Jenny Holiday’s ‘Mermaid Inn’ Captures Coastal Living with Candor and Wit [REVIEW]

Beach towels
(Photo courtesy Canva)

She has no intention of returning to her tiny coastal retreat. He has tried every way he can to forget about her once she left. But when an inheritance sends her back against her better judgment, will they take advantage of a second chance at love or let their feelings stay buried forever? Find out in Jenny Holiday’s charming small-town romance, Mermaid Inn.

Jenny Holiday's MERMAID INN

Matchmaker Bay used to be where Eve Abbott went to escape from it all. The tiny community was pretty and charming and populated with nice people. It was also where her aunt ran the Mermaid Inn. Now that her aunt is gone though, the thought of going back only makes her sad.

But when she inherits the inn, she has to return, and suddenly her life becomes a lot more complicated. First there are the nosy neighbors to contend with. Then there are the extensive renovations that need to be done to the inn itself. And last—but certainly not least—there’s the matter of the hunk who still lives down the street.

The hunk in question is Sawyer Collins, who has now become the local police chief. He’s spent the better part of a decade trying to forget how good they once were together and the bereft look in her eyes the day she left.

Never in a million years did he think she would actually return. And he certainly never anticipated that the spark between them would have grown into a lightning bolt! Her sudden reappearance in Matchmaker Bay may be his final opportunity to prove just how much he loves her. But will she stay or will she vanish from town—and his life—for good.

Holiday does a spectacular job capturing life in a small seaside town. First of all, she clearly demonstrates that it isn’t for everyone, at least at first. For example, when my husband and I moved to a coastal town in Massachusetts after living in Ohio and Texas, the adjustment was hard. We were used to everything working like clockwork on a precise schedule. But suddenly we found ourselves waiting for a bridge to reopen after a cargo ship passed through. While that wouldn’t have been a viable excuse to be late to work anywhere else, that isn’t the case on the coast. Everyone there knows those things are just a part of daily life. So, reading how Holiday describes coastal living as both appealing and infuriating rang quite true to me.

The other thing she writes well here is how quickly gossip spreads in small town America. People love to talk about each other, and whether the locals are spreading other people’s business out of concern or simply because they like to gossip, it can be quite alarming to find that you’ve become the talk of the town in a matter of minutes. Eve forgot about this aspect of small town living all those years ago. But now that she’s the owner of the Mermaid Inn, she must decide if she can learn to live with gossipmongers and embrace the community once again. Then there’s the matter of what to do about her first love, Sawyer. But I’m not about to spoil that for you. You’ll have to read Mermaid Inn to find out if time really does heal all wounds.

If you enjoy stories by authors like Debbie Mason, Sheryll Woods, and Lizzie Shane who write great characters with lots of witty banter, I think it’s a safe bet to say that you’re going to love this book. It’s a delight!

This edition includes the bonus novella Meant to Be by Alison Bliss!

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Jenny Holiday is a USA Today-bestselling and RITA®-nominated author whose books have been featured in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, and National Public Radio.

She grew up in Minnesota and started writing at age nine when her fourth-grade teacher gave her a notebook to fill with stories.

When she’s not working on her next book, she likes to hang out with her family, watch other people sing karaoke, and throw theme parties.

A member of the House of Slytherin, Jenny lives in London, Ontario, Canada.

For more information, visit, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Bookbub, and Amazon.

Jenny Holiday
(Photo by Kate Stasyna)

By Jenny Holiday
480 pp. Forever. $7.99.

Purchase Mermaid Inn direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, or Walmart.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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