The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Harms
Published by St. Martin's Press
Expected Publication: July 19 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Source: requested by publisher
Summary from Goodreads:
A young painter, Lily has reached a crossroads in her life. Her career hasn't taken off, her best friend may no longer be the trusted friend she thought, her boyfriend is a disappointment, and now she can't keep up with the rising cost of living in the city. With no one to turn to, Lily is forced to move from her beloved apartment, but while packing she comes across a piece of mail that had slipped to the back of her junk drawer: a letter detailing further action needed to finalize the annulment of a quickie Vegas wedding. Ten years ago!
Lily decides it's time to turn over a new leaf and the first item on her list of things to fix is getting the annulment... but you can't just send a reply ten years later, "Hey by the way we are still married." This is something that must be addressed in person. Lily takes to the road to track down her husband - the charming, fun, and sexy man she connected with all those years ago - Ben Hutchinson.
Ben Hutchinson left a wealthy dot-com lifestyle behind to return home to his family and the small town he loves, Minnow Bay. He's been living off the grid and the last thing he expects is a wife he didn't know he had to show up on his doorstep.
By chance, Lily arrives at the magical Minnow Bay Inn, and there she will discover not just a place to lay her head, but new friends, a thriving art community, and maybe even the love of her life.
The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay is about a Chicago painter, Lily, who goes to Minnow Bay, Wisconsin in order to divorce her husband she didn't realize she had. Living paycheque to paycheque and waiting for her big break in the art community, Lily is forced to face reality when comes across her annulment papers that were never signed from her Vegas wedding. Deciding to head to Wisconsin and clear up everything, Lily packs up and drives to Minnow Bay.
Throughout the whole novel, we see Lily trying to find not only herself but where she belongs. Through her experience in Minnow Bay, meeting new friends and learning new things, she becomes a stronger, passionate, and more creative person. It was fun to not only see Lily come out of her shell but also see a majority of the Minnow Bay citizens too. Colleen, the in-keeper and life long resident of Minnow Bay, was so kind and caring to Lily and attentive to the needs of everyone around her. Simone, the teen barista that is filled with angst, is one of Minnow Bay's gossip mongers. Then there is Jenny - Colleen's oldest friend and Minnow Bay's very own artist wrangler and gallerist, she also runs ArtWorks, one of the biggest art festivals. All of the citizens are so warm and welcoming that I can understand why and how Lily came to adore this town.
However, there were some things I didn't enjoy about this novel. I found the majority of the characters lacking, seeming one-dimensional, and the plot far-fetched. The ending also seemed rushed. The main character was too naive and stupidly nice to those that wronged her (i.e. Renee, her best friend from college, and Mitchell, her boyfriend/love interest that turned out to be an ass).
Kelly Harms is the author of The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane and The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay. She has also worked with New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, Edgar, RITA, and Agatha award winners, and Indie Next List Picks in her time as an editor at a division of HarperCollins and later as an agent at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her son Griffin and puppy Scout.