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New Release: He’s So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11) by Jill Shalvis *Review, Excerpt and 2 Giveaways*

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He’s So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11)
by Jill Shalvis

A Contemporary Romance
From Grand Central Publishing
Released September 30, 2014

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For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It’s the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she’s rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she’s ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to “save” him. In fact, he’d like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He’s just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole’s heart, or will it be the end of Olivia’s days in little Lucky Harbor?

 

He's So Fine

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Review

5-stars

We met Olivia in the previous Lucky Harbor installment, It’s in His Kiss, when she moved next door to Becca.

She was guarded and as soon as she stepped into the scene I was curious to know her story. Having two other Lucky Harbor bachelors that she could be paired with made for some interesting assumptions on my part. Would it be the mysterious Tanner or the laid-back Cole? Either way I knew it would be an interesting story since both men exhibited intriguing personalities.

Cole surprised me from the very beginning. I had thought of him as a more laid back member of the pack of bachelors who owned the their own boat chartering business. But leave it to Jill Shalvis to give him a sensitive heart and a caring nature. I loved him! He was funny, charming and when he cared he felt deeply. What’s not to love?!

Olivia was an great character in her own right. Although troubled about her past and preoccupied in guarding her secret, she cared for hew new-found friends and also had a great heart. Which was was led her to ‘meet’ Cole. Sure they had met in passing and she had admired him from afar, but it wasn’t until they ended up tangled in a mess of wet limbs that they truly took notice of one another.

I have to say that first scene alone was epic! I laughed out loud, snorting Diet Coke all over my tablet. Jill Shalvis always finds a way to make even the most complicated and embarrassing moments fun and memorable.

Do I even need to tell you about their chemistry? Pffft! As if the author would write it any different. These two shared some sizzling moments by just looking at each other or being in each other’s presence. So you can imagine how hot their encounters came to be when they gave into their physical attraction. And when their emotions came into play? Fantastic!

However, my favorite moments where those where they opened themselves to the other. Cole and Olivia were guarded and kept most people at bay, but the connection they had couldn’t be set aside. They were drawn to each other and whenever they interacted that connection strengthened and grew. It was a treat to see how, slowly but surely, they came to rely on each other for comfort. And it was just as frustrating and sad to see how they tried so hard to keep their feelings at bay.

I also enjoyed seeing Sam, Becca and Tanner again in addition to meeting Cole’s family. Each of these characters added something to the story or helped to reveal another side of the main characters that we had not gotten to see. Especially Cole’s. Of course, this wouldn’t be a Lucky Harbor story if Lucille weren’t there keeping tabs on everybody. Once again I enjoyed her presence and the light moments she brought to the story.

All in all, a sweet yet hot little read. Another great addition to the Lucky Harbor series–I can’t wait for Tanner’s story now!

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

 

Excerpt

“Dry off,” Cole said, and stepped back from Olivia.

She nodded but didn’t move.

“Olivia?” he asked.

Her face was a mask of misery. “M­m­my arms won’t w­w­work.”

Shit. He quickly and gently pushed her back down to the bench, sat at her side, and began to pile blankets over the top of them both.

“W­what are you d­doing?”

“Sharing my body heat,” he said.

“I c­c­can’t feel any h­h­heat.”

“You will.” Beneath the blankets, he reached for the towel she still had wrapped around her. “Don’t freak,” he warned. “I’m just going to remove the wet towel and pull you into me.”

She opened her mouth, but using her sluggishness to his benefit, Cole quicklystripped the towel away from her, wrapping his arms around her, pulling her into him as two things happened simultaneously. One, she squeaked. Probably trying to formulate her next threat.

And two—holy shit—he realized she was completely, totally, one hundred percent naked beneath the layer of blankets.

And pissed. “Y­y­your pants!” she gasped. “Th­th­they’re c­c­cold!”

“Sorry, but I’m trying to do the right thing here,” he said through clenched teeth. Jesus. He couldn’t see a thing below her neck, but he could sure as hell feel her. His hands were on her hip and low on her back, respectively, not touching anything he shouldn’t be, but damn she was soft, and at the feel of her, his brain clicked off. Just completely flatlined.

