Category Archives: Jill Shalvis

Review: Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis

Title: Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Wildstone Series Book One
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss

Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins.

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.

Review:

The first installment in Jill Shalvis’s new Wildstone series, Lost and Found Sisters is a spectacular story that is part women’s fiction, part romance and 100% heartwarming.

Quinn Weller has a fabulous relationship with her parents and a wonderful job she loves as a sous chef.  However, in the two years since her beloved sister Beth’s death, she has been emotionally shut down as she tries to navigate through life without her best friend by her side.  She has not been interested in anyone romantically since she stopped dating her longtime friend Brock Holbrook.  Quinn’s world is turned upside down a second time when lawyer Cliff Porter gives her stunning news that leaves her questioning everything about her life. Quinn makes a snap decision to go to Wildstone, CA in an effort to sort through her confusion.

Mick Hennessey worked hard to leave Wildstone and his controlling father behind once he graduated from high school.  With a successful career and life in San Francisco, he has only returned to his small hometown sporadically over the years. However, after his father’s unexpected death, Mick finds himself traveling back and forth between Wildstone and San Francisco as tries to help his mom deal with her loss.  He is not looking for another complication in his life when he meets Quinn, but there is an incredible amount of chemistry between them that is impossible to resist.

The surprises keep coming once Quinn visits Wildstone but she is extremely conflicted about what to do with the unexpected changes that are occurring in her life. She is understandably upset about a shocking revelation and she is extremely hurt by a lie of omission. Quinn is charmed by Wildstone but she is quite happy with her life in LA. However, she is torn by a decision she needs to make that will have far reaching implications for many other people. Her unanticpated feelings for Mick add to her confusion, but can Quinn bring herself to give up the man who is responsible for bringing her long dormant emotions (and libido) back to life?

Mick also finds himself standing at an unexpected crossroad.  He is extremely satisfied with his life in San Francisco but he is also quite dismayed to discover his hometown is slowly dying.  As he sorts through the detritus of his dad’s life, Mick is surprised by his new perspective on his childhood and a new understanding of his father.  Despite the fact he was not looking for love, Mick is comfortable with his new relationship with Quinn and he is willing to give her the time and space she needs to figure out her life. However, his patience has limits and their future together is far from certain.

Lost and Found Sisters is a breathtaking journey of healing, new beginnings and love. Jill Shalvis brings the town and its inhabitants vibrantly to life. The characters are incredibly appealing as they navigate their way through the unexpected twists and turns.  I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend this charming first installment in the Wildwood series to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Jill Shalvis, Lost and Found Sisters, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Wildstone Series, William Morrow Paperbacks, Women's Fiction

Review: Then Came You by Jill Shalvis

came youTitle: Then Came You by Jill Shalvis
Animal Magnetism Series Book Five
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rumor Has It and the Lucky Harbor series comes the story of a woman whose world is turned upside down by one night’s torrid fling…

Veterinary intern Emily can’t believe she wound up in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho, instead of the Los Angeles clinic she had always imagined. Now she has to put her plans to move to L.A. on hold for a whole year while she fulfills the obligation of her vet school scholarship.

Then Wyatt, her gorgeous one-night stand from a Reno vet conference, introduces himself as her new boss. And Emily is just as drawn to his seductive looks and quiet strength as she was on that very steamy night. She soon learns that Wyatt isn’t just a laid-back doctor, but a delicious alpha male tempting her away from her carefully laid-out plans…

The Review:

Then Came You is an absolutely delightful addition to Jill Shalvis fabulous Animal Magnetism series. It is a fun, sexy, witty and poignant romance with an incredibly charming cast of quirky but lovable characters. The small town setting and close-knit community add to its appeal and fans will enjoy catching up with favorite characters from previous installments.

Emily Stevens has a Plan, but the small town of Sunshine, ID is not on it. Neither is finding out her new boss is none other than Wyatt Stevens, the über sexy veterinarian she shared a scorching one night stand with at a vet conference a few months back. She and Wyatt agree to keep their relationship strictly professional, but ignoring their simmering passion is easier said than done and they are soon indulging in some very steamy lovemaking. Their relationship is quickly complicated by their deepening feelings for another, but will the unresolved issues from their respective pasts (and Emily’s Plan) prevent them from making their temporary arrangement permanent?

Living in Sunshine with her sister Sara, Emily is counting down the days until she can return to LA where she can have her dream job and help take care of their widowed father. She is a warm, caring and compassionate woman who pretty much says everything that pops into her head.  When it comes to Wyatt, she has absolutely no willpower and she easily gives into her desire for him. Although Emily is beginning to fall for him, her inability to deviate from her Plan is a major stumbling block between them.

