Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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."
Lily is struggling in every aspect of her life. She is an artist and hasn't sold a painting, which means she can't afford to live in Chicago and in turn must leave the city. Her boyfriend is a big disappointment and it's starting to get awkward regarding how many times she has to ask for the people in her life to bail her out. As she is packing up her apartment, she comes across paperwork for an annulment regarding a quickie Vegas wedding. But this quickie wedding isn't just for anyone, it's regarding HER wedding nearly ten years ago! She realizes she needs to actually file the paperwork this time, and goes to see her husband in person. He now lives in Minnow Bay, Wisconsin, which is pretty much the most quaint town of all time. When she finally sees Ben Hutchinson, her husband, things don't go well initially. It appears he has changed tremendously and is no longer the charismatic guy she once knew. The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Harms is a heartwarming beach read about figuring things out for yourself and second chances.
Lily is sort of a hot mess in The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay. She really is the quintessential struggling artist. More times than not, she has asked for the people in her life to bail her out of her financial problems and to top it off, she isn't even really on top of her finances. When she visits Minnow Bay, she sees it as an opportunity to start fresh even though she doesn't hit it off with Ben initially. She can't help but feel something for the friendly and adorable small town of Minnow Bay though.
There's so much more to Ben than Lily initially thought in The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay. He used to be a successful businessman, but has moved back home. There's more to this story than meets the eye and as Lily gets herself reacquainted with Ben, I enjoyed their relationship more and more, especially the flashbacks to their initial meeting in Vegas. Although I wanted a bit more swoon-worthy moments in the novel, I still appreciated their relationship.
Minnow Bay was like another characters in The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay. This small town was my favorite aspect of the novel. It reminded me of Stars Hollow, the setting for Gilmore Girls. Everyone knows everyone's business and there are a ton of meddlers; however, I really enjoyed Harms' portrayal of an adorable town. I ended up even enjoying the many townspeople that popped into Lily's life and left an everlasting impression. With their help, Lily realized that perhaps her life back in Chicago isn't worth salvaging. On top of it, her boyfriend and her best friend aren't exactly the people she thought they were. Maybe she really could start over in Minnow Bay?
So, if you are looking for a cute beach read this summer, check out The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay. Many people have suggested it's similar to a Hallmark movie and I agree wholeheartedly and in the best way possible.