Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Still the One by Jill Shalvis

Still the One by Jill Shalvis
Series: Animal Magnetism, Book 6
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance Still the One Cover
ISBN: 9780425270189
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?

Still the One is one of those books you’ll open up and find yourself swept away by the story. It has two strong, caring, completely endearing leads and a whole lot of heat, humor, and heart. I’ve read Darcy and AJ’s story twice so far and both times it was nearly impossible for me to put the book down, even when real life demanded my attention. Jill Shalvis’s writing is simply that engaging.

Darcy is among my favorite of Ms. Shalvis’s heroines. She’s got sass to spare and owns her attitude, but don’t let her claims of being a bitch fool you. She’s got one of the biggest hearts there is and if nothing else, you have to love her for her devotion to rescuing S&R dogs and giving them to those in need of emotional support and therapy dogs. Darcy has a lot of love to give, but her parents did a number on her, instilling her with a fear of being discarded that just grabbed my heart and squeezed. Darcy is a strong, easy to love character with a bit of a wild streak and a bruised heart. It takes a heck of a hero to be her match, but of course – since this is Ms. Shalvis we’re talking about – there’s no doubt that AJ is her perfect fit in every way. AJ is a stand-out hero even among the vast number of hot, fun, memorable heroes Ms. Shalvis has written. AJ is a healer, a giver, and a sexy alpha hero. I loved his patience and understanding, his dedication to helping others, and most of all the way he loves Darcy. The two of them have long struck sparks off one another, but their bickering leads to some excellent sexual tension. There’s plenty of delicious heat in Still the One, but it’s the heart in the story that makes it shine.

Still the One is the sixth book in the Animal Magnetism series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Darcy’s siblings and other Animal Magnetism characters we know and love are wonderful supporting characters and Ms. Shalvis truly makes this feel like a group of people you’d absolutely love to be friends with if they were real. The four-legged supporting cast also deserves a mention; it wouldn’t be an Animal Magnetism novel without some memorable animals who will make you melt.

Still the One has electric chemistry, strong characters, adorable animals, snappy dialogue, and a whole lot of heart – what’s not to love? I’m addicted to the Animal Magnetism series and my only complaint is that I now have to wait for the next book, All I Want.

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