“Nicole McLaughlin is a wonderfully fresh voice in contemporary romance—sweet, sexy, and immensely satisfying.”—Lauren Layne,New York Times bestselling author
She doesn’t believe in fairy tales. He’s married to his job. Maybe whiskey is the secret ingredient that will bring them together—and give true love a shot?
Wedding photographer Charlotte Linley loves her work—even though she hates weddings. Sure, she still holds a grudge after being left at the altar by her high-school sweetheart. But today Charlotte is just happy to have complete control over her career, which is flourishing. Especially since she joined forces with one of the three gorgeous owners of The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s hottest wedding venue.
Dean Troyer, bitter after the end of his own marriage, knows that Charlotte is the real deal—beautiful, talented, and successful. He may flirt with her every time she comes to The Stag but Dean is determined to keep his professional distance. . .particularly now that she’s helping him with his own sister’s wedding. The only problem? The more time Dean spends with Charlotte, the deeper their connection grows. Is this a rom-com cliché or could it be that these two jaded souls in the wedding business have finally found their real-life happily ever after?
About the Author
Nicole McLaughlin wrote her first full length book (6 pages) about the birth of her baby sister, when she was eight years old. She only finished it because her mother bribed her with a Rick Astley cassette tape. Sad, but true. Now her characters are what keep her writing and her subject matter has gotten a little bit deeper and a lot more romantic. She resides in a small town outside of Kansas City with her husband and three sons. When she isn’t writing, she’s a wedding and portrait photographer, loves to cook, and watch historical dramas or documentaries. She is the author of the Man Enough novel All I Ask and the Whiskey and Wedding series.
Read an Excerpt
Weddings were a touchy subject for Charlotte Linley. Not that any of her photography clients would know that, since she prided herself on making her couples feel important on their wedding day. She encouraged them to live in the moment, to have fun, not to stress. Treated each couple's day like it was the event of the year. Despite her own personal history, she knew a wedding day was supposed to be a happy occasion. And thankfully in her experience as a photographer, it always was. Today's wedding was no exception.
Glancing around the bumpy trolley, Charlotte smiled to herself as the bridal party laughed and sang along to the music blaring through the speakers. They were having a great time, and she knew that was partly because she'd made their on-location portrait session fun and easy. Sure, at every wedding she worked, she couldn't help but have a small underlying feeling of dread until the words I do. But she took comfort in the fact that today she was shooting her 234th wedding, and she'd yet to have a bride or groom bail. Not that it couldn't still happen in the future, because if anyone knew that it was possible, it was Charlotte.
With a sigh, she steadied herself in the aisle of the trolley as it bounced over a dip in the road. Widening her stance for leverage, she wrapped her arm around a pole and then slowly lifted her camera to her eye. It was critical she make no sudden movements, since today's bride was one of those women hyperaware of her photographer at any given time. Charlotte really preferred that her clients forget she existed until portrait time. Not because she was antisocial, but because she loved candid images. The moments like the one before her, the bride and groom cozied up in the back of the vehicle, cocooned in post-wedding-ceremony bliss. The groom leaned in and whispered something sweet — or naughty, who knew — and his bride giggled before tilting into kiss him, her hand lightly cupping his jaw. They looked content and happy, their foreheads touching as they shared a few intimate seconds before arriving at their reception.
Experience had taught Charlotte that a few weeks from now, when this couple viewed their gallery of photos, they would have forgotten this playful kiss in the back of the trolley. When it popped up on their computer screen, they would smile and "ahh," and maybe even tear up. They'd likely thank her for capturing these little moments that allowed them to relive a day that had zoomed by at lightning speed. That conversation, that feeling of satisfaction, kept Charlotte shooting weddings. And hey, if she contributed just the tiniest amount to a couple staying in love forever ... well then, that sufficed.
She looked at the back of her camera, pleased with the image. Commotion from the rowdy bridal party pulled her attention, followed by her camera's focus, back to the action. The bridesmaids were passing out Jell-O shots that had been stored in a cooler. Charlotte clicked a few shots of them laughing, throwing them back, and things began to happen in slow motion as one of the guys lifted his hand to give his buddy a fist bump, effectively knocking his neighbor's arm in the process.
