Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: Christmas in Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis

Christmas in Lucky Harbor: Simply Irresistible/The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor, Books 1 and 2
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance Christmas in Lucky Harbor Cover
ISBN: 9781455502523
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

Simply Irresistible
Maddie Moore is at a crossroads in her life. She’s lost her job, ditched her jerk of a boyfriend, and isn’t in the best financial condition. With nothing left for her in L.A., Maddie heads to the small town of Lucky Harbor, Washington, to check out an inheritance left to her and her two half-sisters by their mother. What she finds is a run-down inn and two siblings who are nearly strangers to her. Maddie, the middle sister, has always been known as “the Mouse.” But Maddie wants to make a go of restoring and running the inn, which means she has to find her voice and convince her sisters to at least consider a trial period. It also means that the inn needs some serious work done on it. Maddie gets more than she bargains for when she hires contractor Jax Cullen. Jax turns Maddie on like no other man has, but with her life in chaos and her decision to stay in Lucky Harbor in peril, is Maddie really ready to take a chance on falling in love with Jax?

There are some stories that make you smile and give you a warm, cozy feeling reading them. Simply Irresistible is that kind of book. Jill Shalvis has delivered one of the most delightful books I’ve read in a long time. I loved everything about the aptly-titled Simply Irresistible.

Maddie, Tara, and Chloe are three half-sisters who seem to have nothing in common except one free-spirited, now-deceased mother. They’re virtual strangers at the beginning of Simply Irresistible, and part of the charm of the story is watching them start to become a family. I adored Maddie’s kindness and humor, Tara’s surliness and veiled caring, and Chloe’s zest for life and outrageous comments. In Simply Irresistible, Maddie also finds herself and her personal journey could have made the book fantastic on its own. However, what sends Simply Irresistible over the top into favorite book material is the romance. I loved Jax and Maddie together. Jax is the kind of guy I curse Ms. Shalvis for creating because I want one of him to show up on my doorstep (tool belt optional). Maddie and Jax hit it off from the start – almost literally since Maddie nearly runs Jax over – and the two of them make Simply Irresistible sparkle.

Simply Irresistible is one of the most entertaining books I’ve read this year and it’s got an honored spot on my keeper shelf. I finished Simply Irresistible one happy reader and I dove right into the second Lucky Harbor novel, The Sweetest Thing.

The Sweetest Thing
On the surface, Tara Daniels may have it all together, but being back in Lucky Harbor – the place where she made one hell of a mistake as a teenager – keeps her frequently on edge. As does sexy sailor Ford Walker. All Tara wants to do is get the inn she co-owns with her sisters up and running while she puts her life back together. She doesn’t have time for Ford or the feelings he evokes within her. Too bad her body and heart have no interest in following Tara’s plan. To make matters even more complicated, Tara’s sexy ex-husband shows up in Lucky Harbor, determined to win her back. The past is catching up with Tara and with two gorgeous men also in pursuit, life in the small town of Lucky Harbor is about to get very, very interesting.

Love lost and found is the name of the game in The Sweetest Thing. The second installment in Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor alternately sizzles with sexual tension and tugs on your heartstrings. Tara and Ford have each been through things in life that have marked them forever. Though I won’t spoil what those events were, there are times that The Sweetest Thing brought tears to my eyes – tears of both joy and sadness. Tara and Ford both show only parts of themselves to the world and as I read The Sweetest Thing, I delighted in uncovering the layers of their personalities. Ms. Shalvis had me rooting for these two to get together, but she didn’t make the journey easy on Tara and Ford. Their road to happily ever after was filled with bumps, but the obstacles that had to be overcome made the end result that much sweeter.

A brilliant supporting cast of characters rounds out The Sweetest Thing, further bringing Ms. Shalvis’s world of Lucky Harbor, Washington to life. I can’t express how much I adored everyone in The Sweetest Thing, but the fact that I began reading the third Lucky Harbor novel, Head Over Heels, as soon as I finished Ford and Tara’s book should indicate how much I love this series.

Christmas in Lucky Harbor is an omnibus containing the first two Lucky Harbor books. While both books can be read as standalone stories, the Lucky Harbor series is simply too good for readers to miss out on a single novel. I practically devoured Christmas in Lucky Harbor and I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy contemporary romance.

Now, when can I move to Lucky Harbor?


Jill Shalvis said...

AW, thanks for a really great review!