For months now I have been fascinated with a series by Olivia Dade about librarians falling in love. Two books in, I picked up Mayday with so much excitement, but found myself feeling a little off and not very into a the story.
We start with a one night stand, but just any one night stand. Helen Murphy is a virgin, working part-time at the local library and living in her parents house after the bookstore she worked in went out of business. She steps out of her shell to approach the mayor, Wes Ramirez, at the local bar and within minutes they are leaving for his house. Now, I really didn’t like Wes, he didn’t worry about Helen’s pleasure of deal with her virginity, but to give him some credit, she didn’t tell him she was a virgin. Right afterwards, he takes her back to the bar and says some things she takes wrong, but anyone would have.
Leap forward months later and we learn more about the characters. Helen is up for a second part time position at the library that would make her full time with the two positions. To show she is the right person for the Community Outreach Coordinator position she takes on planning the city’s May Day celebration. Who does she happen to have to work closely together? You guessed, Mayor Wes.
We also learn that Wes was having one of the worst days of his life the night he took Helen home. He’s trying hard to be a good mayor, but everything just isn’t going his way. The May Day celebration is his last ditch plan to revitalize the city. Working with Helen is a good thing, but he knows he hurt her emotionally that first night. He starts off with trying to be her friend, then onto being her lover and trying to correct all the wrong he has done to her emotions.
Let’s get to business on what was off about this book and what was good about it too, because in the end it was just a good book, not great.
Helen and Wes are in their latter 30s, but they felt about 10 years younger in the story. Wes had a scholarship to college, but when he gets injured and unable to compete, he loses the scholarship and the money to continue college. He’s not really into school nor great at learning, but I wouldn’t say he is dumb. He comes back home and teaches swimming to under privileged kids when they challenge him to become mayor. So I guess I was wondering how he made a living just teaching swimming and buying his own house?
There there is Helen who was a thirty-sex year old virgin. She loves books. Working at a bookstore was a dream, but when it went under, she had to move in with her parents and take a part-time job at the reference desk at the library. She has looked for a job around the area, but there isn’t anything in the area of dealing with books. She also doesn’t want to move away from the area and has small town dreams. So she goes to college, works in a book store for …. years? Then moves in with her parents.
The two grew up going to school together, then spend years in the same town never really crossing paths and now a decade after college, Helen decides to hook up for one night with the mayor, losing her virginity and then moving onto another one night stand with a different man while Wes is trying to figure things out. It just seemed like they were younger than what the author wanted us to believe.
Second, Wes is a wuss. Now other way to say it. He is so insecure that I wanted to scream at times. He gets better over the course of the book, but I really didn’t dislike or like him for more than half of the book. Hero…well, I never got that feeling. He falls hard and fast for Helen, but has to grovel a lot after what he said and did too her.
The May Day celebration is huge for both of their careers, so sometimes it bordered on ridiculous what they had to do to get it to go off without disasters. People are watching them both, for Wes a possible mayor position in another town and for Helen another part-time position that added to her current one would make her full-time.
Now, I know sex is supposed to be good and dirty, but it felt off. He said the words and did the deeds, but I found it all to be crude for two people who seem uptight. I found Helen to be wound up tighter than a top and Wes, while a ladies man, just didn’t do it for me. There was a zero to sixty mentality for the way they fell in love and into bed. No background besides that one night and he is instantly in love with her.
So onto the good….the camaraderie of the librarians is fun and hilarious to watch. They get together for some of the celebrations and I laughed so hard. The group is made up of young and mature women all ripe to fall in love. Some have and it was a great way to revisit their stories without them taking over this one. These women were the saving grace for most of the book. I also like the look into a future story, although not the next one in the series.
Again, the story isn’t horrible, it just felt off in a lot of ways. There are funny moments, some sweetly hot moments, but there were people I just didn’t connect with over the course of the story. I am hoping this is a fluke in an otherwise great series I have grown to love.