Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
This book first popped up on my radar late last year. I saw Romance Bookstore Owner and Single dad and almost swooned. I haven’t read anything by McKinlay before, but I’m super excited to try this one out. Especially after reading this excerpt.The Good Ones (Happily Ever After #1) by Jenn McKinlay
Series: Happily Ever After #1
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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A romance bookstore owner finds her own happily ever after with a single dad in a new romance series from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Dog Has His Day.
Ryder Copeland is an accomplished architect and one heck of a father...not to mention tall and sexy. He's everything a hero should be, and Lord knows, Maisy Kelly has read enough of her great-aunt Eloise's romance novels to recognize one when she sees one. But like all fairy tales, Maisy can't help but wonder if this Prince Charming is too good to be true...
Ryder is drawn to the shy, curly haired professor who hires him to convert the Victorian house she's inherited from her aunt into a romance bookstore. Attracted to a woman for the first time since his divorce, Ryder finds himself wishing for a future with Maisy that he knows is impossible. Ryder has never wavered from his plan to leave the small town of Fairdale, North Carolina, so he can give his daughter the life she deserves. But suddenly he's not so sure. And the closer he gets to Maisy, the harder it's going to be to walk away...
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“Men are welcome in the Happily Ever After Bookstore, too,” Maisy Kelly said. She gave Ryder Copeland a side eye and decided to have some fun. “In fact, Ryder, here, was just reading some romances, weren’t you, Ryder?”
Ryder’s blue gaze met and held hers, letting her know that if she was going to challenge him, he was going to rise to it. “I was,” he said.
“No, sir,” Kathy Tisdale said. Her eyes were wide in disbelief and then they narrowed, “Who is your favorite romance author?”
“Well, you can’t go wrong with Jane Austen, she is the mother of the romantic novel, after all,” he said.
Kathy blinked. “Go on.”
“But there is a whole diverse world of romance novels now,” he said. “You’ve got your sweet romances, romantic comedies, historical romances, I’m partial to the ones with pirates myself, paranormal romances… do you like vampires?”
Kathy turned from Ryder to Maisy. “I love him. Does he work here?”
“Sort of,” Maisy said. “He’s my architect. He’s building the turret addition for me.”
“And he’s an architect,” Kathy said. She put her hand over her heart as if she couldn’t take it all in.
“And he’s from Texas and frequently wears a cowboy hat,” Maisy added.
“Stop,” Kathy said. “It’s too much.” She began to fan herself with one of the paperbacks in her hand.
“There’s lemonade and sweet tea out on the porch,” Maisy said.
“Good, that’s good,” Kathy said. She glanced at Ryder, who gave her a low bow. Kathy giggled and waved a hand at him. “Oh, you.”
She walked outside and Maisy turned to Ryder and said, “When did you get so savvy about romance novels?”
“I’ve been reading up,” he said as if it wasn’t the single greatest thing any man had ever said to her.
Maisy tried to ignore the flutter in her chest. She tried to mentally beat it down, but it was a persistent little bugger.
“Perry’s been bringing home stacks of them,” he said. “So, I figured I’d better get hip to what she was reading so we could have something in common.”
At that, Maisy’s heart simply would not be shut down. This guy, it said, I want this guy.
“Some critics argue that romances give women unrealistic expectations in relationships, aren’t you worried about that?” she asked.
“Hell, no,” Ryder said. Maisy blinked. “From what I’ve read the heroines are fierce and feisty and the heroes, who are lucky enough to win their hearts, treat them with respect and value them, or they learn to pretty darn quick. If my daughter grows up, expecting a man to value her and cherish her, why would that bother me? It just means that every boy who isn’t up to scratch will get kicked to the curb.”
That did it. Maisy saw her fluttering heart explode into a million tiny hearts right over his head like a glitter bomb. Didn’t he see it or feel it? She felt like her feelings were stuck all over him like confetti.
“What an interesting perspective,” she said. Good grief, she sounded like she had a stick up her behind when she really just wanted to throw her arms around him and cry, “Yes, yes, yes!”
“Thanks,” he said. “I’ve found I’m really partial to Beverly Jenkins.”
Maisy was impressed but required proof. “Favorite title?”
“Indigo,” he said. “I think I learned more about the underground railroad from that book than I ever did in history class.”
“That’s it!” Maisy raised her hands in the air. “I can’t take it. You need to get away from me right now.”
“What? Why? What did I say?”
They were standing in the main room and Maisy noticed that everyone had stopped browsing to watch them. She would have been embarrassed, but she was already at the breaking point and there was just no room in her emotional wheelbarrow to haul mortification around, too. She spun on her heel and stomped into the office.
Ryder followed her, clearly not appreciating her need to get away from him. The man had no sense of self preservation. How was she supposed to deal with that?
“Maisy?” he asked as he shut the door behind them. “Are you all right? I didn’t mean to—”
That was all he got out before she jumped him. She hadn’t thought it through. He was taller than she was by a lot, and if he hadn’t caught her around the waist, she likely would have splatted up against his chest and slid down to the ground in a pitiful heap.
But he did catch her, and when he was about to ask her what was up, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.
Happily Ever After
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