Reviewed: April 13, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lucky Harbor, Book 5
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Length: 314 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by Forever publisher Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group via NetGalley.
This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
Dedicated bad girl of the chocoholics, the three best friends who bonded over cake and a natural disaster weeks ago, waitress Amy Michaels came to Lucky Harbor to find the hope her grandmother once found there years ago. It had taken her six months, but she was finally searching for it in the mountains that surrounded the town, following a map and the notes from her grandmother's journal. Amy needed to find that hope. The peace her grandmother wrote of wouldn't be bad either.
She didn't want any part of that pesky third thing. Heart. That's the one that tough girl Amy wants to keep well away from her. Anything to do with her heart. She's been burned in that area too many times.
That's why she's so darn cranky when forest ranger Matt Bowers shows up to help her down from the very mountain on which she managed to get completely lost. It's not that she doesn't need his help. She so does. She just doesn't want to need it. And she definitely doesn't want him to be the one to give it to her. He's far too tempting in that damn heart department.
Matt had been circling the tricky Amy ever since she blew into town. There's just something about her that tugs at him. He's been careful, though, because her attitude screams her hands-off stance towards men in general and him in particular. That doesn't mean he can't enjoy goading her a little when she's finally in a position to need his help. Matt's biggest concern, though, isn't getting her off the mountain safely. He can do that in his sleep. It's getting the woman into his arms that's proving to be the biggest challenge.
But Amy Michaels may just be that one challenge that's worth risking everything to win.
I love this Lucky Harbor series so much, and Shalvis just keeps delivering the fun, witty, charming, sexy good reads. Her books, and this series, are even better than brain candy, they're chocolate for the heart. At Last may just be my favorite in the series to this point, and Amy and Matt are two of my favorite characters.
I think the plot of this book had a little more meat on it than its predecessor, too. Or maybe I just related to it better. I was immensely entertained by Amy's search for hope, and thought the addition of Riley's character added all sorts of nifty little elements to the read as it did its work in opening Amy up a bit more and giving her and Matt another point of connection.
And the depth and complexity awarded to both main characters, as well as the nearly perfect chemistry between them, just flat out worked for me in every way.
The friendship between the chocoholics really started to click in this book, too, and the ancillary characters had more impact on the narrative. In a lot of ways, the friendship between the three women appeals to me even more than the relationship between the three sisters in the first three books in the series, but this is the first time I can say I felt the potential for this set of three to be even more entertaining than those.
Shalvis once again secures her position as one of my go-to authors for guilt- (and calorie-) free, sexy, contemporary romance fun. There are always a few serious elements, or things that lean more towards the darker end of the spectrum to add depth and dimension to the story (Lance's cystic fibrosis still kills me), but overall her books just make me feel good as they reliably deliver their heart-warming Happily Ever Afters. This one is absolutely no exception.
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