Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Perfect 10: MAYBE FOR YOU by Nicole McLaughlin

MAYBE FOR YOU – Nicole McLaughlin 
A Whiskey and Weddings Novel , Book 3 
A Perfect 10 
St. Martin's Paperbacks 
ISBN: 978-1-250-14002-9 
September 2018 
Contemporary Romance 

Maple Springs, Kentucky – the Present 

Five years have passed since three friends, Dean, Jake, and TJ, established the Stag Distillery, a small business that makes and sells whiskey, bourbon and vodka. Some of the whiskey and bourbon, they put in oak barrels to age; they are currently up on the second floor celebrating the opening of the first of those barrels. Dean's sister Alexis is home on leave from the US Army. She has one more year to serve; she'll be deployed in Italy for that year. She gathers all her courage to attend the party. Why the need for courage? She was to be married in a couple of weeks with the reception to be held in the room that has become a venue for such things. However, she finds herself a widow before she's a bride when her Air Force fiancé is killed. Alex managed to bear the agony of this night—and all that sympathy and condolences—with the aid of one of the partners, Jake Cooper, well known for his way with women. 

Now discharged a year later, Alex has managed a successful deployment; she was even able to enjoy Europe somewhat and is able to look forward to a new life. She has accepted an offer to work for the CIA in Arlington, Virginia to start in a few months. Meanwhile, she'll spend time at home. It's not easy. Her big brother feels the need to manage her life. Their mother died when Alex was young and he was there for her; he remains overly controlling to this day. 

Surprisingly, Alex and Jake had become friends during the past year when they kept up a messaging correspondence while she was overseas. Now that she's back and doing a bit for the brewery, he's a refuge from her brother. When Jake plans a promotional tour of surrounding states, she asks to go along. He agrees. They are just platonic friends, right? And though he's best known for his good looks and charm, she's his best friend's sister. 

Watching Alex begin her new life while still maintaining the best of her past is absorbing. Though she and Jake will face some trying challenges, she has his support as well as that of other faithful friends. 

Though MAYBE FOR YOU follows MAYBE I DO and MAYBE THIS TIME and includes many of the same characters, it's able to stand alone. Besides that, it's many relationships, old and new, are done so well you can still enjoy the earlier books. I heartily recommend this unusually good book and I give it one of Romance Reviews Today's rare Perfect 10s. 

Jane Bowers

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