Charlotte grimaced as the bridesmaid screeched. "Dang it, Jason, you just made me drop some on my dress. How embarrassing."
A fountain of peach satin fell upon her, fellow maids pulling out homemade wedding day emergency kits and trying to get the bright blue stain out of the lace overlay as if their lives depended on it. After catching some of the drama on her camera for posterity's sake, because someday it would be funny, Charlotte turned around to look out the front window.
"Everything okay back there?" Frank, the trolley driver, asked Charlotte.
She met his eyes in his large rearview mirror and stepped down closer so he could hear her. "Neon-blue Jell-O shots. When will they learn?"
Frank chuckled with her. They'd worked together many times over the years. Same drama, different weekend.
"On to the Stag then?" he asked.
She nodded. "Yep, portraits are done. Thank goodness."
The Stag Whiskey Distillery was her favorite venue. Just the thought of it made her grin. She liked this couple and the wedding had gone well, but all day she'd been excited to get to the reception. If Charlotte was a wedding kind of gal, she'd definitely book the Stag for her festivities. But since she'd been there done that, and it would never happen again, she made sure to recommend it to every bride she worked with.
Production of whiskey and vodka was their main gig and very lucrative, but three years ago when the business was still young, they'd started renting out the upstairs space for weddings and other events. Charlotte was one of the very first photographers to shoot there, and she'd loved watching it evolve into what it was now: one of the most sought-after venues in the Kansas City metro area. What with their delicious spirits, awesome building, and killer branding, they were set. It was just the cherry on top that the three owners, TJ, Jake, and Dean, were all super hot. Charlotte liked to tease them that reality television would eventually knock on their door — something they all balked at.
Frank drove the trolley through the town square of Maple Springs, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro. Charlotte had lived in Maple Springs her entire life, but it wasn't quite the same town she'd spent her childhood in. There were now two high schools, and instead of Mama's Kitchen being the only option for a meal out, there were a handful of chain and independently owned restaurants. Something she had no complaints about.
The town square had been undergoing a revival over the past couple of years as well, which the community seemed to be excited about. As they headed for the Stag, Charlotte took in the mix of small shops that had opened up. Several of the bridesmaids behind her were also pointing out their favorites as the vehicle rolled through town.
She personally loved the Craft Shack, but also Nana's Toy Box, Yellow Brick Coffee, and even Totally Nuts, a boutique nut-roasting shop run by a little old man named Pete Jenkins. Charlotte had gone to high school with his granddaughter, and she could recall that the man had been, well ... one might say the name of his shop was very appropriate, but he sure could roast a perfect bag of pecans, almonds, or cashews.
Charlotte had many great memories in Maple Springs, and despite its population doubling in size over the past decade, it still felt like a small town. The Stag Whiskey Distillery in the old brick building on the corner of Hickory and Sterling Avenue only added to the town square's charm.
Over the years, the building had housed everything from a furniture store to offices. It had even sat vacant for a time, but luckily the Stag guys had come along and snatched it up. To their credit, they'd made the space functional for their business but also managed to maintain its historical integrity. The upstairs venue space was simple yet elegant, perfect for weddings, and depending on how the bride chose to decorate, it could work with a variety of styles. Spacious yet intimate, its mix of industrial and antique gave a timeless look and feel. It also always looked gorgeous in photos. Brick walls weren't normally conducive to good images as they tended to soak up all the light, but the beauty of the place — the giant chandeliers, stone fireplace, and wood beams — made up for that. Plus, Charlotte had shot there so many times she knew exactly what settings to use, and where to place her flash the minute she walked in.
As the trolley pulled to a stop at the front door, her stomach fluttered in anticipation. She glanced down and took inventory of her black slacks and cream-colored blouse. Thankfully she'd managed to get through the day without getting dirty, which wasn't always the case. Pulling out her phone, she shot a quick one-word text to her assistant Lauren, alerting her that they'd arrived.
She glanced at the clock, pleased to see they'd timed things perfectly. After working together for almost seven years, she and Lauren were like a well-oiled machine. Once she'd received Charlotte's text, Lauren would alert the DJ to their arrival; he should then be ready to announce the bridal party. From that point forward the reception would proceed as normal, because they were all so similar it was almost laughable. Charlotte could shoot a wedding in her sleep.
