Leah Sullivan has spent her whole life running and feeling like she is not good enough. Growing up with an abusive father did a real number on her psyche and she has never gotten over the things he said to her. She is back in Lucky Harbor running her grandmother’s bakery while she recovers from knee surgery and trying not to think about her recent stint on the show Sweet Wars. Unfortunately, the whole town is watching Sweet Wars eagerly awaiting the final outcome.
The one person that has always been there for her was Jack Harper. He has been her best friend since she was young. There might have been a time where they could have been more but Leah blew that by running, the thing she is best at. Since then they have kept those feeling buried deep until now when Leah steps in it. Trying to make Jack’s mom feel better she blurts out that they are dating. Nothing could be further from the truth but Jack agrees to keep up the pretense because he sees how happy his mom is.
Now Jack and Leah are stuck together and Jack has made it clear how much he really isn’t happy about the arrangement. For someone who is supposed to be Leah’s bff, Jack doesn’t seem to like her. In fact, there are several times where Leah comments that she is sorry he has to pretend to like her. That part was so confusing to me, they are said to have these long denied feelings but I didn’t ever get that vibe from Jack. If anything, he seemed annoyed most of the time and then pacified when sex was brought into the equation.
There is some of Ms. Shalvis’ trademark humor….
“So now you owe him.”
Leah quivered at the thought but brushed that aside. “I’m not going to sleep with Jack. I was just trying to do him a damn favor.”
“Oh, I doubt there will be any sleeping involved,” Aubrey said. “Danica was quite clear. she said she gives great date three. My guess is that it’s at least oral. Maybe even the biggie.”
“Butt stuff,” Aubrey said in a dramatic stage whisper.
…and an adorable dog named Kevin. Without those two things I would have considered stopping around the midway point. There was a little something lacking, something different from what we got from those first two trilogies in Lucky Harbor. It is kind of sad when I get excited to have Sawyer give Jack a ticket.
The last quarter of the book changed and that was because we finally saw Jack make up his mind. He made a firm decision and went forward with it instead of constantly bemoaning the fact that, though every woman in town seem to be throwing themselves at him, he couldn’t do anything about it. Really, how many women were going to rub in the fact that Leah had taken him off the market and he was not happy about it? So many times Jack would think about the feelings he had for Leah but they sure were buried underneath a bunch of thinking with his little head.
Another reason I read to the end was to find out how Leah came out in the Sweet Wars competition and then everyone’s reaction to that episode. I don’t want to spoil it but when that times does come I was fully involved in the book. Any reticence I had with the beginning had melted away.
Lucky Harbor is one of my favorite romantic contemporary series and Always On My Mind was a good installment. If you like this series then I think you will also enjoy this one. It wasn’t my favorite but I do have high hopes for the final book in this trilogy. Audrey is hysterically mean and Ben is a hot stuff badass and I think they will go well together. Final grade- B
“How can you fall for the person who knows you better than anyone else?”
“The question is,” Aubrey said just as quietly, “how can you not?”