs, but this one went from first-person in Chelsea’s chapters, to third-person in Jeremy’s chapters. Why? If you can’t write first-person from the opposite gender’s point of view, then don’t switch POV at all. That was the only real writing related thing that annoyed me, but it annoyed me throughout the whole novel and was part of the reason I can only give it three stars.

All in all, I did like this book as a short little romance to read in between my darker YA fiction. It was a nice change of pace, but I definitely think it could have been better. I plan to read more Bookshots in the future, so we’ll see if the rest of the romance category is a little bit better!

NEXT READ: Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff


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