Title: A Princess in Maine
The McCullagh Inn is hosting the event of the century.
Chelsea Holland is used to dealing in secrets, and this one's proving to be the most exciting one yet: her old friend Grace is marrying a European prince, and Grace wants to host the wedding at the McCullagh Inn. But is Chelsea willing to put herself and her inn in the public eye--especially after being on the run?
Author: Amy Jarecki, Jen McLaughlin
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: The Highland Commander, Out of Line, Dare to Lie, A Wedding in Maine
Series: McCullagh Inn #3
Published by BookShots Digital Source: Publisher
Published: July 3, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
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This is a standalone novella that continues Chelsea and Jeremy Holland’s story from the first two books in this series. It really can’t be read without reading the other stories; the story is simply not detailed enough to give you an idea of who anyone is. In this short novella, Chelsea and Jeremy are hosting a royal wedding in their small inn on the Maine seacoast, but problems begin to arise almost as soon as the soon-to-be princess, Grace, decides she wants the wedding there.
I saw what the author was trying to do. She wanted to take the readers on a journey with Chelsea as she learned to think of her and her husband as a unit, instead of just herself (like most people have to do when they are first married). I was looking forward to that journey, but unfortunately, there were a few things that stopped me from doing so:
1. POV between chapters
The chapters switch between Chelsea, which is told in first person, and Jeremy, which is told in third person omniscient. It took me out of the story every. Single. Time. I would’ve been on board with the switching between characters if the author had chosen first for both, or third for both, but as it stood, I couldn’t get around the differences in storytelling.
2. Jeremy’s characterization wasn’t consistent
It felt as though every chapter that was in Jeremy’s POV had a ton of swearing in it. That in and of itself wasn’t bad; it was the fact that he never swore in Chelsea’s chapters. It was strangely noticeable.
3. All the negative O’Kane references
In every Chelsea chapter, I had to read about “how O’Kanes didn’t do <insert emotions, weakness, crying, accepting help, etc>.” I got it the first time – Chelsea is working through her insecurities. It got annoying, having it hammered into my head that Chelsea was a super independent woman. I began to feel as though the author thought I wouldn’t get her message, and truthfully, in a novel of only 150 Kindle pages, that was a huge waste of words. Also, wasn’t there ANYTHING good that came of her childhood?
4. The random appearance of Chelsea’s dad
This harkens back to earlier books, definitely, but for a new-to-the-series reader, her dad shows up for about a page. There was absolutely ZERO point to this and was again a waste of precious words in a short story.
5. Chelsea’s repeated claims of her love for her husband
Again, in every Chelsea chapter, she says at least once how she “loves Jeremy with all my heart.” YES, I GET IT. I understand that. It’s why you married him, yes? Because you told me that in the first chapter. And then again in the second. And in the third…
6. The Sex
The scenes weren’t badly written at all, but they didn’t move the plot forward. I didn’t see the point of them except to add sex to the story. If it’s just sex for the sake of sex, that’s uninteresting to me unless I’m reading an erotica novel. But this one is billed as a romance, and while sex certainly can be romantic, it needs to have a point in relation to the story.
7. SPOILER AHEAD….
Ok, so the pregnancy. Early on in the story, Chelsea says she didn’t want kids. She goes white in the face when her husband thinks he heard her say she was, when she was really talking about someone else. So why is it, then, only a few pages later, when she claims she’s pregnant and totally fine with it? Because that doesn’t fit with the whole persona the author’s built.
I didn’t smile once during this book. I thought everything was too forced and too repetitive. This had none of the feels, the suspense (which I didn’t even notice until the end) was not well done, and the romance was lacking.