After tossing Frank a cheery wave over her shoulder, she was the first person off the trolley as the bridal party gathered their things.
Before stepping inside, Charlotte took a quick swipe at her lower lashes, hoping her makeup hadn't melted too much during afternoon outdoor portraits. She fidgeted with her hair then opened the door and inhaled the now familiar scent of fermenting alcohol. Heading into the expansive first floor, she relished the chill on her arms from the air conditioner as the muffled bass thumped from the floor above.
The black-and-white octagonal floor on the first level of the Stag always drew her eye. It never ceased to impress her how the guys had struck a perfect balance of original and modern in this space. In addition to the original floor tiles, stainless-steel piping, copper trim, leather furniture, and wood beams created a masculine yet elegant feel. The main floor was devoted to the distillery side of their business. Once you entered, a large front desk — always vacant on the weekends — sat to the right, and there was a nice seating area in the center of the room. To the left was a hallway that led to offices and restrooms; to the right, a giant elevator and a hall to the large supply room and back staircase. The pièce de résistance of the room was the back wall. Floor-to-ceiling glass encased the distilling room, which housed their beautiful copper distiller.
Charlotte stepped around the front desk to find the one person she'd been hoping to see tonight. Stepping off the old freight elevator was her favorite of the three Stag owners.
Her heart rate cranked up instantly.
The minute their eyes met, he smiled and headed her direction. She took him in, hands casually tucked into the pockets of his khaki pants, gait sure and smooth. The man wore a dress shirt as if it were tailored to his firm chest, the top button open to reveal his neck and the sleeves rolled to show off his masculine arms. Charlotte particularly liked the bones in his wrists. Something she'd never noticed before on a man, but when it came to Dean, she seemed to miss nothing. His leather belt urged her eyes to wander over his narrow hips. All six sexy feet of him — from his cognac oxford shoes, to his lightly mussed dark hair — was a sight to behold. He was a bit older than her, but not even that seemed to matter. Dean was without a doubt the best part of shooting at this venue.
The first time she'd laid eyes on him she'd fallen a little bit in love. Not real love, of course. More of a deeply unhealthy infatuation. The kind that made you imagine what kind of house you might buy together, practice writing your name as Mrs. Charlotte Troyer, or consider what you'd name your first child. Run-of-the-mill female insanity. Charlotte had even been known to accidentally find him amid the crowd inside her camera lens during a wedding reception, and then zoom in on his face. There might even be a secret folder on her computer labeled Dream Man to contain those special images. She had a bit of a problem, and that problem was currently looking her up and down — an adorable smirk on his face — as she met him halfway.
"Always right on time to greet me," she teased quietly. "I tell myself it's because I'm your favorite photographer and you're miserable until I get here."
Dean chuckled, an embarrassed smile on his face, always the best part. A lot sexy and a little surprised, as if it always shocked him when she was forward. He looked directly at her. "You can continue to tell yourself that because it's absolutely true," he said, voice deep and low.
Charlotte warmed inside at his words, but before she could take the flirting any further, the bridal party entered the front door. Nothing if not professional, Dean changed the direction of the conversation with ease.
"How's the day been going?"
"Good. Ceremony was perfect, portraits amazing. What more can we ask for?"
She turned to the girls, who appeared uncertain where to go as they shuffled into the main room. Charlotte called out. "Ladies, the restroom is that way if you want to freshen up before intro."
The herd of peach made their way toward the indicated hallway down the left side. Charlotte turned back to Dean to find that he hadn't taken his eyes off her.
"Do we like them?" he whispered after they were alone again. She loved when he referred to them as a we. Just like she did in her dreams.
"The couple is fantastic. Wedding party is crossing over into drunk territory, so yeah, they're fun."
"How late are you here?" Dean asked as some of the guys dragged in their cooler and various bags the girls had left behind. At least they weren't too intoxicated to be gentleman.
"We're here until midnight."
His lips turned down a bit. "That's a really long day for you."
