Reviewed: January 24, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lucky Harbor, Book 3
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 368 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by Forever publisher Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley.
This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
As the only one of three half-sisters actually raised - if you can call it that - by their footloose and free-spirited mother, Chloe Treager didn't have a traditional childhood. Since then she's spent her life living exactly as she's wanted. Irresponsible, sometimes, larcenous, occasionally, but she lives life on her own terms.
Chloe had been drawn into helping renovate, co-own, and run the Bed & Breakfast left for her and her half-sisters when their mother died, and the three women who started out as strangers have slowly grown closer in the interim, becoming tentative friends, even contentious family. More and more lately the wild child is feeling things, thinking things she's never thought or felt before. Words like home, roots, and family are taking on whole new meanings. It's both terrifying...and a little thrilling.
Women might not like to admit their age, but men don't like to act theirs. ~ Chloe Treager
Sheriff Sawyer Thompson has been the bane of her existence since she arrived in town, dogging her steps the whole way. Sexy, solid, and utterly inflexible, he's like the poster child for anti-fun. He obviously doesn't approve of her, which is fine, as she doesn't much care for him, either...even though that body of his does make her reach for her asthma inhaler whenever he's in sight. And the intensity with which he's been looking at her lately is making her wonder just how many laws she would need to break to snap his ironclad control.
Between her limitations, though, and his steely spine, any scenario between the two of them could only be a pipe dream. Right?
It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it. ~ Chloe Treager
As one of the most dependable of my go-to authors for fun, sexy contemporary romance, I've read several books by Shalvis. Not once have I been disappointed. It was no surprise that the Lucky Harbor book I had been most looking forward to was such a darn good time. I'd have been stunned if it hadn't been. There's just something about the combination of characters and story that Shalvis creates that hits my happy reader buttons just right. Sure, some books hit them harder than others, but all have entertained. With this one, she's delivered my favorite of the three sisters' books and thrilled me with the glimpse of the future installment. I'm so glad this series is continuing, because both the town and the inhabitants of Lucky Harbor are wonderfully quirky and comfortably familiar and I'm not ready to pick up stakes and leave town limits just yet.
Finally, finally happy readers get a closer look at the inner workings of former bad boy and current straight arrow Sawyer Thompson. He's a whole lotta yum wrapped up in a Sheriff's uniform. I loved his quiet intensity and his inner demons, and I was thrilled by how he struggled with his desire for the one woman who he thought was the worst woman possible for him. Solid, strong, kind, dependable, he was steel wrapped around granite imprisoning a wild, untamed passion.
And he and the wild child were perfect for each other.
They say money talks, but all mine ever says is, "good-bye, sucker." ~ Chloe Treager
Speaking of the wild child, I think it was Chloe's emotional journey and personal evolution that touched me the most deeply in this book. Her childhood was not the stuff of fairy tales and dreams. Seeing things from her side, exploring the ghosts of her past and finally understanding that being the child that their mother kept wasn't necessarily a good thing, was important in this book. It redeemed a character who came off as flighty, self involved, and irresponsible in the first book...marginally better in the second...and added a poignant depth to her character that Chloe herself would probably scoff at before acknowledging.
This book is pure Jill Shalvis romance fun. And unlike the previous book, which I felt gave too little attention to the sister relationships, this book had plenty of great scenes with Maddie, Tara, and Chloe together. I had felt there was still a lot of room for development between the three of them and I was thrilled that they were given the plot threads and page time to fully evolve and cement their bonds as sisters. Oh, and for the record, Chloe's friend Lance broke, crushed, and stomped on my heart. That poor guy just killed me. I'm praying for a fictional miracle there, I have to be honest.
My hat is once again off to Shalvis for providing such a fine bit of reading enjoyment. There seemed to be less relationship angst or heartache in this book than in the previous book, which I appreciated. There was also an ancillary suspense plot arc that was nice. Oh, and of course there was a very healthy amount of sizzling sex. It wouldn't be a Shalvis book without the sexy love scenes. Or the humor that was liberally sprinkled throughout this book. I just adored the Chloe-isms. In short, Head Over Heels is a completely feel good romance and classic Shalvis entertainment, and I can't wait for my next fix.
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