Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jill Shalvis Lucky Harbor Series: the final three...

Jill Shalvis’ closes out her Lucky Harbor series with a the last of the single men in Lucky Harbor.  This time, Sam, Cole, Tanner are three friends that own a charter boat company, taking visitors diving, fishing, and cruising the harbor. Sam is the builder – he constructs boats, manages the company, and invests their funds to keep them afloat. Afloat – see what I did there? Anyhoo, Cole is the fix-it guy. He’s the reliable one, always ready with his tools to step in and fix what’s broken. Tanner is the diver in the bunch. He’s the one that survived an oil rig fire, and made it out just slightly scathed. All three continue to remember the one friend that didn’t make it out, Gil. 

The first book, It's in His Kiss, which is really book 10 in the Lucky Harbor series, features Sam and Becca. Becca has just relocated to Lucky Harbor to escape her family and their pressures of success. She’s a musician, but currently is writing jingles for an advertising company. She heads to Lucky Harbor and finds herself living in an old warehouse, across the street from The Hut that runs Sam’s business. While her jingle gig is bringing in some income, it’s not enough and she looks at the local ads for additional work. Sam is focused on his business, and is serious and broody. He’s not very trusting and open, likely because he had a pretty crappy childhood until Cole’s family took him in as one of their own. While his father is around, he’s not very reliable. Sam and Becca meet, and have one incredible night together. The only problem is…Becca now works for Sam. Of course, he tries the whole “We can’t date since I’m your boss” thing and Becca outsmarts him. She hires and trains his dad to take her place! The two end up dealing with family issues, and come out the other end together.  

Next is He's So Fine featuring  Cole. He’s the one that’s the carefree, fun guy that’s reliable and helps everyone around him. He’s decided he’s going to help Olivia - local vintage shop owner and neighbor to Becca. When Cole gets a bigger shock than expected while fixing the lights on his company boat, he falls overboard. Olivia witnesses this and jumps into the icy water to save him – and lands right on his head. The two exchange banter and eventually do get together, but something is looming that can tear them apart. See, she’s hiding from her past – one that was in the Hollywood spotlight as a teen star fallen from grace. She’ll have to confront her past and her family in order to move forward. 

In the final book, One in a Million, Becca and Olivia then befriend their new neighbor, Callie. She’s in town to check in on the mental health of her grandmother – who is none other than the town matchmaker and social media queen Lucille! Callie grew up in Lucky Harbor, and left after being left at the altar. Ironically, she runs a wedding website, and spends her days dealing with crazy brides and their crazier ideas. Tanner, the third of the charter men, is the former football star and had his future changed when he got a girl pregnant before graduating high school. He married her, went into the Navy to be able to support her and their son, only to have her move to Florida and send him divorce papers. Both are gun shy of relationships, except that Callie can’t get over the fact that she had a raging crush on Tanner while in high school and it’s come back full force. 

Jill is good at writing light, funny stories that have a happily ever after. Throw in strong family ties (there’s been sisters, a cousin, and good friends in the bunch), reappearances by prior people in the newer books, and some lovably wacky characters,  and you have a recipe that’s worked for her over the course of this series.  While I’m a bit sad to see this series end, I can see that as a writer she needs to leave this idyllic seaside town for other places. I’m excited to see what she releases next, as her books are my “go to” when I don’t want drama, angst, nail biting suspense, or cliffhangers. Don’t interpret that to mean her books are boring – they’re not. They’re funny, upbeat, and endearing. Go read and enjoy!  

Don't forget to connect with Lucille, er, um, Jill on social media!

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