January 19, 2012

Bibliocrack Review: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

I'm pretty sure I ran across Jill Shalvis as part of a list of recommendations for people who enjoy Kristan Higgins books. As that would very much be me, I decided to investigate the matter. And you know what? The woman has written an absolute crap ton of books! Where to start, where to start? I finally settled on the first book in the Lucky Harbor series, Simply Irresistibleas a nice little point of entry. I was encouraged by the fact that the covers and titles for this series feel like they hail from the chick lit end of the romance spectrum, and I still feel like I'm getting my feet wet, so to speak, when it comes to those genres. Several people I trust on Goodreads seemed to be keen on it, which is always a plus and an excellent indicator of where I'll fall, so hello Lucky Harbor it was. Well, I made short work of the three books currently out in this series, and I'm happily awaiting the next three on the horizon. In retrospect, I think this series is definitely a good fit for Kristan Higgins  fans, if a bit higher up on the heat scale.

Maddie Moore is on the road to the small coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington and not at all sure how she feels about it. Recently sprung from both a relationship that was demolishing her and a job that was keeping her afloat, she is understandably torn over recent developments. Breaking it off with her "boyfriend" (I use the term with extreme disdain) was the hardest thing she's ever done. Leaving L.A. was a close second. But when the news came that she (along with her two half-sisters Tara and Chloe) had inherited a moldering old inn up in Lucky Harbor when their mother passed away, Maddie thought it just might be a sign. That her life had a new direction. That perhaps she might be able to reinvent herself after all. That is if she can convince her somewhat estranged sisters that they shouldn't sell the place on the spot, pocket their thirds, and head for the hills. Fortunately, she runs into a general contractor on her way into town who might be able to help with the major rehabilitation the inn will need in order to convince her sisters it's worth their time and money spending a little more of both in Lucky Harbor than they planned. Maybe even putting down some roots and see if they take.

Cute. Very cute is the way I'd describe Simply Irresistible. Maddie and I got on right off the bat. She forms the sensible, forthright center of the trio of sisters, and she made me feel grounded while I laughed and shook my head at Tara and Chloe's respective charisma and antics. I enjoyed mapping their widely disparate histories, as Maddie and Tara both grew up with their fathers, leaving Chloe the only daughter to actually spend any time at all with their wild and inconstant mother. Sandwiched in between her livelier, more colorful half-sisters, Maddie often gets overlooked and shunted to the side. But she is definitely the heart of the girls and the story. And I was pleased to see her push her way to the fore from time to time, carve out a little place for herself, and face up to her past. With the help of a little added purpose in the form of the inn and the admiring eye of Jax Cullen. Jax is a general contractor, among other things. He has his hand in a lot of Lucky Harbor pies, a past to match Maddie's for pain, and a good eye when it comes to character. Jax and I got on just fine. Here's one of the exchanges between Maddie and Jax that, well, it made me giggle:
"Sorry," he said. "Let me drop the belt--"

"No." She held on when he would have pulled away. "Dont. I like it."

Again, he lifted her face, and he smiled. "The tool belt turns you on."

"No." She closed her eyes and thunked her forehead to his chest. "Little bit."
So basically I waltzed my way through this introduction to Jill Shalvis and ended our first encounter with a heart as light as one of Tara's muffins.

For what it's worth, after reading (and enjoying) all three books, Simply Irresistible remains my favorite. I think that's because, while I really liked Tara and Chloe, Maddie and Jax remain the ones with the kind of gravitas that works for me. It's the one that I want to have on my shelf for those nights when something cozy is in order. For what it's worth.

Reading Order
Simply Irresistible
The Sweetest Thing
Head Over Heels

Linkage
About Happy Books review
Book Binge review
Book Obsessed review
Ex Libris review
Fiction Vixen review
Gone with the Books review
Smexy Books review
Smokin' Hot Books review

13 comments:

  1. Bibliocrack? Oh dear. More to buy.

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    1. La la la la-la-la-la . . .

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  2. I have loved Jill Shalvis for... oh, a decade now? I used to read her category romances religiously. I still have one on the keeper shelf. It's about two astronauts. (And the heroine is the chief astronaut. It's phenomenal.)

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    1. Wow. A decade. That is awesome. And I will, of course, be needing the name of this phenomenal astronaut romance book thing.

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  3. SO happy you liked this book (and the other two in this series)! It was hard for me to pick my favorite...I think maybe Chloe and Sawyer's book. Sawyer totally won me over. :) And thanks for linking my review! :)

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    1. Jess, they are all absolute fun, aren't they? And I really did love Sawyer. :)

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  4. I think the comparison is a bit of a stretch but I can see how Jill Shalvis’ books can appeal to Kristan Higgins fans and vice versa.

    Simply Irresistible is by far my favorite book in the series. Maddie was my favorite sister although Chloe came as a close second.

    They are all fun, light reads, exactly what I love about contemporary romance.

    Have you read her baseball series? Those are my favorite books of hers. There are only two books in the series, which is a shame especially because there’s a character that I would love to read more about, but if you like sport romances you should go for it.

    Great post! I’m enjoying you blog a lot, I feel like I’m always the last one to find out about the best blogs! :) Keep up the good work!

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    1. I’m a writer, book lover, and your newest blog follower! My blog is Life of Lois Feel free to stop on by.

      Lois

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    2. Brie, perhaps it is a bit of a stretch. For some reason the two have a little line linking them in my mind.

      Yeah, this one is the only one I'd re-read, though I enjoyed all 3. Haven't read the baseball series yet. I'm glad to hear they're your faves, though. I wasn't sure if I wanted to dive in or not. Now you make me want to. I love sports.

      Really happy you like the blog, btw. :)

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  5. Not much into the romance or chick lit categories at all. My boyfriend made me read that famous English one made into movies--what were those called? Kind of a ruining experience for me. But my friend has been trying to get me into the chick lit end of romance for a long time now, so maybe I'll give it a shot.

    Nowhere near romance, but cute in an odd but strange way, I've been passing around My Little Ponies Massacred: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-QiODJ0aS8

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    1. Bets, your boyfriend made you read it?! That cracks me up. I would suggest dipping into the deeper end of the pool. SEEING ME NAKED by Liza Palmer? Or BACHELOR BOYS by Kate Saunders?

      Going to check out the pony massacre . . .

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  6. So glad I saw this, now that I'm totally out of Kristan Higgins books to read, I'll have to fill the void.

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