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About the Author

JillShalvis

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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My Reviews:

New Release: It’s in His Kiss (Lucky Harbor #10) by Jill Shalvis *Review*

It's in His Kiss Book Cover It's in His Kiss
Lucky Harbor, #10
by Jill Shalvis
Contemporary
Grand Central Publishing
August 26th 2014
e-ARC
Netgalley

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ONE KISS CAN LAST FOREVER
Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now’s her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam’s eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can’t resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca’s heart?

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Review

After years of being under her family’s constant scrutiny, Becca
decides to start anew in Lucky Harbor. Her first encounter with the owner of the warehouse next to her apartment leaves much to be desired, but she’s determined to make this work. In any case, despite giving her the cold shoulder, the man sure works as eye candy.
Especially since she has decided to give up men and romance for the time being.

Sam doesn’t do emotional entanglements of the any kind. He counts his childhood friends and business partners as family and that’s as far as his relationships tend to go. But that doesn’t stop him from lusting after the cute, quirky woman who moves next door to his warehouse. Soon he comes to care for Becca and goes out of his way to help her–as a friend.

One thing I’ve come to expect from Jill Shalvis is the easy way she transitions the characters from friends to lovers bringing forth their emotional connection along with their chemistry in a way that’s
believable to me. Even though this story moved a bit too fast for me, I still think that Jill Shalvis did a wonderful job in establishing and developing Sam and Becca’s initial connection.

Through flirty banter, humorous dialogue and a handful of emotional moments, Sam and Becca’s romance blossomed from from that of new friends to something more. It help tremendously that she didn’t shy away in bringing Sam’s emotions to the page–both as an
individual struggling with his past and as a man conflicted over his overwhelming feelings towards Becca.

All in all, a swoon-worthy, romantic read–brooding alpha-male and all! I can’t wait to read what’s in store for the other boys. 😉

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

My Reviews:

Review: A Christmas to Remember by Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, Marilyn Pappano

A Christmas to Remember Book Cover A Christmas to Remember
Lucky Harbor #8.5
Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, Marilyn Pappano
Grand Central Publishing
December 3rd 2013
e-ARC
Netgalley

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Curl up with this heartwarming Christmas collection!

Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, ’tis the season for giving love a chance . . .

Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don’t come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .

Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who’s set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn’t mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

Plus: Excerpts from upcoming novels!

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Review

Dream a Little Dream (Lucky Harbor #8.5) by Jill Shalvis ~ 5 stars

I loved, LOVED this story!!! Then again I’m a fan of Jill Shalvis and especially her Lucky Harbor books.

Melissa is not one to commit and even though, or maybe especially because, she has developed some feelings for Ian she wants to keep her distance from him. Fate had other plans, unfortunately. After a rather dangerous turn of events Melissa admits she needs Ian in her life. Now the problem was in trying to convince him of getting together with her after she rejected him.

Through funny moments, entertaining dialogue and inner musings, Jill Shalvis brought Ian and Melissa’s connection to the page. They already had the basis of it, they just had to admit to what they were feeling and let it bloom. And bloom they did! Their chemistry jumped off the page and when they finally, FINALLY got together it was as wonderful as all the other events that took place throughout the story.

Short, but sweet with all the elements I’ve come to expect of her stories, Dream a Little Dream was my favorite of the set of stories.

Every Year (Chaos #2.5) by Kristen Ashley ~ 5 stars

I enjoyed visiting Shy and Tabby and the Chaos family, including Shy’s brother, Landon. It was good to see Shy and Tabby moving forward in their relationship, but I mostly enjoyed knowing more about Shy and Landon.

As told in Own the Wind, Shy and Landon didn’t have the greatest moments after their parents’ murder. It was touching to see how deeply their hurt was, especially over the holidays. I was especially glad to see how they made the effort to let go of the past and enjoy the moment they shared with their new-found family.

All in all, a great addition to the Chaos series with sweet, tender moments and of course some funny and lustful one’s too!