"You're not kidding. They booked an unlimited day. Started at ten o'clock this morning." Charlotte made a face. "Don't ask me why I offer that option. I'm mad at myself every time someone chooses it."
"Well, I guess I shouldn't complain. I like you in my building. Means I get to stare at you longer."
It was Charlotte's turn to blush. Dean always flirted back with her, but his style was normally much subtler than hers, so when he said something bold, it sent tingles through her entire body. It didn't hurt that his good looks were enough to melt the panties off any female in the vicinity. The proof came when some of the bridesmaids caught sight of him as they exited the restroom. Their eyes went wide with shock and admiration, and these girls were young. More evidence that his age did not factor when it came to his sex appeal. In fact, she believed it worked in his favor.
It wasn't that he looked that much older. His hair wasn't gray ... except for the tiniest pieces at his temples. And his face wasn't wrinkled ... well, except for the slight lines that appeared at his eyes when he smiled. Although she knew he was older than Jake and TJ, she'd never gotten up the courage to ask anyone his exact age. She really didn't care. It almost made it a little hotter, this air of maturity about him. Not in a stuffy way, more just ... powerful. Knowing. Stoic, maybe. When she compared him with guys her own age, he was just ... more.
"Oh my God." One of the tipsy bridesmaids made her way across the room toward the elevator where Charlotte and Dean stood. The bride and the rest of her attendants followed. "Are you one of the owner guys?" "I am one of owner guys. Welcome to the Stag." He gave a warm smile to the young woman and other ladies who had circled around. When Sonya, the bride, walked over, Dean politely held out his hand and congratulated her on her nuptials.
Charlotte watched him laugh with the group of women, so confident and handsome, but always professional. He was playful, if a bit reserved, so Charlotte always made it her mission to make him laugh. She loved nothing more than when they found themselves alone so she could flirt with him unabashedly. Teasing him was one of her favorite things, because his smile was so handsome. Dean was just flat-out beautiful, like a movie star. Not the ones that played the young heartthrob, yet definitely not the men playing the fatherly roles. He was more along the lines of sexy middle-aged leading man. The inexorable bachelor, the man that women of every age lusted after and hoped to bring to heel.
On top of that, Dean was just a really good guy. Always kind and thoughtful, and he clearly worked hard. Time and again Charlotte had witnessed him do the sweetest things, like help old ladies and talk to children. Once he'd even spent an hour serving food for a short-staffed caterer. Dean was the ultimate catch, and she liked to daydream that he was all hers.
"I can see why you booked this place," one of bridesmaids said with an eyebrow waggle toward Dean. The girls all laughed and the bride blushed, apologizing to him.
"No worries, Sonya," Charlotte interjected. "Dean's used to having all the ladies' attention."
Dean gave her a playful scowl. "Hardly. The other guys, yes. I try to just blend in."
Excerpted from "Maybe I Do"
Copyright © 2017 Nicole McLaughlin.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings The first in a series that takes place in a distillery and involves the wedding industry and from the start I was hooked! Charlotte Linley is a wedding photographer and her favorite venue is a distillery that is still fairly new in town and owned by three hunky men! Charlotte has been photographing for them since the beginning and one of the owners she has had an eye on for a while! As with any romance book the reader knows how it will more than likely end from the beginning. You know the two main characters and you know where the end will be, but the journey and the story are usually completely worth the ride! And so is the case in this book. I loved Charlotte Linley she was sweet and nice, but not too perfect - she had some flaws and Dean Troyer, one of the owners, was definitely hunky, but not perfection. I loved how their story unfolded and this was a hard one to put down.
