Always on my Mind by Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor #8)
Released: September 24, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
We meet Jack in the previous book and I already knew I would fall for him. Jack is a firefighter with a mom battling breast cancer. His dad died years ago as a firefighter, and that devastated his mother. She fell apart and has never fully recovered. While Jack is a good-natured guy, he works hard – really hard, and never fully commits in relationships. He has been friends with Leah since school. Best friends at one time, and she still turns to him for help and advice.
Leah grew up in a house where if you were not perfect, you were not trying your best. Her father constantly drove the fact home that she had to be the best at whatever she did. Well, her passion turned to baking and she ends up on a reality baking competition. When the book starts, the shows are airing and Leah knows how far she makes it in the competition, but due to contracts, no one else is allowed to know. You can feel her tension about this as the book goes on. She is a perfectionist in all that she does. When she sees Jack’s mother not eating well and being in a depressed state, she lets a little lie slip that her and Jack are seeing each other. This makes Jack’s mom extremely happy, which was Leah’s goal. Except she didn’t think about the actual fact that she isn’t dating Jack, and how fast rumors spread in Lucky Harbor.
I always know what to expect when I read a Jill Shalvis book. Now that can either mean it leans more towards the comfort reads zone, which her books usually do. You can also take that is her books are pretty predictable. And they are. There are no big surprises. She writes very good heroes, for the most part enjoyable heroines and she does small towns pretty good. Sometimes I wish I was surprised by one of her books – something more daring or something new. They seem to be getting repetitive. But I do like her voice and I can snuggle up with her books and have fun for a few hours.
Jack is a pretty sexy guy. He is a bit of a man-slut but he is so good-natured. And Leah is a nice heroine who made me smile a bit. I didn’t love the fake relationship though. It was predictable – the entire town found out, rumors started flying and Leah and Jack start to truly fall for each other. Gasp and shock! *wink*
Another thing that overpowers this story a bit is Jack’s dog named Kevin. Kevin has a lot of page time – he is a great dane that eats everything and doesn’t have good manners. During Jack and Leah’s first kiss, Kevin takes a big poo. I get it’s suppose to be funny but it’s also kind of ewwww.
So – this was a ‘normal’ lucky harbor book. Sexy, nice, small town. If you like the previous books, you’ll like this one.
More Jill Shalvis reviews.