Silent Night by Hope Ramsay ~ 2 stars

I had a hard time getting through this story. Maybe is was the insta-love concept, the setting or the characters, I can’t put my finger on it. On the one hand it was sweet and ‘holiday-ish’ with its barn and the baby and Mary, which set the mood. But on the other there was the conflicting emotions of two characters that spent most of their time thinking for themselves and not communicating with each other. And if they did, it was implied which kind of turned me off the story because I had nothing to hold on to when I was looking to connect to them.

Although the story was not for me, Silent Night was still a sweet story about a man and a woman finding a chance to start anew together.

Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas by Molly Cannon ~ 3 stars

This was a fun story. I enjoyed the heroine’s humor and watching Lincoln all flustered over his attraction to her and having his stuff organized. I wish I had seem them interact a bit more, but at least their chemistry was great. Although I didn’t connect to them fully, their banter was entertaining and enough to keep me interested in the outcome of their story.

All in all, a fun holiday read.

A Family for Christmas by Marilyn Pappano ~ 4 stars

This was a nice story to read. I enjoyed learning Ilena’s story and watching her open up to new possibilities with Jared, the new doctor in town. Their interactions were fun and entertaining and their connection although not completely explored, was developed enough for me to at least believe that they had a chance at something. I would have preferred to see them interact a bit more before emotions came into play, but other than that I wouldn’t change anything about them coming together.

All in all, a heartwarming story of new beginnings for two people who were not looking for a relationship.

*I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.

Under the Mistletoe (Lucky Harbor #6.5) by Jill Shalvis

Under the Mistletoe Book Cover Under the Mistletoe
Lucky Harbor, #6.5
Jill Shalvis
Contemporary
Grand Central Publishing
December 4, 2012
e-ARC
Netgalley

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JUST ONE MORE KISS

There’s no place like home for the holidays. And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer. But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright. Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet. But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts-and asking for forgiveness.

Nick grew up without a family of his own so he’s overwhelmed by the love that Mia receives from all her relatives, gathered together to celebrate the season. Under their watchful eyes, Nick finds earning back her trust the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. If he succeeds, he will receive the greatest gift of all, Mia’s love for a lifetime.

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Review

A sweet holiday story about going after what you want, letting go of your past and moving on.

Mia is a student is New York. She is looking forward to surprising her boyfriend Nick with tickets to spend Christmas at Lucky Harbor and attend her aunt’s wedding there. She knows it’s sudden and that she may be rejected but she loves Nick and would love nothing more than to spend this time with him. Nick is a hard-working young man who is determined to make something of himself. His childhood was rough without a family of his own, so he doesn’t know what being family and how to make one work. He enjoys Mia’s company and even loves her, but he is clueless when it comes to making a deeper connection.

I enjoyed this story very much. I loved how Mia matured from when I last saw her in book 2. She has grown into a very smart, determined young woman who knows what she wants and goes for it regardless of the consequences. I admired that about her. And although I wanted to shake some sense into Nick, I could not help but understand where he was coming from. He never allowed himself to connect with anyone before Mia and when he was put on the spot his first instinct was to run.

I also liked visiting with the family. They were just as great as always and I was glad that I got a chance to see how they are getting along now. They were always a great set of characters and seeing them protecting Mia while still letting her be independent was good to see too. They all rallied around her, but didn’t interfere in her decisions and that just endeared them even more to me.

I appreciated the way Jill Shalvis went about this story. Especially the fact that Mia did not fall at Nick’s knees when he came for her. I was glad that she put him in his place and spoke honestly to him and I loved Nick’s reaction. He was determined to make it up to her and make her understand just how deep his feelings for her were and how much she meant to him. And when he did it was beautiful and it felt real.

The writing was very good. Exactly what I have come to expect from Jill Shalvis. Although this is just a short story it was full of emotions and tender moments between the main characters, which made their getting together more believable. The romance was exceptional and the feelings brought to the page added to the enjoyment of the story.

All in all, a great holiday read to remind you that it is worth fighting for what and who you love and that letting go of past demons is the only way to move forward in life.

I received this title through NetGalley and would like to thank them and Grand Central Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read and review this short story.