Charlotte is a wedding photographer and she frequently works at the same location, The Stag, a beautiful small distillery that has quickly become a popular venue for the most beautiful day of people's lives. Dean, one of the owners, makes Charlotte look forward to shooting weddings at The Stag every single time. Charlotte loves their easy banter and playful flirting. Dean is a little over a decade older and Charlotte doesn’t know if his interest in her is serious or just on the friendly side of professional, how can she find out? Charlotte photographs people’s most romantic moments, which isn’t always easy for her. Being left at the altar several years before still hurts and she’s reluctant to let anyone in again. Dean’s ex-wife broke his heart, so they’ve both been burned by love. Working together gives them a chance to slowly develop their bond, but then they need each other’s help and they suddenly have to spend a lot more time together. Can they break down their walls and are they ready to let love in again and give each other a chance? Maybe I Do is a wonderful story about a very romantic topic, weddings. I loved reading about The Stag, it’s a fantastic setting for a story. Charlotte feels at home at her favorite venue with the man she has a huge crush on, which is a fabulous beginning of an endearing romance. She’s a sweet and talented person and she’s always willing to help others. Dean has that in common with her, which is how the much desired opportunity to finally get to know each other better arises, by being there for someone else they have to open up and let love in again. I kept hoping these two lovely souls would find happiness together and this kept me glued to the pages. Nicole McLaughlin has a heartwarming writing style. I liked her skillful descriptions of the emotions her main characters are going through. Maybe I Do is a romantic story with plenty of depth and I admired the empathic way she handles difficult subjects. I loved the combination of strong feelings, secrets of the past and multilayered connections and the fun topic of weddings. I enjoyed reading about many truly special wedding days and Nicole McLaughlin definitely entertained me with a lot of charming details that are making her story come to life in a terrific way. Maybe I Do is a fabulous feelgood story.
Maybe I Do is just a fantastic read- plain & simple. The characters are so well written, the story is so fun, & the sexy time is HOT!! Maybe I Do is the first in the Whiskey & Weddings series & I have already pre-ordered the next. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
This was a pretty enjoyable contemporary romance, but I would definitely categorize it in what I like to think of as “real life romances”. I think of these reads as dealing with very real and tough situations and emotions and they often involve the characters having to make hard choices or compromises. I personally like a bit more distance from reality but I don’t mind these. The basis of the series was a cool and unique idea and I can’t wait to see more of The Stag. I really enjoyed Charlotte and felt like she was a very mature and likable heroine. I appreciated that even though she herself didn’t want to try getting married again, she wasn’t bitter about love and romance. I also got a kick out of her side job of doing photography for romance covers. Charlotte needed to learn how to take the initiative. She spent 3 years flirting with Dean and hoping it would amount to something. I can understand at first, being hesitant, but at some point she should have just asked him out. She wanted to be with him but was waiting for him to take all the steps. In some respects, Charlotte was very independent and strong but in others she was pretty meek. Though Dean’s insecurities sometimes got on my nerves, I liked that he wasn’t over the top alpha. Even when he was experiencing jealously he mostly kept it under control and didn’t try to dictate Charlotte’s life (though he had 1 green-eyed monster induced comment that was hurtful). I wasn’t crazy about the romantic/sexual connections between the characters. I found John, Charlotte’s ex, being around as very awkward and I personally would not have been comfortable with my ex working with my new guy. On top of that we had Dean’s ex-wife, Amy, around though I understand the circumstances that meant she would be. In particular, I found the fact that Dean slept with Jen (the bartender at The Stag) as completely unnecessary and just another reason to possibly cause problems in a future book.
I just finished this book and I loved it! It is a must read, I was invested in Charlotte and Deans relationship, the Stag, Alexis wedding, their past relationships and what they went through! I cannot wait for the second installment of the series.
Maybe I Do is the first book in Nicole McLaughlin’s Whiskey and Weddings series. Charlotte is a wedding photographer and Dean is part owner of the favored reception hall. In some ways it reminded me of the Bride Quartet, by Queen Nora. The next two books in the series will be about the other two owners of the reception hall. Charlotte and Dean were fun as they planned his younger sister’s wedding for her. I loved Charlotte’s side business of taking photos for romance novel covers. I loved that Dean was an older hero. I wish that Charlotte had also been an older heroine. (I really, really wanted Charlotte to be older!) The age difference was really not the issue the hero made it out to be. They had far more realistic conflict that kept the story moving. I hope we get further glimpses of this couple as well as the younger sister in future books. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
Received an ARC for my fair review for netgalley. I enjoy her books, they are always entertaining. This was sweet, and sometime emotional read. Like all couple Charlotte and Dean, had to go thru some up and down together to be able to have a life together, I felt Dean struggled the most. On to the next one.
