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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Maybe I Do by Nicole McLaughlin - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Charlotte is a wedding photographer and she frequently works at the same location, The Stag, a beautiful small distillery that has quickly become a popular venue for the most beautiful day of people's lives. Dean, one of the owners, makes Charlotte look forward to shooting weddings at The Stag every single time. Charlotte loves their easy banter and playful flirting. Dean is a little over a decade older and Charlotte doesn’t know if his interest in her is serious or just on the friendly side of professional, how can she find out?

Charlotte photographs people’s most romantic moments, which isn’t always easy for her. Being left at the altar several years before still hurts and she’s reluctant to let anyone in again. Dean’s ex-wife broke his heart, so they’ve both been burned by love. Working together gives them a chance to slowly develop their bond, but then they need each other’s help and they suddenly have to spend a lot more time together. Can they break down their walls and are they ready to let love in again and give each other a chance?

Maybe I Do is a wonderful story about a very romantic topic, weddings. I loved reading about The Stag, it’s a fantastic setting for a story. Charlotte feels at home at her favorite venue with the man she has a huge crush on, which is a fabulous beginning of an endearing romance. She’s a sweet and talented person and she’s always willing to help others. Dean has that in common with her, which is how the much desired opportunity to finally get to know each other better arises, by being there for someone else they have to open up and let love in again. I kept hoping these two lovely souls would find happiness together and this kept me glued to the pages. 

Nicole McLaughlin has a heartwarming writing style. I liked her skillful descriptions of the emotions her main characters are going through. Maybe I Do is a romantic story with plenty of depth and I admired the empathic way she handles difficult subjects. I loved the combination of strong feelings, secrets of the past and multilayered connections and the fun topic of weddings. I enjoyed reading about many truly special wedding days and Nicole McLaughlin definitely entertained me with a lot of charming details that are making her story come to life in a terrific way. Maybe I Do is a fabulous feelgood story.


If you love romantic stories with a wedding theme, you don't want to miss Maybe I Do.

About Nicole McLaughlin

Nicole wrote her first full length book (6 pages) about the birth of her baby sister, when she was eight years old. She only finished it because her mother bribed her with a Rick Astley cassette tape. Sad, but true. Now her characters are what keep her writing and her subject matter has gotten a little bit deeper and a lot more romantic.

She resides in a small town outside of Kansas City with her husband and three sons. When she isn’t writing, she’s a wedding and portrait photographer, loves to cook, and watch historical dramas or documentaries.


Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram


1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Thank you so much for having me here. And of course. I live in a small town in Kansas, have an amazing husband, three teenage sons, and a very naughty dog named Jasper. In addition to writing I’m also a photographer.

2) What’s so magical about writing about weddings?

I think I enjoy it because I’ve photographed so many weddings. So much happens in one day and of course all the planning and drama that goes into it. Endless material!

3) A beautiful wedding is incredibly romantic, what key features should a wedding have to be a success?

First, a bride and groom that are in love. Second, good food. Beautiful location, elaborate centerpieces, an amazing band: all of that is great, but I’d rather eat amazing food in a cheap banquet hall. Haha

4) You write about meaningful relationships, what does true love mean to you?

Oh boy, that’s a tough one. True love is finding the person that makes you want to recommit every day to being the best partner you can be. Even when it’s hard.

5) In Maybe I Do there’s a lot of chemistry between the main characters, how do you create a sparkling connection between two people?

I enjoyed writing Charlotte and Dean. I really enjoy writing flawed, real people, and I felt like when it came to them their wounds would make it difficult for them to connect, but ultimately it would be rewarding. I think they knew this on a deeper level, but their fear kept them on the fringes of taking anything to the next step. I love that dynamic and I also loved having Charlotte be the aggressor a bit.

6) You know a lot about photographing weddings, what do you like most about this wonderful profession?

Having an up close and personal look into peoples lives, for sure. It’s a very interesting position to be in. You spend an entire day in an incredibly intimate scenario with a couple. While they’re dressing, putting on their makeup, tying their tie, crying with their mother, staring into one another’s eyes as a new couple, laughing with their best friends, and sometimes fighting with their family. The fact that you also get to capture all of those moments as art and give it to them to keep forever is very special.

7) What does happily ever after look like for you?

Growing old with my husband, traveling, enjoying our (hopefully) many grandchildren, and writing books!

8) What kind of wedding moment makes you tear up?

One moment for sure that always did it were the parent dances. I lost my father when I was ten so the father dance always made me cry. But I’m also the mother of three boys, so watching the Mother’s dance with their sons is brutal. Ah, makes me teary just thinking about it.

9) How did your love for romantic stories start?

I’ve always loved a good love story. My first fictional romance was probably Maryanne and Logan from the Babysitters Club. Haha. I’ve always been a big reader but didn’t start reading true romance novels until I was halfway into my twenties. I love that they are an escape, which I’d desperately needed while staying home with three little kids. The author that got me hooked was Elizabeth Hoyt. Although I write contemporaries, historical is my personal favorite to read.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I honestly don’t know. I’ve just finished up the Whiskey and Wedding series with the third book, Maybe For You, which releases 8/28. I’m quite excited about it! But I’m currently spending my summer reading like crazy and waiting for inspiration to strike for my next book!


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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of Maybe This Time by Nicole McLaughlin.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. It sounds lovely and although I don't like weddings,lol,I love romance and I know I will enjoy this book.

  2. Maybe I Do sounds like an entertaining, charming romance and a great start in the Whiskey and Weddings series.

  3. Would love to win this book for my Mum who reads a lot.

  4. This sounds like a lovely romance with a happy ending, which is always nice to read.

  5. I liked the review. Sounds like a good book.

  6. I love the character's profession. Great for story telling.

  7. Such lovely covers you got :D
    I do like a book about weddings in any form

  8. love the cover, and the story sounds enthralling xx

  9. I love the covers of your books!

  10. I love romantic stories with a happy end! Thank you!

  11. What a lovely story! Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Such a lovely book covers!
    Looking forward to read this series :)

  13. I love where the inspiration comes from and that it is real life experience. It makes me wonder if there has been any experiences where the bride and groom didn't look like they were going to make it to the wedding night, never mind forever.

  14. I love the blurb and the cover is so romantic.

  15. I never got into the Babysitters' Club, my first fictional romance was Todd and Elizabeth from Sweet Valley High!

  16. Just what I need at the moment, a bit of romance xx

  17. Sounds like a lovely read - great cover

  18. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  19. A beautiful cover and sounds a great story of "damaged goods" but giving love a second chance and "happy endings" (with the wedding theme).

  20. This series sounds like books that I would enjoy and weddings are so fun. Love the magic of it all, thanks for sharing!

  21. A great interview, thanks for giving us the chance to know Nicole a little better. A writer and a photographer is quite a mix and it seems to work very well for you.

  22. There's nothing wrong with Rick Astley! Many's the good time I had dancing to his tunes!