The McCullagh Inn in Maine by Jen McLaughlin

innTitle: The McCullagh Inn in Maine
Author: Jen McLaughlin
Published: 2016
Page: 137
Format: Paperback


Summary: Her 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…


My Take: Recently, bestselling author James Patterson created a new line of books called “Bookshots”. Billed as “stories at the speed of life”, they are advertised as “novels you can devour in a few hours” that are “impossible to stop reading”. Each book is about 130 to 150 pages, give or take, and indeed are fast reads from what I have discovered so far. James Patterson is always finding new ways to make himself richer and well, I say, why the hell not? The man is a creative genius, having gifted us with the most kick-ass detective in modern literature; one Alex Cross (Hey, it’s only my opinion!). He is forever re-inventing the fiction genre. You never know what he’s going to come up with next!


Now that said, he did not write this book but it is published under his “Bookshots” umbrella and he posts a short, sweet little note at the beginning reminding us that he, himself, has written romance novels (Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, anyone?) and what a taxing creative labor of love it really is. He says he searched for the best and brightest romance novelists to bring “Bookshots” to life. Now I don’t know that I would agree that this was one of the better romance works I’ve read. It was much too simplistic for my liking but it didn’t have to be because I have read novellas before that were vastly better than this one. Perhaps a quality control expert is in order here…?!


But I digress…


I guess that this story was enjoyable for what it was: bare bones, meant to tease and tantalize over the course of an hour or 2. It was a sorta cute little number but my problem laid not so much in the lack of detail that we got (descriptions were vague at best but I guess I was expecting that in a short story like this) but rather in how utterly stupid the heroine was! Chelsea’s bright idea was to run from the people who were after her (no spoilers about who’s after her will be found here!), straight to the town she grew up in, and try to pass herself off as someone completely different — get this — by only by changing her hair color and her last name! All the while moving into her aunt’s old bed and breakfast too boot. She actually believed no one would recognize her or figure out that she used to live there. I understand hiding in plain sight but that’s ludicrous! If the hero Jeremy could spot her at a mile away, who’s to say the town’s people we never actually met couldn’t either? There really was no rationale as to why she wasn’t caught a helluva lot sooner.


The book had romance (of course), some slightly R-rated lovin’ (honestly, they shouldn’t have skimped on the detail here; I am a dirty girl and love to read smut!), and some excitement, but all in all, it’s a book I know I wouldn’t read again. I wasn’t entirely convinced of Chelsea and Jeremy’s “great love” either when all was said and done. It read more like they were best friends who just like to bang.


Am I giving up on the “Bookshots” series of books altogether? Not likely. I recently read another one in the line called Learning to Ride by Erin Knightley that was decidedly more satisfying. I guess at the end of the day, I am a sucker who is going to keep shelling out my cash to the Patterson gimmick machine. I have no shame!


My Rating: 3/5 stars

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