Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor #9) by Jill Shalvis *Review and Excerpt*

Once in a Lifetime Book Cover Once in a Lifetime
Lucky Harbor #9
Jill Shalvis
Contemporary
Grand Central Publishing
February 18th 2014
e-ARC
Netgalley

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SOMETIMES WRONG IS OH-SO-RIGHT

After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniel tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he’s back in his hometown and face-to-face with Aubrey Wellington, the hot-as-hell woman who is trouble with a capital T. Family and friends insist she’s not the one to ease his pain, but Aubrey sparks an intense desire that gives Ben hope for the future.

Determined to right the wrongs of her past, Aubrey is working hard to make amends. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is sexy, brooding Ben – even though he has absolutely no idea what she’s done . . .

Can this unlikely couple defy the odds and win over the little town of Lucky Harbor?

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Review

I really can’t say enough about how much I’ve enjoyed Jill Shalvis work throughout the years. And although I’ve enjoyed all of her books, the Lucky Harbor series continues to be my favorite. It may be the way she makes the characters in the small town seem real, maybe is her trademark humor or just how well she portrays the emotions and the personality of the characters to make the reader invest themselves in their relationship. Whatever it is, I love it!

This story was no different. From the complexity of the characters, the burdens they carried all through the explosive chemistry they shared, Jill Shalvis delivered a fantastic story – my favorite so far.

It’s rare for me to connect fully to a female lead character but Jill Shalvis made sure that I understood from the beginning how conflicted Aubrey really was about her situation. Her dreams and aspirations were not over the top and her fear and hesitations were well-founded. I admired the hell out of her for her determination to own  up to her mistakes and that she kept at it even when it didn’t go well. Her tenacity and strong will were some of her greatest strength just as Ben proved to be her greatest weakness.

Ben. *swoon* I love me a brooding, alpha make type with a heart of gold. I enjoyed his humor and his flirtatious ways just as much as I enjoyed his doubts and his conflicted emotions. The man was caring, loyal and all around a great guy. He thrived on being in control of his life and it was a treat to see him all conflicted over his attraction and feelings towards Aubrey. His lack of control when it came to her made for an amazing read.

Needless to say that Aubrey and Ben had chemistry. They brought the best and the worst in each other but whenever they were together in a room the sexual tension was enough to jump off the page. Every look shared, every touch experienced added to their intense connection and I devoured it all in once sitting.

 

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It was nice to see the other citizens of Lucky Harbor. Lucille is always a hoot! I want to be her when I grow up. I especially enjoyed hanging out with Ali and Leah as well as reading what Jack and Luke had to say about Ben’s situation. Mostly I enjoyed what they each added to the story and the reactions they extracted from Aubrey and Ben. Through their interactions I could glimpse a different side of Ben and Aubrey that otherwise I would have missed.

Although this is the ninth book in the series it can certainly be read as a stand alone, but your experience would be even greater if you were to pick out the other books in the series. From the town to its citizens, Lucky Harbor is a lovely place to lose yourself in.

All in all, a wonderful romantic story about making amends, letting go of your past and embracing your future.

*I received this title through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

Excerpt

“You’re incredible, Ben, you know that? You’re an insensitive, first-class jerk, and–”

He leaned in. “And what?” he asked, voice dangerously low.

“And…” Stymied at her ridiculous and constant reaction to him, Aubrey put her hands to his chest to give him another shove, but somehow got her wires crossed and she fisted his shirt instead.

“Dare me,” he said softly.

Oh, how she hated how well he knew her. “I dare you to kiss me,” she whispered, and then to make sure he did, she put her mouth on his first…

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About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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