Review: It Had To Be You by Jill Shalvis

 It Had to Be You (Lucky Harbor #7) by Jill ShalvisIt Had To Be You is book seven in the Lucky Harbor series which is my favorite contemporary romance series.  Each time a new group of three is started in this series I have a hard time letting go of the previous books.  Book six, Forever and a Day, has been my favorite book so far.  Going into It Had To Be You, I knew it had a lot to live up to.

Ali Winters has a lot going on and most of it is not good.  She caught her boyfriend in a compromising position, lost her temporary residence, feels pretty sure her place of employment will close soon and now she is being accused of stealing a lot of money.  She isn’t sure what she plans to do but she is not the type to let life get her down.  She can solve all these problems and do it with a smile on her face.

Luke Hanover is coming off a bad case and wants peace and quiet.  When he arrives at his grandma’s house he finds Ali there.  He just happens to be the owner of her temporary home.  He had rented it out to her ex boyfriend and had no idea she was there too.  They form a tentative agreement that she can stay there if she cooks and handles reporters that are bothering him.  Luke has a thing for fixing stuff and can’t help himself from trying to fix her even if he already has too much going on in his life.

It Had To Be You is a Lucky Harbor book so we know it comes with the normal gossiping elderly crowd, a small town feel and some good connections between the hero/heroine and other people their age.  Luke is a good guy and fights the pull of Lucky Harbor.  He was raised there but has issues with letting his grandmother down so he has avoided the town for 10 years.  When he meets Ali he is drawn in by her spirit and energy.  Ali never lets anything get her down and that makes her very appealing to Luke.  He respects her strength of will and fight.  But she is just another thing that will tie him to the town when he feels that he needs to leave because his job is somewhere else.  One of the biggest fights Luke has is figuring out what he is beyond his job.  Once he does that maybe he will be able to move on to the next part of his life.

One thing that I wish could have happened is seeing Ali’s ex get a bigger comeuppance.  He was the golden boy in town but was man whoring himself around and telling everyone that him and Ali were just roommates.  He seemed to get away with anything that he wanted because he was good at raising money and was a smooth talker.  Maybe with the next book we will see what happened with him and it will be something fitting.

For some reason, each time a new group of Lucky Harbor books start, the first book in the trilogy is my least favorite.  Now I haven’t read the next two books yet, obviously, but I think of all Lucky Harbor books this was my least favorite.  I still gobbled it up but I think it was missing those little bits of humor I have come to associate with the series.  And I missed the bonding time the three men or women from each trilogy would spend together.  Luke, Jack and Ben are going to be our heroes but Ben never made an appearance.  I think that is different from how we normally start.

Overall, even if it wasn’t my favorite in the series it was still a good read.  I thoroughly enjoy Ms. Shalvis’ writing and this series.  I look forward to the next book which will be about our sexy, firefighter Jack and Leah.  Their chemistry jumped off the pages so I think it will be a good one.  Final grade- B

Favorite Quote:

Funny, Ali thought hazily some time later from flat on her back on the foyer floor, the moments that marked the most important things in a woman’s life.  For her, it’s been graduating high school, moving out of White Center, learning that she was strong no matter what happened, and….Getting busy with Luke Hanover up against the wall.

Rating: B
It Had To Be You by Jill Shalvis
May 28th 2013 by Grand Central
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  1. says

    I love this series, and I’ll read it pretty soon myself – great review, and it’s also good to know that maybe it wasn’t the best in this series – that way, I won’t expect too much. That is sometimes a problem for me; I start a new book in a series, and I expect to be totally and utterly seduced by it :)

    • says

      It seems to be a normal pattern for me to not like the first one as much but by the third I am absolutely in love. It’s weird.

  2. cheryl c. says

    I am gradually working my way through this series. Each book I have read has been really enjoyable.