Thursday, June 10, 2021

Review: Love For Beginners by Jill Shalvis

Love For Beginners by Jill Shalvis
Series: Wildstone, Book 7
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance 
Love for Beginners
ISBN: 9780063025431
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

What would you change if you had to start your life—and love life—over again?

When Emma Harris wakes up from a coma she learns that her fianc√© and her BFF have fallen in love, she’s lost her job, and the life she knew is gone. Overwhelmed but grateful to be alive she starts over from scratch. Not as easy as it sounds, of course. But she’s never been a quitter, even if she wishes she could quit rehab, where her hot but evil physical therapist, Simon, puts her through the wringer.

Eager for a new beginning, Emma opens a doggy day care. Unfortunately, the only space she can afford is owned by her childhood nemesis Ali Pratt. But hey, she’s been through worse, right? She tries to roll with the punches, but a friend drops his grandpa off at the doggy day care in desperation then on top of that, she and Ali bring the term ‘frenemies’ to a whole new level. And then another grandparent shows up. And another.

In the midst of all that, Emma realizes she’s accidentally fallen for Evil PT. But the most horrifying thing of all is that Ali just might have turned into the best friend she’s ever had. And as Emma grows from the pain of her past and takes on her new path, she comes to realize that life isn’t what you’re given, it’s what you make of it.

Love for Beginners is a warm hug of a book. It’s sweet, has characters who are easy to like even though – or perhaps because – they are flawed, and all the relationships are ones you root for.

Emma survived being hit by a car, a coma, and defied the odds and learned to walk again. She’s grateful to be alive but her life has changed forever. I liked Emma’s spirit, her determination, and her sunshiny nature. She has a natural likeability but she’s also human with flaws and a bit of messiness. She’s still recovering physically and mentally and her biggest champion is her sexy physical therapist, Simon. Simon is the kind of hero who makes you swoon with his caring nature and talented hands. But Simon comes with a lot of ties and he’s spreading himself so thin in trying to keep promises to his family that he isn’t fully living. He and Emma have excellent chemistry and their romance is sweet with a hint of spice.

The third major character in this book is Alison, Emma’s high school nemesis and Simon’s cousin. Alison wears perfection like armor and she’s my favorite of the bunch. She’s an introvert and struggles to open up and make friends, which has led to her losing the man she loves. When she and Emma become unlikely business partners, it opens Alison up and helps her grow as a person. I wanted to see her find happiness and I had no doubt Jill Shalvis would provide a satisfying ending for her…after making Alison work for it, of course. All three main characters learn and grow over the course of Love for Beginners, becoming the people they’re meant to be, and their journeys are highly entertaining.

Love in all its forms plays a strong role in this book. Romantic, familial, and love between friends weaves through everything, connecting all the characters in the book. It would also be remiss of me not to mention Hog and Killer, two dogs who threaten to steal the show every time they’re on the page. The dogs are almost as important as the humans in this story and it made me smile and added another layer of warmth to this tale. All in all, I really enjoyed Love for Beginners. It’s a story of overcoming obstacles, living a full life, and opening yourself up to possibilities.

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