Should’ve Been You by Nicole McLaughlin | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Should’ve Been You by Nicole McLaughlin | Book ReviewShould've Been You by Nicole McLaughlin
Also by this author: Only With You
Series: Man Enough #3
Also in this series: Only With You
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 30th 2018
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Military
Pages: 250
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781250120090

Childhood neighbors get a chance at love in Should’ve Been You, an achingly romantic novella in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series!

National Guardsman Jase Beckford wants to live a quiet life raising cattle and taking care of his mother. His childhood friend and neighbor Hannah is still his best friend, but when he walks into the Walters house one morning and sees her twin sister Becca for the first time in five years, he wonders if he missed out on something special.

Becca Walters has nursed a secret crush on Jase since childhood, but he always preferred Hannah, so she buried her feelings assuming her sister and Jase would one day turn their flirtation into a real relationship. And this Christmas, she is anticipating a proposal of her own, so Jase’s reappearance in her life doesn’t mean anything. Much. Okay, maybe more than Becca would like to admit.

However, when Becca’s sister gets engaged to someone who’s not Jase, Becca and Jase find themselves spending more together. And when secrets are revealed, suddenly those dormant feelings come back to life; but is the possibility of something between them worth risking the happiness of everyone they love?

Should’ve Been You by Nicole McLaughlin is the third book in her Man Enough series but I did not have a clue about that when I first downloaded and began reading this book. Honestly, you don’t need to read the other books to be able to know what is going on in this book. You might be able to appreciate the other couples mentioned. Otherwise, this book is pretty easy to get into. Should’ve Been You is a contemporary romance set in Kansas and a super quick read.

Nicole McLaughlin’s Should’ve Been You follows main characters Jase and Becca who basically alternate third person point of views. The two have a long history as neighbors, but never really became close friends or anything. Jase grew up in an abusive home but found comfort with Becca’s family. One night, he is removed from his home and stays with Becca’s family. Becca’s twin, Hannah, tells Jase that Becca thinks he is smelly and doesn’t want him staying in her room. Meanwhile she goes back to Becca and tells her something along the lines of Jase thinks she’s gross. I forget. Anyways, it causes the two to not really like each other. Hannah though becomes best friends with Jase and the two have a weird back up couple friendship. Until Becca comes back in town and Jase realizes maybe he pursued the wrong twin.

Jase is pretty much a cowboy. Much of the book follows as he tries to breed this steer and make his money and build his business. He’s a good guy for the most part. Oh also he is in the National Guard and all his friends get together before drill weekend. Speaking from experience, that can be common. My husband is in the guard and his guard friends sometimes come over here and stay on drill weekend or they go out for dinner. Then there’s Becca who isn’t single when the book begins. However, she ends up being free and clear to hook up with Jase. Anyways, she is a teacher and she’s portrayed as a little bit aloof. She’s not a bad person though.

On the whole Should’ve Been You is a really fast read. I mean, it is basically a novella. There are a few cringeworthy moments and some icky commentary on Becca’s looks that make my skin crawl in the wake of #metoo. However, ignoring all of those parts, this is an okay read. It’s nice for like vacation or just one of those read between heavier books sort of reads.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Hey April! Trisha – formerly of eclectic/eccentric – here. I used to read Romance novels like a fiend; then I fizzed out on it for awhile; now I’m back in for a quick one now and again. Like you though, I find my reading has changed a bit with #metoo and the resurgence of feminism. If you are interested in reconnecting, I am starting over in the blogging world at Hope to see you there.

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