Showing posts with label Lucky Harbor Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lucky Harbor Series. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: The Sweetest Thing (Lucky Harbor, Book 2) by Jill Shalvis

Two Men Are One Too Many . . .

Tara has a thousand good reasons not to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Yet with her life doing a major crash-and-burn, anywhere away from her unfulfilled dreams and sexy ex-husband will do. As Tara helps her two sisters get their newly renovated inn up and running, she finally has a chance to get things under control and come up with a new plan for her life.

But a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor has his own ideas, such as keeping Tara hot, bothered . . . and in his bed. And when her ex wants Tara back, three is a crowd she can't control-especially when her deepest secret reappears out of the blue. Now Tara must confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she's lucky, she might just find that everything her heart desires is right here in Lucky Harbor.

I loved this book! It's interesting because Tara wasn't my favorite character in Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, Book 1), and if you read the above summary, the first thing that hits you is the fact that a triangle is part of the story. Triangles are not the love of my life when it comes to tropes, but I just loved this book!

Tara has her hands full running the Lucky Harbor Inn with her two sisters and trying NOT to fall again for her past love, hot and dazzling Ford, when after two years of separation her ex-husband shows up in town asking for a reconciliation. But that's not all... no, not for poor Tara. The whole town gets into the fun of things and plaster her situation on Facebook and Twitter and decide to run a poll as to who's going to win Tara's heart -- and the fun really begins. On top of all that her lifetime secret "shows up" at her doorstep and things really get complicated.

In The Sweetest Thing the story is focused on the romance and the two main characters -- everything else revolves around them. Shalvis uses more of the "lovers reunited" and "second chance at love" tropes in The Sweetest Thing than the good old triangle in my opinion. The plot is not only well developed, but it's also interesting, romantic, scorching hot, and amusing. To top it all off, the secondary characters complement this story perfectly. I loved the growth in the sisters relationship, as well as the small town atmosphere that permeates the story, without too many characters taking the focus away from the main couple.

The Sweetest Thing is another true contemporary romance novel with the hot style that Shalvis is known for, plus a wonderful family and small town atmosphere full of amusing laugh-out-loud moments. I loved the main characters, both Ford and Tara, their romance and the journey to that second chance at love. Now I can't wait to read Chloe and Sawyer's story.

Category: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lucky Harbor, Book 2
Publisher/Released: Forever March 28, 2011 - Kindle Edition
Grade: A

Visit Jill Shalvis here.

Simply Irresistible, Book 1
The Sweetest Thing, Book 2

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, Book 1) by Jill Shalvis

Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover.

In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.

Starting over won't be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.

The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes-and mouth-are making it hard for her to remember that she's sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie's struggles to overcome the past, though she's about to discover that there's no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.
I waited long enough to read Simple Irresistible, Lucky Harbor, Book 1 by Jill Shalvis, why? I should have known better, since Shalvis is one of my favorite category romance writers at the moment.

Maddie Maddox and her two half-sisters, Tara and Chloe, inherit an inn in Lucky Harbor, a small town in Washington State. After losing her job and her jerkwad boyfriend, Maddie decides to give up on men and leaves L.A. She hopes to run the inn and to make a new life for herself in Lucky Harbor. There are, however, obstacles to her plan: she must convince two half-sisters she barely knows to let her stay, fix up an inn that is badly in need of repair, and Maddie, who's suffering from low self-esteem, must find the courage to do it all.

Jax and Maddie meet right off the bat when Maddie comes to town in a first scene that I absolutely adored -- I mean... Maddie couldn't be more adorable or Jax hotter! Needless to say soon after that, there's an attraction between the two and they are drawn to each other. Jax or Jackson Cullen seems to be a jack-of-all trades in Lucky Harbor, but most importantly, he's the contractor the sisters hire to renovate Lucky Harbor Resort. There's sexual pull between this couple from the beginning and the chemistry continues throughout the story. Shalvis tops all that sizzle by mixing those hot, sexy moments with amusing dialogue and humorous scenes. I personally loved the combination.

Jax and Maddie do have some serious personal issues to resolve before they get to that happily ever after. This is where I had a slight problem with the book where I found that the characterization was slightly unbalanced. We get an in-depth look into Maddie's life, troubles, motivations and the reasoning behind her decisions. There's character depth and growth for her... even though some of Maddie's characteristics were frustrating for me personally. When it comes to Jax, well... I really liked him and his outward persona, plus I loved the way he understood and encouraged Maddie toward personal growth. However, I feel that although his serious issues were addressed to a certain extent, we didn't really get an in-depth look into the past relationships that shaped him and I was left waiting for more.

The three sisters have nicknames and Maddie is the "mouse" for good reason. She is the middle sister who constantly negotiates peace between her two strong, feisty sisters, and yet can't seem to find the courage to stand up for herself. These three women have their mother in common but not much else, and it's lovely to see Maddy fighting to forge a relationship with them, as well as to make a future at the Lucky Harbor Inn. As secondary characters I loved the sisters, Tara and Chloe -- their secrets and fights made this an entertaining read. Ford, Jax' best friend, was a hoot and I loved him too!

In summary, I think that Simply Irresistible was a solid contemporary romance with lots of spark and sizzle, Shalvis style. I loved that although there were strong secondary characters, the story maintained its focus firmly on the main couple, making this a true contemporary romance. The main characters were likable, and although the in-depth characterization was slightly unbalanced in my opinion, this did not detract from making Simply Irresistible a solid romance read. The secondary characters were a big asset and perfect for setting up future installments in this series, and I'm really looking forward to reading Ford and Tara's romance in the next book, The Sweetest Thing.

Category: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lucky Harbor, Book 1
Publisher/Released: Forever, October 1, 2010
Grade: B

Visit Jill Shalvis here.