by Jill Shalvis
Paperback: 336 pages
Available: September 28, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Romance
In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.
Maddie Moore lost her job, dumped her abusive and jerk of an ex and is ready for a new beginning and some luck. What better place for that than Lucky Harbor, where she’s inherited a third of a property called Lucky Harbor Resort. Her two half-sisters, Tara and Chloe, inherited the other two thirds. Their inheritance turns out to be a run-down inn in dire need of renovation.
Maddie wants to stay in Lucky Harbor and build a life for herself while her sisters want to renovate, sell and get the hell out of Dodge. When looking for a contractor to renovate the resort Maddie crosses paths with the hot biker she almost ran off the road when she was driving into town and it turns out that the biker, Jax Cullen, is the perfect man for the job. Maddie has sworn off men but she didn’t count on Jax to throw a wrench in that resolve with his sexy self and his hot kisses.
Maddie is a clumsy city girl and a typical middle sister, always the mediator and approval seeker. She’s sweet, smart, resilient and a compulsive organizer and list maker. Of the three sisters she’s dubbed “the mouse” but she’s determined to shed that moniker by sticking up for what she wants and sticking to her plan to revive the resort. She’s also yearning to belong, for somewhere to plant her roots and for a family who wants her as much as she wants them.
Jax Cullen, defense attorney-turned-contractor, is always trying to take care of people in trouble. He’s gentle, easy-going and caring and he’s hot! Especially when he dons his tool belt. But Jax is a lot more than meets the eye. What Maddie gets is definitely more than what she sees. Jax is very yummy and fits right in with all the other Jill Shalvis heroes I’ve read. He’s sweet yet commanding with bad boy looks and a heart of gold.
There were plenty intriguing secondary characters and some are worth more than a brief mention: Maddie’s sisters. Tara is the eldest sister, dubbed “the steel magnolia” and she lives up to that nickname. She’s a bitchy know-it-all with interesting secrets. Chloe is the youngest sister, appropriately dubbed “the wild child, she a free spirit and an adventure seeker who just blabs out just about anything that comes to her mind, appropriate or not. She’s sarcastic and a daredevil and she and Tara are like oil and water.
I suspected the other books in this trilogy will be about the respective sisters and the excerpt in the back of SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE at least confirmed that the next book is about Tara and a certain secondary character I won’t mention for fear of spoiling something that is important in Maddie and Jax’ relationship. I do have to say this next book is very cleverly set up in the first book. Without giving away too much yet still giving you enough, Jill Shalvis entices you to want to know more about the next couple and I’m also already speculating about who she’ll pair Chloe with.
I loved the sisterly banter and dynamic between the women. It was a welcome change to the male banter I’ve read recently, although Jax and his buddies Ford and Sawyer had some nice banter going on that I enjoyed as well. I also loved the humor in this book. I’m a sucker for humor in romance novels and Jill Shalvis delivers on it every time. Not only did she do it this time with the funny quotes at the start of every chapter but also Maddie’s clumsy way and the sisterly antics definitely contributed to the fun vibe this book had, next to the emotional impact. It took me a few chapters to get into the story but once I did it was smooth-sailing all the way to the last page. Maddie was awesome and Jax was to die for. They carried this character-driven story wonderfully together with the secondary characters, both the walk-ons and the important ones.
This is the third series by Jill Shalvis I’ve embarked upon and it’s another hit for me. Though the set-up is different from her Wilder Adventures series or her Pacific Heat series, the writing is just as excellent. It’s filled with humor, sensual chemistry and wonderful characters. I didn’t think she could top the Wilder Adventure trilogy or the 2 current books in the Pacific Heat series but she has definitely proved me wrong with this first book in the Lucky Harbor Trilogy. I laughed, I sniffed, I got tingly and I thoroughly enjoyed this feel good book that seeps into your pores slow and easy but with the aim of a heat-seeking missile. Jill Shalvis keeps you engaged and entertained from chapter to chapter and before you know it you’re at the end of another great contemporary romance, craving the next in the series!
Unlike last night’s tender kisses, this was a little demanding, and a whole lot wild, and when he slid a thigh between hers, she lost the ability to think.
Last night, he’d been seeking permission. Not this time. This time he buried his fingers into her hair and claimed her mouth, pulling her even closer, a hand caressing down her back as if to soothe as well as incite, claiming another little piece of her heart in the process.
She’d tell him so, but her tongue was a little busy.
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