This is one of those books that I really think that you have to read with either a) a fair amount of disbelief suspended or b)you just love the romance fantasy of a basic Cinderella story.
Mac McCarthy is from a wealthy family who are well known and liked on a small New England island.
Maddie Chester lives on the same island but is of a decidedly less golden family. She was tormented in high school for developing early. And one lie by one guy resulted in a tarnished reputation that followed her into adulthood. She is either ignored or shunned by most of the townspeople, her mother is in jail and she is given the worst of the clean up jobs as the maid in the inn Mac's family owns.
When Mac comes back home for an enforced vacation, he bumps into Maddie precipitating an accident that results in Maddie's bike (her lone transportation) getting destroyed and causing her injury.
Mac wants to make it right so he decides he is going to help Maddie out while she is recovering.
The set up is fine. The writing is good and the storytelling flows quickly and easily. This is one of those contemporary romances that just goes down smoothly and is tailor made for a light summer read.
My issues, and why I can't give this more than 3-stars, has to do with credulity. I know many readers will be perfectly fine with the swiftness of the romance and the way Mac swoops in and makes everything just right for Maddy in a matter of weeks. That's fine. That is where the fantasy part of the romance comes in. For a lot of romance readers this is catnip and this book would be right up their alley.
I am not one of them though. I like a little more grit sometimes with my books. I like Marie Force's writing style and I like the bones of story if not necessarily all the meat of it. I also just can't get past the super sticky sweetness of some of it or my skepticism at the trajectory of the romance.
Mac is a long-time confirmed bachelor who really has no desire to be back home. Yet he bumps into Maddie, takes her home, cleans her up, moves into her house, takes care of her kid, takes over her cleaning shift at the inn, and takes over her duties as a day care helper. And this is all just within the first day he gets back home. Within the first week he and Maddie are madly in love and within weeks after that he has completely restored her tarnished reputation.
This is pure Prince Charming fantasy. It works on some levels and on others it simply doesn't.
I heartily recommend it for readers who really like that in their stories.
Other readers however, if you don't like love-at-first sight stories or want a it more meat with your stories this one may not work completely for you.