Title: Should’ve Been You
Author: Nicole McLaughlin
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Page Count: 137
My rating: 2 1/2 stars
About the book:
Childhood neighbors get a chance at love in Should’ve Been You, an achingly romantic novella in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series!
National Guardsman Jase Beckford wants to live a quiet life raising cattle and taking care of his mother. His childhood friend and neighbor Hannah is still his best friend, but when he walks into the Walters house one morning and sees her twin sister Becca for the first time in five years, he wonders if he missed out on something special.
Becca Walters has nursed a secret crush on Jase since childhood, but he always preferred Hannah, so she buried her feelings assuming her sister and Jase would one day turn their flirtation into a real relationship. And this Christmas, she is anticipating a proposal of her own, so Jase’s reappearance in her life doesn’t mean anything. Much. Okay, maybe more than Becca would like to admit.
However, when Becca’s sister gets engaged to someone who’s not Jase, Becca and Jase find themselves spending more together. And when secrets are revealed, suddenly those dormant feelings come back to life; but is the possibility of something between them worth risking the happiness of everyone they love?
Should’ve Been You by Nicole McLaughlin is the third installment in the novella length contemporary romance series Man Enough. Each novella in the series features a different couple as the main characters so it is fine to read as a standalone or out of order if choosing to do so.
In this novella readers meet Jase and Becca who have known each other since childhood but never acted on the feelings that each had for one another. Becca’s parents had looked after Jase when it became known his father had been abusive so he was in their lives quite a bit growing up but due to a bit of a misunderstanding or manipulation of Becca’s twin sister’s part Becca and Jase each thought the other didn’t care for one another.
Second chance romances are usually my favorite type of romantic story especially when the book is at novella length. The past between the couple can easily and quickly be established so the books don’t feel rushed into the love stage. In this case however there were many factors in this book that just didn’t work for me personally as a reader.
Should’ve Been You seems to be one that just in my opinion tried to do a bit too much in too short a span to have any of it come off as believable or romantic that would lead to a happily ever after. First we have twins with a bit of a territorial issue over the male lead which is a bit of a turn off to possibly be taking from a sibling but on top of that bit of a love triangle there was also another man in Becca’s life leading to a bit more of a love square.
In the end as much as I actually did like the main couple when meeting each of them and looked forward to their story the story overall just didn’t really work in my mind. The biggest problem being the length and things being rushed or glossed over without being explored fully in this one.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Nicole loves to read, bake, make lists, and binge watch an entire television show season in one day. She lives with her husband and three boys in a small town outside of Kansas City. You can find out more at http://www.nicolemclaughlinbooks.com