Received an ARC for my fair review for netgalley. I enjoy her books, they are always entertaining. This was sweet, and sometime emotional read. Like all couple Charlotte and Dean, had to go thru some up and down together to be able to have a life together, I felt Dean struggled the most. On to the next one.
Maybe I Do by Nicole McLaughlin Whiskey and Weddings #1 Great introduction to a new series! Charlotte is a professional photographer… Dean Troyer is a distiller of fine whiskey… Charlotte and Dean like one another, flirt with one another whenever they can but never act on their interest in one another due to past events in both of their lives… …until… …things begin to change one day… Charlotte and Dean have been friends for a few years when Dean’s sister contacts him needing to have her wedding planned and ready to attend when she and her fiancé get home from their current military tour overseas SO Dean asks Charlotte to help and as they work together on the wedding their relationship begin to change. Everything is going fairly well until some truths appear, an accident occurs and communication and soul searching becomes paramount. Thankfully things work out for most in the story. At this point I know there are at least two and perhaps more books to come in this series as Dean has two partners, took on another person to work as his apprentice and there are a number of friends of Charlotte’s that could also have stories of their own…and…you know what…I am looking forward to reading whatever book comes next! I love the distillery, the story, the concept and the characters. Not being a guy I am not sure if I would relate to Dean’s situation as he does BUT wished at times he had been a bit more forthcoming and done so a bit earlier. Charlotte was very together and a strong female force that I would love to have as a friend. I liked the two together and see them happy in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4 Stars
4.5 Stars! I really enjoyed Maybe I Do by new to me author Nicole McLaughlin. It is well-written, extremely meaningful, and fast-paced. This is the first book from the author's brand new series, Whiskey and Weddings, and it can be read as a standalone. I love all things related to weddings, so making time for this entertaining story was not difficult. Charlotte Linley loves being a wedding photographer, and her unique ability to beautifully craft lasting memories makes her a hot commodity. Although she has no intention of ever being a bride again, she is able to create amazing warmth and passion through her photos. One of her favorite places to shoot is The Stag, an up and coming distillery owned by three smart and good-looking men. Dean Troyer is the master distiller, and he and Charlotte have been flirting for years. Since his bitter divorce, Dean has focused all of his energy into his work. The Stag's anxiously awaited whisky and bourbon are all he can think about. Via Skype from somewhere in the Middle East, his sister Alexis and her boyfriend surprise him with the announcement of their engagement. They are both serving in the army and would like to get married when they both return home in a few months. Dean enlists Charlotte's help in the wedding planning process, and overtime they develop feelings for each other. 4.5 Stars! This is an absorbing and nicely written novel. Charlotte and Dean share an amazing chemistry, and Ms. McLaughlin does an excellent job of creating sexual tension, longing, and desire. The genuineness and strength of the secondary characters adds an extra believable quality to the story. In fact, I enjoyed their stories almost as much as Charlotte and Dean's. Overall, this is a captivating read that will keep you engaged from start to finish. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Maybe I Do by Nicole Mclaughlin is the first book in her new Whiskey and Weddings series. Charlotte Linley, our heroine, is a wedding photographer and loves her job. Because she had a bad experience having been left at the altar by her high school boyfriend, Charlotte isn’t really crazy about weddings, but is now considered one of the best photographers; and also has a side job photographing sexy men for Romance Books. Dean Troyer, our hero, is one of the owners of The Stag, which produces their own whiskey, has a bar that is popular and it’s the also the most popular wedding venue. Dean at 41 years old considers himself old, and after having divorced his cheating wife, he swears off becoming serious again. Charlotte is at The Stag a lot, since she photographs most of the weddings there. She is friends with Dean and the other two owners, but secretly has a crush on the hot gorgeous sexy Dean. He also enjoys Charlotte’s friendship, and their banter together was fun. What Charlotte doesn’t understand is why Dean does not react to her constant flirting. This was a fun sweet story that becomes a friend to lovers romance. What makes this story so good is that both Dean and Charlotte were so likeable, and their chemistry together was hot. Even the secondary characters were good, including Charlotte’s ex who returns. Maybe I Do was an enjoyable romance, with the backdrop of the weddings. The issues that our couple have, plays a big part of the story. Charlotte makes no secret of her interest in Dean, even if he is 12 years older than her. She is gun shy to become serious, as she has not gotten over being left at the altar. When she finally convinces Dean that his age means nothing, their romance heats up and is very sensual. But Dean needs to get past his own issues regarding his previous marriage, some family issues, and to tell Charlotte the truth. This is my first book by Nicole Mclaughlin and I enjoyed it very much. She created an excellent story line with some wonderful characters. I look forward to the next book in this series.
