I received this book for free from the publisher via BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Kowalski Family #9
Published by Carina Press on July 29, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Add to: Goodreads
Max Crawford has reached the point in life where he's starting to think about settling down. Unfortunately, he's always been a little awkward when it comes to social interactions, and working from home doesn't help. He spends so much time alone, painting beautiful, historically accurate model trains that half of Whitford has begun to joke that he may be a serial killer. Not exactly prime husband material.
Tori Burns has found happiness in Maine, thanks in large part to her shifts at the Trailside Diner. She likes the work, and she loves the local gossip. When shy, geeky Max Crawford becomes a regular, she's intrigued. When she finds out he's in the market for a wife, she's fascinated…and determined to help.
Molding Max into every woman's dream turns out to be much easier than expected. But has Tori's plan worked a little too well? As she turns his comfortable life all sorts of upside down, she'll have to find a way to show just how she's fallen for him…the real him.
What I Thought…
• I love small town stories and Whitford, Maine does not disappoint. It’s cute and gossipy, just like it I like it. And despite my dislike of winter I have an affinity for the northern small towns. Probably because it gives you a good excuse to get cozy.
• Max is adorably awkward. He is very literal and doesn’t spend a whole lot of time outside of his house. This is not to say he is anti-social, he’s more of a homebody. His literalness and awkwardness make this book better. Max is not your typical leading man, he doesn’t have to fix everything, or jump right in and solve his girlfriend’s problems, he just wants to be there and help. He meets Tori as part of his plan to get a date, as he is now 35 and it is “now an appropriate time to get married.” He’s also really into trains and sports. His reasons for getting into sports reminds me of how I got into football. He got into sports because it was a way for him to communicate with his dad and brothers, I got into football so that I would have something to talk about with my brother.
• Tori is your typical girl who struggles with relationship issues, which stem from her parents. Her parents are recently divorced and even though Tori was an adult when they got divorced they are putting her in the middle of everything and being extremely negative. This worried me a bit at first as I just read a book with a crazy momma, but there were only a few phone calls between Tori and her parents, most of the issue was internal for Tori. She was absolutely afraid that one day that would be her if she ever got married.
• Watching Max and Tori come together was both cute and frustrating. Cute because well, they are cute together. Frustrating because they kept dancing around the issue and because of Max’s awkwardness there were some misunderstandings. Though there were also some awesome moments of understanding between them as Tori knew and understood Max’s awkwardness.
• Lot’s of awesome secondary characters. You have your old lady gossipers. Your friends who force you to take a look inside yourself. The supportive friends. The family that just won’t stay out of your business.
• The ending happened a bit to fast for me. There was a lot of buildup for Max and Tori and then they had their big “we are breaking up” moment. And then like 15 pages later all is well. While everything was not perfectly solved (Tori’s parents are still an issue, but she has decided on a course of action) their relationship came together again with a short chat after an Epiphany. I wish there would have been more before the epiphany and more on their part to work through it, but oh well.
Overall it’s a cute small town romance recommended for contemporary romance fans!
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