by Jessica Mills and Ali Parker
“Gin Jealousy” is the third book in ‘The MacAllen Boys’ series by Jessica Mills and Ali Parker. It’s a second chance, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers story bursting with interesting characters and angsty situations.
James stood out from his siblings even as a child. He preferred building things out of Lego blocks over anything to do with ranch life. His clothing choices were and still are unusual in their area, and the type of car he drives definitely stands out from the rest. His life-long fascination with architecture was so well-known to his family that they all supported him wholeheartedly when he finally pursued his college and graduate school dreams and became an architect. They missed him but were emotionally supportive when his goals led him to San Francisco, far from the ranch. And then suddenly he gave up a job at a prestigious firm to instead work in his hometown, and earned himself the nickname ‘Hermit of Whiskey River.’
Peyton spent most of her life knowing her mother walked out on her, and her father cared more about money than anything or anyone else – including her. Her whole identity was that of a spoiled rich girl because it was all she had ever known. When she met James, he made her feel valued and happy like nobody else ever had. Then everything blew up in her face and he was gone. When she decides to try and get her father’s attention by getting involved in business with him, she has no idea that she’s going to be right in James’ hometown. As challenging as her business goal is, it’s nothing compared with the goal of not losing her heart to James again.
James and Peyton are both wonderfully defined characters with internal emotional conflicts that feel authentic. At different times they are each endearing, aggravating, lovable, funny, frustrating and so very real. The secondary characters in the story are varied and memorable. If you’ve read the other two books in this series, you’ll recognize all the members of James’ family, and enjoy seeing them again. The housekeeper Peyton spent her life with until she moved to Whiskey River is fantastic, and I loved all her clever nicknames for Peyton. The ending of this story was surprising in some ways, but also perfect. Hints dropped in this book have me already anxious to read the next one!