Review: One in a Million (Lucky Harbor #12) by Jill Shalvis

IMG_0459.PNG
One in a Million is the tale of Callie and Tanner. I’m going to tell you why I’m so in love with Tanner and EVERY Lucky Harbor character I’ve ever read.

Jill Shalvis has a way of making Lucky Harbor heroes ultra-alpha with a big dose of sensitivity and adorableness. It’s a talent. A skill. A miracle even. The men have muscles and brains and businesses and big hearts and deep souls. They are perfect.

Even though Tanner is clueless or selfish or begrudging at times, he still wants what’s best for Callie… And he wants Callie. Sigh. I live for watching the guy want the girl. He’s all meeting her for coffee and bringing her doughnuts and remembering that she gave him a Valentine in high school. See? Perfection.

And Callie. Well, she doesn’t believe in love. In her wedding planning business, she has seen too many brides focus on the wedding rather than the marriage. When Callie realizes she has loved Tanner for a long, long time, she puts up her defenses, leaving Tanner wondering.

She finally caves, of course. There’s a meeting of the minds and a heart-to-heart. And grandma Lucille? She makes sure this one in a million love story is happily ever after #12. 🙂

-calliope

buy ONE IN A MILLION

Review: He’s So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11) by Jill Shalvis

IMG_9415.JPG
I said it for book #10, and I’ll say it again. I love Lucky Harbor, and Shalvis writes the best alpha men ever.

He’s So Fine tells the story of Olivia (not her real name, but hopefully no one finds out) and Cole (like McGuyver, but more sensitive and nosy and muscly and alpha).

They don’t mean to hit it off, but the electricity between them is just too much to resist. When they finally knock down some emotional walls, they might even start a real relationship… If it weren’t for Cole’s inability to trust, and Olivia’s inability to share the truth. You see how that might cause some problems!

What impressed me was that Shalvis made Cole and Olivia’s character flaws a platform for comic relief, a wonderful use of wit that endeared me to the couple instead of being annoyed with them. The two pretty much save each other from themselves, and enjoy a terrific Lucky Harbor happily ever after. Sigh. Those never get old.

One of the mainstays of the Lucky Harbor series is Lucille, resident blue-haired busybody. In this particular book, Shalvis introduces us to Olivia’s friend Callie, Lucille’s granddaughter. That introduction has got me veddy veddy interested in what might be coming up ahead in Book 12. I can’t wait!

-Calliope
buy HE’S SO FINE

Review: It’s In His Kiss (Lucky Harbor #10) by Jill Shalvis

IMG_9414.JPG
I love Lucky Harbor. The women are tough cookies even though they cry and glare and let a good kiss redeem bad behavior (well, not SO bad). Shalvis writes the best alpha men ever, EVER, and they are all different. How can there be so many smart, cocky, sensitive, charming, muscled men in one town? And all with distinct personalities and quirks and talents? I do not know, but I like it.

It’s in His Kiss is WONDERFUL. Becca moves to Lucky Harbor to get away from her wacky family, and she meets Sam. They ogle each other and work together at Sam’s boat chartering business for a while, until Becca realizes Lucky Harbor has avenues for her to use her musical talents. Meanwhile, they fall a little bit in love. And of course there’s a misunderstanding and a happily ever after.

That’s my kind of book: Relatable, likable characters; quick, smart dialogue; a forward-moving plot; characters who display authentic humor and poignant friendships; and a satisfying romance. And Shalvis further proves her writing talent by writing a series where each book can be read standing alone, yet if you read them together you enjoy nuggets of recognition and common threads. Just perfect.

I stayed up late to read this. I stayed up late to read #11. And I’ll stay up late to read #12. I can’t get enough of Lucky Harbor. 🌊☀️☔️😎💏

The subsequent books in the series will be released in September and October.

-Calliope
buy IT’S IN HIS KISS

Review: Mrs. McKeiver’s Solutions by Margaret Morgan

IMG_9361.PNG
This story set in 18th century England was such a treat! Mrs. McKeiver is the local midwife and general mother figure for the villagers. Her son doesn’t have the use of his legs and vacillates between depression and moving forward with his life.

The plot seemed secondary to the characters and setting. Basically, Mrs. McKeiver was remarrying, and her son had to figure out where to go when his mother moved. Other characters had babies, were forced to move to a different home, changed their religious inclinations, and were punished for their crimes.

I’m not big on non-fiction, so this fictional account was the perfect way for me to learn about English villages in the 1700s. The filth stands out in my mind, especially. People stank of sweat, urine, vomit, and disease. Animals stank, period. Food rotted and clothes deteriorated. Author Margaret Morgan employs Chaucer’s manner of slipping in crude bodily remarks in a matter-of-fact way… and always elicited from me a delayed but genuine laugh!

Besides the daily living outlined in the story, I was intrigued by the power that “the church” had on the villagers. Bishops, supposedly representing the Church, were totally in charge of everything, from disbursement of food and jobs to determining where people would live! Of course this autonomy led to corruption, another thread in this novel.

My only complaint is that I was rendered impatient by the rambly writing. I sometimes found myself not wanting to pick up at the next chapter because I knew it require some effort to work through all the words to get to the meat of the story. And so, Mrs. McKeiver’s Solutions was a long-winded but eye-opening, educational, amusing glimpse of a pretend village in a very real period in history.

-Calliope

buy MRS.MCKEIVER’S SOLUTIONS

Review: Summer of Love by Sophie Pembroke

20140718-115224-42744694.jpg
The nice thing about most romance novels is there’s a happily-ever-after…predictable, but appreciation-worthy.

The nice thing about Summer of Love is the unpredictable happily-ever after. Lily and her boyfriend have ups and downs, believable and authentic. And by the second to the last chapter I still wasn’t sure what was to become of Lily’s love life. And even though it was unexpected, it was happy and quite satisfying.

Sophie Pembroke wrote a terrific friendship sub-plot between Lily and Cora. They interacted like true best friends: with exasperation and candor, assertiveness and love. I really enjoyed seeing them support each others’ dreams, and encourage each other to be honest with themselves.

The guys in the story were loveable and handsome Everymen. They treated women with respect as far as they knew how, and they were honest about their feelings without being far-fetched.

Summer of Love is a great beach read or relax-after-a-long-day read. I love my British chick lit, especially when it ends with true love and a big smooch.

-Calliope

buy SUMMER OF LOVE