Author: Jenny Holiday
Series: Matchmaker Bay, book 1
Publisher: Avon (January 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback, 465 pages
Romance, Adult romance, Contemporary romance
Eve Abbott has a problem-actually, make that a lot of problems. And they’re all going to get worse the moment her toes hit the sand in Matchmaker Bay. Once a blissful summer escape, now the tiny town just reminds Eve of loss. Inheriting her aunt’s beloved Mermaid Inn is the only reason Eve is coming back. She’s definitely not ready to handle nosy neighbors, extensive renovations, or the discovery that a certain heartbreaker still lives down the street…
Police Chief Sawyer Collins always does the right thing, even when it costs him everything. Like Evie. He’s spent the past ten years trying to forget her–to forget how right she felt in his arms, to forget the pain in her eyes the day she left. The last thing he expects is to see her back in town or to find that the spark between them is as strong as ever. Sawyer knows this is his only chance to prove that his feelings have always been real… before Eve turns tail and leaves for good.
It’s funny, I don’t really care for second chance romances, and Jenny Holiday has gone on record saying second chance is her least favorite trope (and that this book was hard for her to write). And yet, somehow, I still really enjoyed Mermaid Inn. Likely because the first half-ish reads very enemies to lovers, followed by a deliciously slow burn.
I adore the town of Moonflower Bay. My favorite thing about small town romances is that they tend to have a fun cast of quirky neighbors, and Jenny Holiday doesn’t disappoint on that front! The book opens with Eve standing on the roof of the inn she’s inherited from her aunt, only to find that her ladder has disappeared! That’s right – it didn’t just fall down, it is gone. Of course her meddling elderly neighbors couldn’t have anything to do with that… Or with calling the police chief Sawyer, Eve’s ex, to come rescue her… The meddling of Pearl and Karl and the other old folks in “Matchmaker Bay” is hilarious and exactly the sort of small town I’d want to live in. The extra complexity of Moonflower Bay being a summer tourist town was really interesting.
The growing friendship and rekindling of their former flame for Eve and Sawyer is just *chef kiss.* They were together when they were teenagers and it’s been 10 years, so they’ve both done a lot of growing up. The way the get to learn each other all over again, and change things for the better, was really well done. Sawyer is also SOOOOOO cute, I adore him and his self-sacrificing little heart. I just wanna pinch his cheeks, he’s such a sweet, silly, infuriating man.
Mermaid Inn is the first book in the Matchmaker Bay series. I’m very much looking forward to the next book, Paradise Cove. I also *NEED* Maya and Law’s book, which I have been promised will be the third book in the series, so you know I’m in it for the long haul!
An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.