Review: Always on My Mind by Jill Shalvis

20131021-222044.jpg Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor line of romance novels win my heart every time, and Always on My Mind doesn’t disappoint. As a matter of fact, Shalvis threw in some crime/suspense as a bonus, and I loved it!

Leah and Jack have had a thing for each other FOR-EVER. Due to guilt and work issues and being too chicken to “risk their friendship,” they’re not honest with each other about their true feelings. Enter the “let’s pretend” concept that eventually morphs into a very real happily ever after.

I liked Shalvis’ authentic “guy” scenes where the firefighters are busting chops and being competitive — but always having each others’ backs when needed. The scenes with female friends having girl talk didn’t seem as natural, but were still fun to read.

Jack is of course the hero in this novel, but before he can save Leah from herself, they both have to figure out who is committing some local crimes. Jack and Leah have the help of some local amateur sleuths, and I was entertained by their capers.

Shalvis gives us enjoyable subplots – a grandmother and a middle-aged mom each embark on budding romances, a bakery and other small-town businesses evolve, and Jack and Leah’s friends are set up for what I hope will be the next installment of a Lucky Harbor love story.

Always light and fun, Lucky Harbor romances include likable characters and loyal friendships. Four big shiny stars for Always on My Mind!

–Calliope

Buy it now Always on My Mind

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Review: It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis

imageAli Winters is having a rough day. She discovers that her boyfriend is cheating. Said boyfriend dumps her before she can dump him. She was living with her now ex-boyfriend, who didn’t renew the lease on the house, which now leaves her homeless.

Luke Hanover is not having a good day himself. He was in charge of the investigation of multiple murders, with the prime suspect being a prominent senator. The case ended with the death of the senator’s aide and the senator killing himself. Luke is using all of his vacation time to return home to Lucky Harbor and to be left alone.

Unfortunately, Ali is still at his house when he goes home. Feeling bad for her situation, he allows her to stay. Soon, he is helping her investigate who stole the 50K that Ali is accused of stealing. Also, he is dragged into investigating smaller crimes that his grandpa’s friends need help solving.

It is always fun to visit the small but lively town of Lucky Harbor. I enjoyed watching Ali and Luke circle each other and eventually give in to their lust. I liked seeing that lust develop into something more. Ali and Luke both have some baggage involving their families that they must overcome.

The outcome of the books in this sweet, funny and sometimes sexy series is always predictable but thoroughly enjoyable to read. There is sequel bait with Luke’s two friends, Jack, the firefighter and the mysterious, unseen, military man, Ben. I look forward to their stories and revisiting Lucky Harbor.

This is the 7th book in the Lucky Harbor series but it can definitely be read as a standalone. It’s a great entry to the series because it’s the start of a trilogy within the series. The next book features Jack and Ali’s friend, Leah.

ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley.

~Thalia

Buy It Now It Had to Be You (Lucky Harbor)