“Maybe I do...but then again maybe I don’t” that is the question and what seems to be the mantra running through the minds of Charlotte and Dean, the main couple, in this one, my fellow romance book loving friends. Both become conflicted as they struggle with attraction they have kept contained the last couple of years with harmless back and forth, flirty banter/winks every time they meet. Dean is eleven years older, thinks he’s wise enough to know he isn’t what Charlotte needs, and is all but married to his business. Besides considering what happened with his former wife, he assumes he’s just not meant to be the family man he’s always wanted to be. Charlotte plans to never put another engagement ring on her finger again, folks. Sure, she’ll sign up for the companionship and even children some day but she doesn’t believe wedding vows deliver on their promise of a HEA. Yeah, that’s a rather inconvenient confession since she’s in the wedding photography business. She can’t help but push those thoughts aside though whenever she lays eyes or hands on Dean, owner of a popular wedding venue she uses. She’s had a crush on him for years and is more than ready to make her move to see if he feels the same. With lots of relationship angst, we journey with these destined to be together knuckleheads but not without some frustrating “What were you thinking?” moments that clearly show age doesn’t always bring wisdom, folks. I loved Charlotte’s strong character and resilience. She somehow always reached deep and was the better person when dealing with those who had wronged her. A trait that also seemed to be carried by Dean, as well. There is some OW/OM drama in the form of ex’s that I could have lived without, but that’s just my personal preference. Neither main character are in any way shape or form tempted to go back with their former lovers at any time in this storyline. For that, I am very thankful, though one of them gets hurt when a crisis hits and they are excluded, left to feel like an outsider, while the ex is not. Here’s to hoping this review has been helpful in deciding if maybe you do want to give this series a try. I found the writing flowed, and I stayed completely engaged. By the way, you might want to check out this author’s “Hearts and Crafts” series, as well. Book 1 - Win Me Over and Book 2 - Draw Me Close were both very enjoyable for this NetGalley reviewer. Title: Maybe I Do, Series: Whiskey and Weddings (Book 1), Author: Nicole McLaughlin, Pages: 300, stand-alone but part of a series, resilient/sweet/gorgeous heroine, older good guy hero who takes awhile to come to his senses, some very steamy scenes, accurate synopsis. Book 1 - Maybe I Do, 8/29/17, Pages: 300 (Charlotte & Dean) Book 2 - Maybe This Time, 2/27/18, Pages: 300 (I received a free advanced reader copy provided via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. No type of compensation was given to this reviewer. There is no relationship/affiliation between the reviewer and the author/publisher/NetGalley.)
Dean Troyer did the walk down the aisle, made the attempt at happily ever after, but it didn't work out, and he decided from that point on that he wasn't repeating that mistake again. After his own bad experience he isn't so keen on weddings, but when you own one of the most perfect venues to host them it makes it a little hard to completely avoid them, they bring in a lot money, money that keeps his dream afloat. With wedding after wedding, he has discovered one little bright spot along the way, a very beautiful and witty photographer, each event they work together the more her learns about her, and the more he would love to explore the sparks that constantly bounce around between them... but she isn't a fling kind of girl, she's more of a forever kind of girl, and that's just not something he wants or needs... or is it? Wedding after wedding photographer Charlotte Linley finds different ways to flirt with the venues owner Dean Troyer, he is gorgeous, funny, and a mystery that she would love the chance to unfold. But no matter how many hints she drops he doesn't seem to take the bait, so she is beginning to think it is a one sided attraction... then he unexpectedly asks for a favor. Now she is handed a golden opportunity to spend a little more time with the sexy distillery owner see just how one sided the attraction really is... Maybe I Do is delightful read that will warm the hearts of readers and have them swooning throughout! You do not want to miss out on an opportunity to meet Mr. Troyer, the moment that man waltzes onto the page your certain to fall under his spell, he is effortlessly sexy, charming, and certain to steal your heart! I really enjoyed this one, it is a very well rounded read full of humor, passion, heart, and some serious sexy times that had my toes curling!! I can't wait for the next installment, and the opportunity to meet more of Ms. McLaughlin's endearing characters, I am quite certain I will love them too! Highly recommend this one, it's sure to leave you smiling!! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.