Wyatt is laidback, funny, loyal and so darn charming he is almost impossible to resist. Continually moving around while growing up, the only stability in Wyatt and his sisters’ lives were the summers they spent with their grandparents in Sunshine. Now ready to put down roots, he is helping his sisters Zoe and Darcy renovate the Victorian monstrosity their grandparents left them before he begins building his house. Wyatt’s feelings for Emily run deep but he stubbornly refuses to ask her to abandon her Plan and stay in Sunshine.

Wyatt and Emily are a wonderful, if sometimes frustrating, couple. The chemistry between them is off the charts and their sex scenes are deliciously steamy. Their dialogue is amusing but somewhat superficial since neither is willing to open up about their pasts for much of the story. Although they do eventually discuss some of their emotional baggage, they are not completely honest with one another when it comes to their future.

Then Came You is another entertaining and heartwarming installment in the Animal Magnetism series. It is a fast-paced and well-written story that is realistic and engaging, but it is the cast of characters that make it such an outstanding read.  Intriguing glimpses of Darcy’s rather tempestuous encounters with AJ Colten leave me hoping that Jill Shalvis plans to bring us their story in the near future.

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Filed under Animal Magnetism Series, Berkley, Contemporary, Jill Shalvis, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Then Came You

Review: Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis

Title: Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis
Animal Magnetism Series Book Three
Publisher: Penguin Publishing
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: C+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

After a tragic stint in the National Guards, Adam Connelly returns to Idaho and to Belle Haven, the animal shelter he owns with his brothers. All Adam wants is to be alone. Then he opens the door to the past—the woman whose heart he once broke. Still gorgeous, still tough-as-nails, but this time, unusually vulnerable.

Holly learned the hard way to never depend on a man for anything. Now, of all men, it’s the last one she wants to see, and the only one she needs. Her father has gone missing in the Bitterroot Mountains and she could use someone with tracking skills to help find him.

For Holly and Adam, each with their ghosts, a trek this desperate, this unpredictable, and this intimate, will have its share of risks—including opening their hearts one more time.

The Review:

Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis is a steamy second chance at love romance between Adam Connelly and Holly Reid. Twelve years ago, Adam broke Holly’s heart after he dumped her when he joined the military. Now back in Belle Haven, Adam is the only person who takes Holly’s concerns about her missing father seriously. As they search for her father, Adam and Holly discover the red hot attraction between them burns stronger than ever.

As individuals, I really like Holly and Adam. They are fully developed characters with realistic strengths and weaknesses. Both have changed a great deal since they were teenagers but they are each fighting demons from their past and that plays a big role in their current relationship.

Holly’s heart may have been broken when Adam left her, but she did not let that keep her from falling in love again. With her rebound marriage to an older man over, Holly has returned to Belle Haven to run the business side of the family ranch. She has emerged from her failed marriage a much stronger woman who knows her mind and stands her ground against the alpha males in her life. Is Holly going to settle for the bits and pieces that Adam is willing to share with her? Or is she going to hold out for the fully committed relationship that she deserves?

Adam is the epitome of the strong, silent type. As a teen, he was rebellious and walked a fine line between the right and wrong side of the law. Knowing he would only destroy Holly’s life if they stayed together, Adam cut all ties with her when he joined the military. He returned to Belle Haven after a devastating tour in Afghanistan and he continues to suffer from PTSD. While he mostly has the PTSD under control, there are certain circumstances which triggers painful memories and sometimes crippling anxiety. While Adam is more than willing to indulge in some seriously hot sex with Holly, he must decide is he is ready for a real relationship with her.

As a couple, I found it difficult to connect with Adam and Holly. Most of the first half of Rescue My Heart is dedicated to the two day search for Holly’s dad. The story is slow moving and much of the conflict between them is internal as Adam and Holly try to work through their respective issues. They do not spend much time together outside of the bedroom and I was left wondering exactly what their relationship was based on other than their shared past and mutual passion. There are only a few interactions between them that did not involve sex, so their relationship felt rather superficial and rushed.

The supporting cast of characters is absolutely superb and I enjoyed them a great deal. Holly’s dad is a tough as nails rancher and I love how he acknowledged the changes he has observed in Holly. I already liked the gruff but caring man, but his obvious respect for Holly’s transformation totally won me over.

The other relationships that really stood out for me were those between Adam and his brothers Brady and Dell. Typical siblings in so many ways, Brady and Dell’s concern for Adam was always apparent. For the most part, they knew when to back off and when to push and they always have his best interests at heart.

Rescue My Heart is a wonderful novel about strong family ties and letting go of the past. Jill Shalvis does an excellent job with the PTSD aspect of the storyline and Adam’s struggles with the aftereffects of war are realistically portrayed. The dialogue is well-written and witty but there is also plenty of substance to this very sexy romance.

Although it is the third installment in the Animal Magnetism series, Rescue My Heart can easily be read as a standalone story. I am definitely looking forward to next book in this wonderful series.

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Filed under Animal Magnetism Series, Berkley Sensation, Contemporary, Jill Shalvis, Penguin Publishing, Rated C+, Rescue My Heart, Review, Romance