Series: Maybe (3 full-length novels and 1 novella)
Author: Chantal Fernando
Published: 2013 – 2015
Shelves: New Adult; Contemporary; Romance
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3 stars
I am way overdue a book review! So I figured I would review this series since I spent the past week or so reading these whilst overcoming yet another illness. After recently reading Chantal Fernando’s series, Wind Dragons MC, I then moved onto this series as I saw it only had three novels, and that they took place in the same world, and I love crossovers in series like these!
Novel One: Maybe This Time (Maybe #1) (Published October 14th, 2013)
The first novel, Maybe This Time, centres on nineteen-year-old Summer, who moves in with her half-brother, Xander, following the death of her mother. There she meets Xander’s friends – twin brothers Reid and Ryan Knox – and the story focuses on her growing relationships with her brother and his circle of friends.
The first half of the novel was fairly enjoyable, and my favourite thing about it were the characters and their growing relationships. Fernando has this ability to create really likeable characters right off the bat, and I think it is this ability that makes her fiction so easy to read and enjoy. The plot comes in the form of Summer and Reid’s romantic relationship, and the Knox brother’s fixation on getting justice for their brother, who died during a boxing match two years previous. Summer and Reid’s romance was very sweet, but I found the boxing aspect of the novel, and the twins’ thirst for revenge, to be the most engaging parts. Unfortunately for me, this storyline fades away around the 70% mark, and the rest of the novel is packed full of melodrama between Summer and Reid that remains until the novel’s epilogue. Out of the three novels, I believe this one has the strongest and most interesting plot, and the novel also contains two plot-twists which I thought were pretty entertaining. Overall, I would say that this Maybe This Time is my favourite out of the three, with really likeable and relatable characters, and multiple interesting storylines. However, I do feel that the relationship aspect pushed these other, more entertaining, plots to the sidelines, which I was slightly disappointed by.
Novel Two: This Time Around (Maybe #2) (Published January 20th, 2014)
The second novel shifts its focus to Reid’s brother, Ryan, as his soon-to-be ex-wife, Taiya, reenters his life and demands that he sign their divorce papers. This book then follows her attempts at moving on, and his intentions to win her back.
In my honest opinion, this book was very average. Not much happens in the novel except repeated, awkward run-ins between Ryan and Taiya, then their subsequent reunion, followed by numerous sex scenes. We are introduced to Taiya in the previous novel, where she was represented as a strong, takes-no-nonsense character. But that characterisation rarely makes an appearance in this novel, especially after the couple get back together. I found their reason for breaking up in the first place to be bordering on ridiculous, and it made me view characters I previously liked (Ryan), in a VERY negative light as a result. I imagine it was difficult for the author to create a good enough reason for this married couple to split without making one of them look bad. But what happened instead was that I found both these characters to be idiotic, as their year-long separation could have been resolved a hell of a lot sooner if they’d actually talked to each other. After this couple’s troubles were resolved, the rest of the novel (I’d say about the last 35% or so), was focused on creating a sort-of-romance between two different characters, which I assumed were going to feature in the third novel. Overall, I was disappointed with This Time Around. The relationships between the characters was my favourite aspect of the novel, but I was, for the most part, uninterested in Ryan and Taiya’s relationship.
Novel Three: Time Will Tell (Maybe #3) (Published February 8th, 2015)
The final novel focuses on Summer’s brother, Xander, who goes to live with his friend Zach following the death of his (and Summer’s) father, Jack. Dealing with her own family issues, introverted college student and avid baker, Trillian, is determined to come out of her shell upon meeting mysterious Xander, as she is eager to get to know him better.
This Time Around set up a romance with Xander and another character, and initially, I was disappointed to see that that this novel took a different path, and rejected that previous romance in favour for a new one. But I ended up liking this novel because of this alteration. Time Will Tell has this sweet, endearing quality that the other books don’t, and I think the main reason for this is due to the introduction of new character Trillian, who I thought was a refreshing and engaging character. Xander and Trillian’s romance developed pretty quickly and, while their relationship wasn’t by any means unbelievable, it would have been nice to have seen more development between them instead of repeated jumps ahead in their narratives. Despite this, their relationship was very sweet, and for me, it was the best part of the novel. We are also introduced to Trillian’s friends Zach and April, and these side characters added a nice dose of humour to the novel which was another aspect of the novel I particularly liked. While Time Will Tell was a more enjoyable than the previous instalment, once again I just found the actual storyline to be a tad bit too focused on the love story for my tastes.
While the first novel was a fun read, I feel slightly underwhelmed by the following works. It’s a shame because Fernando’s characters are so relatable and easy to love, but I feel that the plots of these novels are lacking, and in its place is a lot of tiring and sometimes confusing drama. Judging by the last novel, I got the feeling that this series isn’t over yet – although I couldn’t find any news about future publications – and, while my review isn’t exactly glowing, I would read any future novels in this series, as I like the majority of the characters in these novels, and am interested to see which direction Fernando takes them in.
Would I read this series again? I would read the first novel again and any future works in this series
Who would I recommend this series to? Fans of NA romance fiction who want a fast-paced, fun read; fans of character-focused fiction