Review: It Had to Be You (Lucky Harbor, Book 7) by Jill Shalvis

it had to be youHeroine: Have you ever been broken up with by a text message? Well, Ali Winters sure has. When trying to give him a piece of her mind, she finds out her boyfriend, Teddy, has been cheating. When had they gone from being together to being roommates? Now he’s claiming she stole money from his office during a fundraising event and the whole town believes him. To top it all off, she’s about to be kicked out of her house, because the cheating louse of a boyfriend didn’t tell her the lease was up until it was too late.

Hero: Detective Lieutenant Luke Hanover returns to his hometown after a particularly nasty case with a three-ring media circus. He’s going to use the downtime to fix up his house and discovers Ali Winters naked inside. What’s going on and why is this female in his home? She’s an interloper! When she tells him what is going on, he finds himself doing the one thing he was certain he wasn’t going to do – investigate. But he can’t not help!

Review: Luke is a great alpha hero – he’s a gogetter, tough, strong, kind, and tender. He plays the role without being an overbearing blockhead in the process. Ali is also tough. For a gal that was dumped, homeless, losing a job, and about to be arrested for something she didn’t do, she kept herself pretty together. She didn’t give up even when she was feeling really down. And when it gets to be too much, Luke is there to pick her up. For two people who see the end coming before they start, they find they can’t help themselves. Then they find they are both willing to do what it takes to make it stick. Hot!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: It Had to Be You (Lucky Harbor)

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Excerpt and Giveaway: IT HAD TO BE YOU by Jill Shalvis

it had to be youAli Winters is not having a good day. Her boyfriend left her, everyone in town thinks she’s a thief, and now she’s about to be kicked out of her home. Her only shot at keeping a roof over her head and clearing her name is to beg for help from a police detective who’s as sexy as he is stern….

After a high-profile case goes wrong, Luke Hanover returns to his hometown for some peace and quiet. Instead he finds a bombshell brunette in a heap of trouble. As he helps Ali put her world back together, the pieces of Luke’s own life finally seem to fall into place. Is this the start of a sizzling fling? Or are Luke and Ali on the brink of something big in a little town called Lucky Harbor?

Excerpt:

Ali appeared. She’d showered and changed faster than any woman Luke had ever known. She was in sweats and makeup-free, wet hair piled up on top of her head, with wavy tendrils framing her face. She headed straight to the kitchen and headed back with a carton of ice cream from[1] Lance’s shop.

Luke felt a small smile play around his mouth as she ate right out of the container with a wooden spoon. Ali Winters might be down, but she wasn’t out for the count.

She scooped another big bite, and her expression finally relaxed. Until she saw the mess of the house. That wiped the smile right off her face. “Oh no. Oh Luke, I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “It’s seen worse.”

“This is true.” Jack rose off the couch. “Way worse. We were what you might call wayward teenagers.”

Jack had the same height as Luke, but more bulk to his muscle tone. Of the two of them, Jack also possessed the charm, which had gotten him out of more trouble than Luke had ever managed to get into. Jack flashed all one thousand watts of that charm at Ali now.

“Jack Harper. I’ve seen you around, but we’ve never been introduced,” he said, holding out his hand to Ali, smiling his “reassuring” smile. It was number three in his arsenal, behind his “you can’t resist me” and “I want you” smiles. “I’m the best friend, by the way. The better-looking, far more fascinating one, I should add.”

“Ali Winters,” she said, looking a little dazzled, which made Luke roll his eyes. “Nice to meet you.” She glanced at the mess again, but Luke stepped in her way.

“I’ve heard a lot about you,” Jack said.

“I’m sorry,” she said, glancing at Luke. “I can’t say the same.”

“Not surprised,” Jack said. “Luke’s not exactly a big talker.”

“No,” Ali said faintly, a slight blush coming to her cheeks. “He’s not.”

There was nothing in Ali’s tone to suggest that they’d spent some time in Luke’s truck kissing like their lives had depended on it, but Jack knew him better than anyone else on the planet. Proving it, his gaze shifted from Ali to Luke. “Also, he can never find his keys and he snores,” Jack said.

“Thanks, man,” Luke said.

Jack smiled at Ali. “Hope you’re hungry; I brought Chinese. Ben, my cousin and the third musketeer, would’ve brought a loaded pizza. He’s on government assignment right now, and I’m just superstitious enough that I won’t eat a pizza until he’s home. You need anything else?”

Clearly surprised to be asked, Ali blinked. “No, thank you.” Her voice sounded funny and gave Luke a very bad feeling.

Jack didn’t miss it either. Jack didn’t miss much. “All right, I’ll get plates,” he said very gently, waiting until he was behind her and out of her peripheral vision to send Luke a steely look.

One thing the two of them had always shared was a hatred of seeing anyone mistreated or taken advantage of. Jack loved Luke, but the message was clear—don’t hurt her more than she’s already been hurt.

When Jack vanished into the kitchen, Ali moved to the couch, head averted. There might even have been a muffled sniffle.

Oh, Christ. Luke had faced down countless gangbangers, armed felons, and drugged-up perps. He’d faced the worst humanity had to offer, but he’d never gotten the hang of dealing with a woman’s tears. Sucking it up, he sat next to her.

She stiffened.

Ignoring that, he reached for her ice cream, thinking to set it down for her, but she surprised him with an elbow to the gut.

“What the hell?”

