Reviewed: May 13, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lucky Harbor, Book 6
Rating: 5 Stars
Length: 324 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.
Four months in Lucky Harbor has netted banking specialist Grace Brooks two best friends and a town she adores, but it's still falling short in the career department. Though she takes as many odd jobs as she can get while she searches for one in her field, her savings account is really feeling the pinch of her extended not-quite-vacation. Surely that's the only reason she doesn't correct the delectable Dr. Josh Scott, dreamiest of the McDreamies, when he misdials a number for a dog walker and calls her instead.
She really does need the money, and honestly, how hard can walking one dog be?
Single father, town doctor, brother of a troubled young woman in a wheelchair, Josh has gotten used to wearing a lot of hats in his life, but lately the weight of all his many responsibilities is grinding him down to the bone. Coming home to deal with one more in a long string of catastrophes surrounding his son's dog Tank is just the tip of a very large iceberg. He wasn't expecting to be poleaxed by a soaking wet and distraught Grace, who was still in the ocean searching for the dog she thought she lost.
She may be the worst dog walker on the planet, but there's just something about the woman that brings Josh to his knees. She obviously needs help, and that's what Josh does, he helps...everyone but himself. But maybe, if Josh can loosen up a bit, and Grace can let go and have fun for a change, they'll both find exactly what they need, and more than they ever dreamed possible, with each other.
Okay, so maybe chocolate doesn't make the world go around, but it sure makes the trip worthwhile.
Six books into the Lucky Harbor series and I just gotta say, I want to live there. Seriously, I would totally move there if I could. Like each book in the series, the town is wacky, weird, and unrepentantly wonderful. Filled with a colorful mix of salty and spicy and sweet characters I've come to adore, Lucky Harbor is the perfect backdrop for each installment of this delightful series. And Grace and Josh's book is my favorite of the lot of them.
Feels like I keep saying that, though, with each new book. Funny how that works.
Speaking of funny, Shalvis baked a batch of giggles, snorts, and chuckles into this one. Grace was an absolute riot, and Josh was such a fabulous straight man opposite her charming blunders. I loved both of them, and the chemistry they had together was spectacular. More than just sexual chemistry, they had a genuine way of interacting that just tickled every single one of my Happy Reader buttons.
I loved how their lives slowly intertwined as the story progressed. Yes, they were totally hot for each other, and it was stellar, but equally enjoyable were the family moments, seeing Grace's influence slowly alter the whole Scott family in heartwarming ways. Josh may have been paying her, but the impact she has on his life, on the lives of his sister and son, all of it, just made me feel good.
The whole book made me feel good. I wanted to gobble Toby up every time he said "arf," and Anna was a complicated, realistic terror. Best friends Amy and Mallory were included in nice ways - not overshadowing Grace and Josh time but adding their own well-known and loved personalities to the story. Matt and Ty were there, too, as Josh's best friends. I loved revisiting them and seeing how happy they all are. It's one of my favorite things about romance series and Shalvis did an excellent job incorporating them as secondary characters. She even included - mostly by mention - the characters from the first three books. It added a layer of continuity to this one that I didn't feel as strongly in the previous two stories.
There just isn't anything that didn't work for me in this book. I thought Grace's issues with her parents and Josh's concerns with being a good father and brother added nice layers of personal conflict for both characters. The storyline evolved very naturally around them and those issues added a pleasant level of depth to their relationship.
There were a lot of different elements written into this book, some even struck more somber notes, yet it still managed to be a light, decadent, sexy romantic treat. This is exactly why Shalvis is one of my top go-to authors for feel-good romance. She writes characters that become old friends and stories that touch my heart even as they entertain my mind. She's done that in every book in this series, some to greater effect than others, but this one exceeds them all.
Grace and Josh's romance really is the hot, gooey, sinfully delicious chocolate on top of a fantastic Lucky Harbor sundae. And I truly can't wait to take another bite.
She didn't look ridiculous at all. She looked the opposite of ridiculous. In fact, she looked good enough to gobble up with a spoon. Without a spoon. He was thinking his tongue would work...
"You have more spiders?"
"No," he said without missing a beat. "No spiders."
"You said spiders," she said. "And I saw a big one in the side yard, in the sprinkler well."
"That spider went south for the winter."
"He wanted to be the first to get out of town."
Ty pointed his beer at Josh. "Want to know what I think?"
"No," Josh said.
"I think you have a case of being a little girl. Maybe you should prescribe yourself a heavy dose of man-the-fuck-up."
Unfortunately, he was a man through and through, and therefore had a penis, which meant that there'd be no reasoning with him.
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