Happy Wednesday everyone! It's time for another review, this time over the first book of New York Times bestselling author Cali MacKay's "Mermaid Isle Romance" series. This is the first book by this author I've ever read, and sadly, I wasn't impressed. It was yet another free download from amazon, though, so if anyone is interested in checking it out, you don't have to worry about wasting money if you don't like it.
Anyway, before I jump into the review, here's the book's Goodreads description:
Riley Carter’s never found anyone who could live up to her first love, Thorsen Black. So imagine her surprise when, twelve years later, he shows up at the unique and quirky inn she manages on Mermaid Isle, off the coast of Maine. The sweet, gangly teen has matured into a sexy and handsome man, leaving her heart desperate to pick up where they left off.
It’s impossible for her to ignore the way her body instantly reacts to his touch and he's just the distraction she needs when she finds out the owners of the Siren Song Inn are selling it to Holt Enterprises. Holt only has eyes on the bottom line and Riley knows they’ll strip the inn of everything that makes it special, ruining not only the Siren, but devastating the island economy.
While fighting to save her beloved inn, Riley falls in love with Thorsen all over again. But when she’s faced with the real reason Thorsen’s on the island and his unbearable betrayal, will she be able to save the inn and her chance at true happiness?
This book is supposed to be a light romance, perfect for the summer or for a lazy day staying in, but in trying to get that point across, the story was redundant and almost sickly sweet. The plot was, in my opinion, terribly predictable, which isn't a huge surprise for chick-lit romance, but when it's too predictable on top of everything else, it can take some of the enjoyment out of reading.
The story did try to have tension though, it just wasn't necessary conflict, so it didn't add much depth to things and the drama just seemed melodramatic and overdone.
This was another book where the characters both are adamant about "taking things slow" that then flies right out the window just a chapter or two later. Speaking of slow, the relationship between the two lover interests gets very intense very quickly. I know they're supposed to be teenage sweethearts, but it's been years since they've seen each other, the old dynamic can't be the only reasoning they have to jump head first into things the way they do- making this a fine case of literary insta-love. Also, no one finds it at all strange that these two have only just begun to get to know each other and already taking huge steps in their relationship.
Thorsen is another male character who doesn't think things through completely before acting.
While trying to force the sweetness of their love, Thorsen gives Riley a nickname that doesn't quite fit, which would be fine if it weren't constantly repeated throughout the rest of the book as if repetition would convince the readers that it was a great idea.
Riley drove me insane with her inability to communicate with the other characters, which made me annoyed with her. Both her and Thorsen's flaws made me dislike them as characters because I didn't feel like, as a reader, I genuinely got to know them through the story. Sure exposition was given, as were descriptions, but it didn't read like an introduction, and they didn't develop much during the plot.
The ending wrapped up too cleanly considering the mess of a problem (that shouldn't have existed and could have been avoided but wasn't) that hung over the characters' heads.
In the end, I don't know if I would recommend this one. It's available for free, so like I said, there's nothing to lose by trying it out, but unless you have no other options, I would say you can definitely pass on it.