by Ali Parker and Jessica Mills
It’s time to meet up with the MacAllen Family again, one of my all-time favorite book families! “Rum Romance” is the 7th book in ‘The Macallan Boys’ series by Ali Parker and Jessica Mills. This particular story features the youngest son in the family, hometown football star Mark MacAllen.
Mark is handsome, a talented athlete, and a serious college student in his senior year. He loves the family ranch and is diligently studying accounting with the goal of someday taking care of the financial books for the family business. He has a major crush on Piper, a smart, beautiful member of the cheerleading squad. In addition to being a lovely distraction on the football field, she’s a serious student with an eye on a legal career. When they’re assigned to be partners on a big class project, he’s simultaneously thrilled and nervous.
This story contains some ‘mean girl’ drama caused by a jealous member of the cheerleading squad who wants Mark for herself. There’s also something suspicious going on with a secret county project that may prevent the MacAllen’s from being able to acquire the land immediately adjacent to their own. In the midst of all that, Mark is faced with the decision of whether he wants to play Pro Football or stay home on the ranch. When he gets an offer to check out a legendary pro team in the same big city where Piper may be pursuing her legal dreams, Mark’s decisions become much more complicated.
The characters in this story (and throughout this series) are interesting and multidimensional. Various challenges facing the characters feel authentic, as do their interpersonal relationships and insecurities. There are smart choices made and not-so-smart ones, too. I think the dilemmas about following one’s heart versus meeting people’s expectations is something universally understood. I really enjoyed this story and I’m truly looking forward to the next one. I just wish this big family was a little bit bigger so there would be more books to look forward to … after the next brother, maybe the authors could find some cousins or something?