Double Shot of Jill Shalvis III

Publication Date: June 26th, 2012
Grand Central Publishing
FORMAT: E-ARC courtesy of publisher and Net Galley
RATING: 3 out 5 Stars
SUMMARY

HER LOVE HAS COME ALONG . . .
Amy Michaels loves her new life in Lucky Harbor. A waitress in the local diner, she’s looking forward to her first weekend hike through the mountains. But when a wrong turn takes her off the trail, she finds herself up close and personal with forest ranger Matt Bowers. And even though she’s tempted to kiss that sexy smile right off his face, she won’t make the mistake of getting involved with the town heartthrob.

A former cop whose life went south, Matt doesn’t let anyone get too close. But something about the feisty beauty caught his eye the moment he first saw her in the diner. After a hot night under a starry sky, Matt can’t deny their attraction-or the fact that for the first time in a long time, he feels the stirrings of something more. Now it’s up to Matt to help Amy see that, no matter what is in their past, together they can build a future in Lucky Harbor.

Book number five of the Lucky Harbor series tells the story of Amy and Matt “Ranger Hot Buns” Bowers. While I enjoyed their innate chemistry, this pairing wasn’t as enjoyable as the others from the previous books.

Amy Michaels have spent most of her adult life trying to forget a painful and tumultuous past. She’d learned how to keep people at bay – especially men. But Matt Bowers was a test; one look and she’s easily reminded of what she’s been missing. She’s been succesful at putting distance between them for the most part, but when she got lost on a hike, and with her BFF playing cupid, she found herself in the company of the hot forest ranger – sharing a cramped tent, no less! There began a song and dance in which the tempo is all about sex and not a relationship…at least, that’s what they tried to tell themselves.

As I mentioned previously, this book was the least favorite of mine in the entire series. There’s just something about Amy that I couldn’t connect with. But just because I didn’t enjoy it, doesn’t mean the book wasn’t good. The plot, in my own opinion was more evolved here than the previous books. It was more than romance this time. Jill Shalvis’ personification of her characters is still her greatest attribute. I love watching them develop from merely a name to someone I actually know. And that’s the power of her writing; she conjured up people and suddenly they’re this 3D characters that I slowly grew to love.

As far as the romance goes, Amy and Matt has this built-in sizzle that comes through the page as soon as they’re together. I can’t explain how Jill does it but it’s the look and how they feel as they’re acting out a scene.

VERDICT: It sucks that I didn’t enjoy this as much as everybody else. If anything, I think Matt Bowers  gave Ty Garrison some serious competition for the hottest guy in Lucky Harbor. Contrary to popular assumptions, I’m not ALL about hot, fictional characters, I also look for substance. Unfortunately, Amy’s and Matt are characters that didn’t really do much for me in that department. Their reasons for keeping people at a distance didn’t outright convince me. Amy also was so quick to forgive Matt, which drove me nuts because I’m one of those readers who enjoy reading the hot guy chase the playing-hard-to-get girl. Still, I think this book would still be enjoyable to most. Please don’t pass up on this series.

Publication Date: July 31st, 2012
Grand Central Publishing
Format: E-ARC courtesy of publisher and Net Galley
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

LOVE CAN HAPPEN IN A HEARTBEAT.

Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s loveable mutt to caring for his rambunctious kids. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad…

With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family–until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day…

[Sigh] All is right in the world again. After having a lacklustre reaction to At Last, I was pretty hopeful that book #6 would set me right out. Well, I’m happy to say that Forever and a Day did exactly that! I’m not sure if there’ll be more books to the series but I really hope Jill will continue writing stories about this town and its residents.

Anyway, Forever and a Day is the story of Grace and Dr. Josh Scott. Having lost her executive position in a financial company based out of New York, Grace made a decision to head west. She found herself in Lucky Harbor; a quaint little sea-side town where the locals are genial to everyone. It was meant to be a brief stop; but Grace ended up staying for a while, making friends, staying at the B & B, and looking for a job. When an opportunity to make a quick $40 arises, Grace didn’t think twice about taking it regardless of her lack of dog-walking experience. As fate would have it, Tank the dog came with a five year-old Jedi wannabe, a paraplegic with a nasty attitude and a hot doctor with a linebacker’s body. Who could ask for anything more?

I think this is by far, the funniest of the series. The flirtatious banter between Grace and Josh felt so easy and not at all manufactured. The other thing about Jill’s writing is that she’s not all squeamish about using the F-word while the couple are in the er, throes of passion. Which, in my opinion makes her contemporary romance more real and believable. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the sex scenes are done in such a way that it can’t be considered pornographic but it always amazes me when writers shy away from using that word. Especially when their characters are apparently so lost in the moment. I don’t know about you but it just makes perfect sense to me.

I love this pairing; they didn’t play a lot of games (except near the end), they both knew where they stood and there wasn’t any ridiculous expectations from each other. I also love Grace’s relationship with Josh’s son and his paraplegic sister, Anna. Though, at times I wanted to strangle Anna because she was a frustrating character. But frustrating or not, Anna brought another layer to their story.

VERDICT: As usual, Jill combined just the right humor and drama to make this contemporary romance an absolute hit in my bookshelves. I’m so glad that I decided to feature her on the blog as my June Addiction reads. And you know what? I was completely, utterly, addicted!

  • Your review on Forever and a Day had me smiling frequently. I have never heard of this series but for the most part it sounds fun!! Kind of sucks that you didn't really enjoy at Last that much but you can't win em'all right?