Review: The Good Ones by Jenn McKinlay

Posted February 5, 2019 by Shari in Reviews / 6 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Good Ones by Jenn McKinlay
The Good Ones

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Happily Ever After #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on February 5, 2019
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

This story took a little bit to get into and then it lacked the heat I wanted to see for a story about a romance book store. The characters were likable, it just lacked the chemistry I felt it needed to be a good romance.


Maisy Kelly has just dumped her married boyfriend, quit her job and lost her aunt, but that isn’t stopping this dynamo of a professor from moving on with life and making lemonade out of lemons. When Maisy inherits her great-aunts house full of romance novels in every nook and cranny, what’s an unemployed professor to do? Open a romance bookstore! Before all that can happen, she needs the house restored to all it’s glory.

Ryder Copeland is a single dad who has pulled himself out of poverty. When in college he does something stupid he does something right as well and becomes a father to his daughter. The marriage doesn’t quite last, but doing everything he can for his daughter never ends. Needing one last job for the summer before he sends his daughter off to a big named boarding school and he takes on a boring job to pay for it, he isn’t looking for love or even a fling.

Now you would think this would be the perfect story, right? Who wouldn’t want to inherit a house full or romance novels and turn it into a bookstore? But I think these two needed to find some chemistry because at the 70% mark they still hadn’t done much more than give each other longing looks.  Yep, I wasn’t blown away by much of anything in this story. It seemed to meander along at times with cute one-off scenes, but in the overall scheme of it all, it just lacked the passion you wanted to feel from such a great setting.

In and out there are tons of secondary characters from Maisy’s best friend, Ryder’s daughter, Maisy’s accountant and former babysitter to Ryder’s best friend. They all seem to be around the couple at all times making this hard to find much in the way of romance. There was depth to the characters and you could sense their history, but it never really came to play. Like Ryder’s ex-wife didn’t seem to have a hand in their daughter’s life to Maisy having all this family that was in the town while she grew up but we have no clue where they are now. I found myself disconnect and outside the story that was being told instead of immersed in it as if I was one of their friends.

This is my first Jenn McKinlay and while it felt like they wanted it to be a cowboy romance, he really isn’t a cowboy. Just a guy who is from Texas, wears a cowboy hat and lives on a “ranch” with a guy who raises horses. It was more of a let down. 

Then let’s get into the hero not thinking he can love or handle relationships, moving away because his daughter has to go to a certain school that costs money (a school the kids doesn’t even want to go too) and a driving need to be the good guy in everything. Throw in Maisy is determined, but at times you wonder if she really is considering her actions and then what does she really want? It all felt like a jumble of disconnected emotions thrown in to make everything more complicated so you wouldn’t notice that there was nothing recommending these two had any chemistry.

So … I can say I liked these characters, just not together. I liked the secondary characters, but maybe just not so much of them all the time. I mean they cock blocked left and right, but I am not even sure they needed to cock block the couple. There is also a hint of who will get romance in books to come. It wasn’t a horrible story. It just wasn’t one I probably should have stuck with as it really didn’t satisfy the need for romance, comedy, cowboys and books!


Review Writing Challenge #5
Literary Pickers #2 – tea tray/cart
New Release #2 – Releases February 5, 2019

Try Something New #2 – Author and Series
Books ‘N Tunes #2 – Maybe It’s Time by Bradley Cooper





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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I have this one coming up very soon. I am a bit disappointed to hear that they don’t have better chemistry.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Maybe I could get into it in the right mood for really slow burn romance… but bummer that it was an overall disconnect.

2 years ago

It’s too bad for the characters but well maybe one day

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

Oh, I love the setting. I’ve been off romance craving murder and but I will add this.