Once in a Lifetime (by Jill Shalvis)

Contemporary Romance

It’s difficult to get past a bad reputation, and in the small town of Lucky Harbor, Aubrey has the worst reputation. Wanting to put her past behind her, she creates a list of all the people she has wronged and then sets about apologising and asking for forgiveness. But not everyone in the town is willing to forgive and forget.

Returning to Lucky Harbor after years of traveling from one war zone to the next, Ben is at loose ends. Unsure about what to do with his life he accepts a job helping Aubrey renovate an old book store. As he watches Aubrey deal with her past they grow closer and eventually fall in love. But Ben is the last name on her list, and she knows that when he finds out what she did he will walk away.

 
Jill Shalvis is something of a comfort read for me. Her books aren’t particularly challenging, there really aren’t all that many surprises but to be honest that’s why I enjoy them as much as I do. She knows what her readers wants and she delivers.

Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Forever and a Day (by Jill Shalvis)

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“Mallory nodded and toasted a cupcake to that. Then she set the cupcake down and got serious as she turned to Grace. “Honey, just promise me something.”

“What?”

“That you won’t be so driven by your past that you throw away your future.”

Forever and a Day is the sixth in Jill Shalvis’ popular Lucky Harbor series. It’s the third and final book in her 2012 trilogy and centers around Grace and Josh.

Grace has lost her way. She has spent her life trying to live up to her parents’ very high standards. After running away from a job in which she was expected to provide “other services”, she finds herself in Lucky Harbor, broke and without any prospects. On the day she arrives in Lucky Harbor she gets trapped in the Eat Me Café by a blizzard (Book 4, Lucky in Love), but as luck would have it she is trapped with Mallory and Amy. The three form a friendship which is the thread running through the three books released this year.

Grace is doing every job she can to keep the wolf from the door. She isn’t picky, she’ll do anything from delivering flowers to working as a life model. When someone calls her number asking about her dog walking services, a wrong number, she sees an opportunity to make a few more dollars. That someone turns out to be Josh, an overworked Doctor with a young son who won’t talk and a younger paraplegic sister who is angry at the world.

Despite losing the dog five minutes after it has done it’s business in the house, Grace manages to hold onto the job. Gradually she finds herself not only looking after Tank (the dog) but also providing a mother’s nurture for Toby (Josh’s son) and acting as something like an older sister to Anna (Josh’s paraplegic sister). But Josh is a very different story, Josh has his busy life, and Lucky Harbor doesn’t fit into Grace’s long term plans. Despite their chemistry a relationship doesn’t look like a good idea to either of them.

Jill Shalvis writes uplifting and optimistic contemporary romance. Her books are light enjoyable reads that will leave you feeling good. Of the three Lucky Harbor books published this year, Forever and a Day is the stand out.

Recommended for fans of Robyn Carr and Kristan Higgins.

With thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.