Needs A Leprechaun. Maybe Seven.

Her Best Laid Plans - Cara McKenna
2 STARS 

Half-hearted and boring. I imagine this was written while the author was writing another book, baking ten pies and doing her taxes. I have such faith in McKenna's knack for writing that I believe she can do all that and still come up with a coherent, albeit lazily imagined, snoozefest of a romance where nearly everybody's a bartender because, duh Ireland.

After sacrificing her college plans for her boyfriend's medical school education, Jamie got dumped. No, the exact details on that deal weren't clearly presented. As jilted girlfriends from Boston tend to do (apparently) she goes to Ireland for a holiday, intent on rebounding by having some Irish Fling on the side. She meets Connor (sidebar: are all hot Irishmen named Connor?) in a pub and they makeout in the snooker table, have stick-shift driving lessons and having the best sex ever. According to them. The crux of the tension comes from the intense and unexpected emotioning involved from both parties (in less than 10 days of knowing each other!) and how they would reconcile their whirlwind trans-atlantic romance with their plans and realities: Connor plans to get into a decent college after being the wayward slacker and Jamie is finally starting her life anew.

I found both protagonists rather dull and depthless, had there been any chemistry between them, I probably missed it on account of being distracted by everything else outside this book. Seeing as this is a novella, I expected this to focus more on making either Jamie or Connor atleast likable if not charming. 
 
"What's his name anyway?" Connor asked. "This ex of yours?"
"Noel."
"Noel... was he born on Christmas or something?"
She smiled drily, "Christmas Eve. You can't be jealous, can you?"Connor made a great show of his reaction, every frown and wave suggesting her accusation was preposterous.



As if its not enough that the conditions of how they met sound a lot like a desperate woman's rose-tinted alcohol-hazed recollections (the kind that you regret the morning after), I am not entirely sure Connor's got enough swoon factor in him to merit the label of a "hero". I'm not even going to factor in the obvious effort to make him as Irish as possible throwing in every possible stereotypical jargon in any dialogue he's involved in. And Jamie as a heroine, didn't really come across that broken over by getting dumped by Christmas Boy in the first place. By the end of this short, sorry attempt for a romance, no matter how lovely the ending sounds conceptually, the pragmatist in me refuses to concede the hopeful romance this was trying to sell.

Review Copy provided by the publishers.