Duo Review: Matchmaker Bay series by Jenny Holiday

45677157Title: Mermaid Inn (Matchmaker Bay #1)

Author: Jenny Holiday

Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Format: eBook, Print

Length: 465 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars 

 

synopsis

 

Escape to Matchmaker Bay in this hilarious and heartwarming second chance romance from the USA Today bestselling “master of witty banter” (Entertainment Weekly).

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.

 


♦ Personal Thought ♦

 

True to form I read this series in random order, as in reading the second entry first then remember I actually had the first to “Matchmaker Bay” series in my stash. Since I loved Jake and Nora of the second book so much, I dug up this title. 

MERMAID INN is a second chance romance between Sawyer and Eve; the first a local and Chief of Police to Matchmaker Bay and the latter a summer-implant from Toronto. The two practically grew up together, becoming best friends, then sweethearts until a scene on a parade ten years ago cut the budding romance abruptly and Eve never went back. Until her great-aunt left her the inn upon her passing and Eve was forced to come back and face old heartbreak and the town she once loved. 

Matchmakers in small town community is not something new in romance novels. I rather enjoyed Holiday’s representation of it though, as the quip exchange and town-folk’s characters’ portrayal. And I was already introduced to these quirky lot on “Paradise Cove” so it’s like saying hello to familiar sets of people. 

As for Eve and Sawyer’s love story, I found that I wasn’t as invested in it as I did for the MCs on the next installment. Personally I was more drawn in by the bromance between Sawyer, Jake, and Law also Eve’s budding friendship with Maya and Clara. In their own way these friendships displayed respect and affection in equal measure that really warmed my heart. I felt that as much issue Sawyer had with his background (and self-esteem), the length with which he stubbornly digging his heels in and the sudden change of heart (when the time called for it) just didn’t fully click with me. Oh I did thought it was cute – not to mention – the way Eve and him carrying on, thinking the town-folks were unaware of it, but I wish on the change of heart part, his was being tweaked more. I had no issue for Eve’s portion in it (other than feeling a bit impatient over it). Yet all in all this slow pace romance works (thanks in big part to their supporting casts). And if you love Eve and Sawyer’s love story, you’d want to dive to “Paradise Cove” next!



48717760Title: Paradise Cove (Matchmaker Bay #2)

Author: Jenny Holiday

Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Format: eBook, Print

Length: 368 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars 

 

synopsis

 

From the USA Today bestselling “master of witty banter” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a hilarious and heartwarming romance about a big city girl who never expected to find the man of her dreams in the tiny town of Matchmaker Bay.

Dr. Nora Walsh has just been dumped in spectacular fashion, making it the perfect time for a major life change. She figures taking over the medical practice in tiny Matchmaker Bay for a couple of years will help her get over her broken heart, and then she can head back to the big city. But when the first man she sees looks like a superhero god, she wonders if maybe there’s something to small-town living after all.

Jake Ramsey also has a broken heart — one he never expects to heal. He doesn’t need people anyway and is content hiding out in his secluded cottage on the beach. But after helping Nora with a medical emergency, he finds himself opening up to the witty, warmhearted doctor. Soon the local matchmakers are working overtime to pair them off, and Jake begins to wonder if his campaign to get Nora to stay is for the town or because he can’t bear the thought of her leaving.


♦ Personal Thought ♦

Just the opening chapter of this book had me hooked! A long-haired, big-framed, and quiet, fisherman/carpenter and a short-haired, petite, and straightforward doctor; their meet cute at the town’s hair salon and the almost one-sided conversation that developed into comfortable companionship. There’s no question that I’m smitten with Jake Ramsey and Nora Walsh! 

PARADISE COVE is a sweet and poignant romance of two souls coming over a tragedy and flop in (their) life. Nora Walsh came to Matchmaker Bay on the heels of her broken relationship, temporarily taking over the medical service at the small town while saving money for a future plan with her sister. Jake Ramsey was a born and raised local with a tragedy of his own. The two struck a friendship and before long what started as friends with benefits developing into more and involving deeper feeling. 

This is my first Jenny Holiday’s books and I really enjoyed her way with words; the lively portrayal of Matchmaker Bay town-folks, the easy camaraderies between them – especially Jake’s close circle of friends that soon adopted Nora in their midst. Jake and Nora were such opposite characters yet complimented one another. I loved how easy the connection between them developing though unhurriedly so. The alternate POVs between them allowed us into their heart and mind, their perception toward one another. 

Jake and Nora’s courting was a joy to follow; it was cute, fun, sad, exhilarating and everything in between. The two best friends who talked about anything and everything – which was HUGE considering Jake didn’t talk much – and how comfortable they were in each other’s company. The ease with which they shifted into bonding relationship was just so fun and made for some adorable moments! I laughed, smiled, and sniffled along with them while they waded through juncture after another. 

And boy did I enjoy the dynamics of the town as a whole; what’s dubbed as typical small-town nosiness and close-knit community vibe and the eclectic, quirky personas. This installment also hinted heavily on the possible couple for the next book and – if my hunch is proven true – after the insult they traded each other any chance they got in here, I can’t wait to find out what awaits them in the following entry. Without a doubt, PARADISE COVE and “Matchmaker Bay” series is one of my best read of the year so far; and easily becoming my favorite series. I’ll be sure to check out Jenny Holiday’s backlist titles after this. 

 

Copy of this book is kindly given by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.