This is a wonderfully written sweet yet romance and I just loved these characters. Both Charlotte and Dean are disillusioned about love, marriage, and happiness. For Dean he has the ex wife to prove it and Charlotte has memories of the wedding that never happened. Yet they both work in places that have them seeing it day after day. Their attraction for each other is obvious but they allow little things to constantly get in their way. When Dean finds himself responsible for planning his sister's wedding, he knows the perfect person to help him is Charlotte. Will spending more time together finally get them past their reservations?? A really nicely done story and one I couldn't put down. I highly recommend this one.
2.5 - A man was never going to be her everything... Nicole Mclaughlin starts her Whiskey and Weddings series with two commitment-phobes who are attracted to each other and not sure what to do about it. So I am going to keep this review brief, because while I generally enjoy this authors work Maybe I Do didn’t really work for me for several important reasons. Mainly, I found the chemistry between Dean and Charlotte almost non-existent. The lengthy rambling inner monologues on their pasts and personal insecurities, and their feelings on pretty much everything just bogged down the flow of the story in general. Which in itself also took far too long to actually get going with any real development for a large part of the first half, which was surprise because this is something this author usually pitches perfectly. Unfortunately, I also struggle with irrelevant/over-the-top ex drama in my books, and it comes from both sides in this one, for me it was too much and really didn’t add much to the plot or help with my already waning enjoyment of the story. I liked Charlotte and Dean separately but they were pretty bland together, even the flirting came across a little stilted, and the constant internal references to their past relationship woes became extremely repetitive. Great set-up though with the Stag Brewery being the main location for a lot of the book, but I just found everything reminiscent of other romances I have read based around weddings/wedding planning, but for all the wrong reasons. That won’t stop me wanting to read the next book Maybe This Time due for release early 2018, I just hope that it is pared back a bit to reduce the internal rambling and overly lengthy explanations for things I didn’t really need in depth knowledge on, oh and 100% less ex drama would be a great plus as well.
Maybe I Do by Nicole McLaughlin Whiskey and Weddings #1 Great introduction to a new series and new author! Charlotte is a professional photographer… Dean Troyer is a distiller of fine whiskey… Charlotte and Dean like one another, flirt with one another whenever they can but never act on their interest in one another due to past events in both of their lives… …until… …things begin to change one day… Charlotte and Dean have been friends for a few years when Dean’s sister contacts him needing to have her wedding planned and ready to attend when she and her fiancé get home from their current military tour overseas SO Dean asks Charlotte to help and as they work together on the wedding their relationship begin to change. Everything is going fairly well until some truths appear, an accident occurs and communication and soul searching becomes paramount. Thankfully things work out for most in the story. At this point I know there are at least two and perhaps more books to come in this series as Dean has two partners, took on another person to work as his apprentice and there are a number of friends of Charlotte’s that could also have stories of their own…and…you know what…I am looking forward to reading whatever book comes next! I love the distillery, the story, the concept and the characters. Not being a guy I am not sure if I would relate to Dean’s situation as he does BUT wished at times he had been a bit more forthcoming and done so a bit earlier. Charlotte was very together and a strong female force that I would love to have as a friend. I liked the two together and see them happy in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review.
Whiskey and weddings. Not necessarily a good match, but in the case of Charlotte and Dean it proves a winning combination. As card carrying members of the broken hearts club, successful careers have made them unlucky in love. When work brings them together will the pain of the past tear them apart? Sparks fly, hearts break and hope springs eternal in this temptingly charming total eclipse of the heart.