She hugged the ice cream to her chest. “I told you not to be nice to me right now!”

“I’m not nice. I’m never nice. And Jesus, remind me to never try to separate you from your ice cream again.”

Jack reappeared, paper plates and napkins in hand as he took in the scene. “Bad time?”

“Yes,” Luke said.

“No,” Ali said, and glared at Luke.

Jack nodded in approval. “Keeping him in line. That’s good. He needs that.”

Luke shot Jack a look, which Jack ignored as he plopped down on the couch right between them. The big oaf actually bounced Ali nearly to the floor and half sat on Luke as he settled in. He took the ice cream from Ali—and didn’t get elbowed, Luke couldn’t help but notice—and then handed out plates. They divided up the food, with Jack taking the last eggroll.

“Hey,” Luke said.

“It’d go straight to your ass,” Jack said, and popped the eggroll into his mouth. “No one wants to see that.”

Buy: It Had to Be You (Lucky Harbor)

GIVEAWAY: 1 print copy of It Had to Be You is up for grabs. Open to US readers. Enter by leaving a comment! Ends 5/27/2013.

Audio Review: Animal Magnetism (Animal Magnetism Series, Book 1) by Jill Shalvis

animal magnetism jill shavisReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Read by Karen White

Brady Miller is at a 7-Eleven getting breakfast and a coffee. The clerk sounds like a typical young lady who has other things she wants to do than to work behind a counter. It’s a Saturday in June in Idaho. Brady is a pilot for hire and he’s on his way through Sunshine. He’s there to do a favor for Dell and Adam.

Lilah Young rear-ended Brady’s truck. She’s the owner of a Kennel. In the jeep with her are two puppies, one mallard, and a potbelly piglet. One funny thing about audiobooks is when the reader makes animal sounds. I haven’t heard an audiobook in a long time and would have thought that audiobooks would have evolved by now.

Brady’s concerned about Lilah after the accident and it was funny to hear Karen let us know that Abigail, the duck, is trying to escape. One good thing about the accident is that Lilah has found things that were previously lost. Since her jeep is incapacitated, Brady is giving them all a ride. She admits that her secret love of chocolate – a lady after my own heart.

I found as I listen to Karen read that it made me very relaxed. Which can be a good thing – you can sit back and just imagine everything that she’s reading. And a bad thing – I kept falling asleep. No offense to Karen but I just wasn’t impressed with her reading this book. As I stated before, after all this time I would think that audiobooks would have evolved. She didn’t do anything for me while reading the male parts.

Brady and Lilah’s connection happens quickly. He takes her home and the kissing has already started. This is nice for our couple but in listening to Karen read, I just didn’t really feel the connection. I would have loved to have this been a “duet” – Karen reads the female part and an actor reads the male part. A woman just doesn’t have the voice to read the deep parts that a male can. There is swearing that goes on in this story as well. When a woman reads it, it’s just not the same.

My favorite quote is when Lilah describes Brady, Dell, and Adam. She calls them “Three magnificent peas in a pod”. Jill also has me wanting to know more about the receptionist Jade. I was glad to find out that Jade’s story is book two in the “Animal Magnetism” series. Jade’s book is called “Animal Attraction” and it came out in October.

I could go on and on about this audiobook but I don’t want to spoil your listening experience. I personally, would prefer to read the book. It was just too hard for me to picture Brady, Dell, or Adam with Karen speaking the part. An upside to this experience was that I enjoyed it a lot more when I was at the beach. So, if you’re going to the beach this summer this may be an option for you.

This audiobook has nine disks and it is 10.5 hours long. Because of my problem of constantly falling asleep, I limited myself to listening to only two disks a day. I’m not giving up on audiobooks, I will give another one a try. As far as Jill’s series go, I want to finish reading this series. My rating was for the audiobook and not the book itself. At some point I will go back and read the book.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Animal Magnetism

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Review: Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis

guestreview

By: Cara Lynn, guest reviewer

I was visiting friends, and this book was sitting on the coffee table. In spare moments I picked it up to read. I had not heard of the author before, yet the book jacket intrigued me, telling that Jill Shalvis’ books are well received and making the story seem interesting.

The plot revolves around two people each suffering their own hurts and in need of each other, though they don’t know it. Katie Kramer was in a horrific auto accident, the only survivor of a bridge collapse, and has flashbacks nightly in her dreams. Cameron Wilder, in a moment’s lack of attention because he was thinking of his girlfriend’s cheating, suffers an injury that ends his career as a snowboarder.

Katie feels she must make changes in her life and begin to live life as if it were an adventure, for she knows only too well how quickly it could end. She takes a temporary job in the Sierras for an outdoor adventure business, Wilder Adventures and Expeditions. She has no intention of staying, but plans to move on to her next adventure. Cam shows up in the middle of the night, after being estranged from friends and family, suffering pain, both mental and physical, and finds her in his bed.

And so it begins.

She gets under his skin. She knows just the right way to get past his defenses, learning slowly of his accident and what makes him tick. He’s never cared to explain himself to anyone before, not even his family.

Along the way, there is an assorted cast of other characters, including his brother and his aunt — and his ex-gf. There is both humor and poignancy in the book, and very, very good (and believable) sex scenes as the two fall in love and decide where their lives will go from here.

Perhaps they offer each other both salvation and adventure that will last a lifetime.

I’m going to read another of her books.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Instant Attraction

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