Lucky Harbor #1
October 1, 2010
Mass Market Paperback
After loosing her job as a production assistant and leaving her abusive dirtbag of an ex, Maddie Moore is ready for a new beginning. With the recent death of her estranged Grateful Dead loving mother, Maddie, along with her two half-sisters, inherit an inn located in the coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to start over, Maddie packs her bags and hits the road.
However, Maddie soon realizes she is facing an uphill battle. Not only does she have to figure out a way to restore the dilapidated inn, she also has to contend with establishing some sort relationship with her sisters, Tara (The Steel Magnolia) and Chloe (The Wild Child), who she last saw five years ago. But Maddie is determined to see this thing through and shed her moniker as "The Mouse" because The Lucky Harbor Resort is literally her last resort.
Help comes in the form of Jax Cullen, a master carpenter and former defense attorney who left his father's law firm several years before. After a few brief encounters between the pair, Jax finds himself very interested in the clumsy curly haired woman. When he receives a drunken call from Maddie asking him to do renovations on the inn, he jumps at the chance to be with her on a daily basis. Since Maddie is still dealing with the fallout of being in an abusive relationship, Jax is willing to take his time in convincing Maddie that she should give up all men...except him.
I thought I'd start out the new year with a nice contemporary romance full of fluff and the cover and synopsis for Simply Irresistible screams "I'm full of fluff and just a little bit of cheese." But once I read the first chapter, I was a goner. I devoured this book in one day and very rarely do I devote an entire day to just reading. Jill Shalvis takes the small town romance and turns it into one heart-warming, emotional, and just plain sexy read. I laughed, I cried, and boy, did I swoon!
Maddie is sweet, smart, and stubborn, with just enough quirks, such as being a compulsive organizer and list lover, to make her character endearing, instead of annoying. She is also the quintessential middle sister, acting as the mediator between Tara and Chloe who rarely see eye to eye. Although she constantly struggles with her self-confidence, Maddie is determined to become more assertive and stand-up for herself. I very much enjoyed seeing her transition from a timid "mouse" to a women who's not afraid to go after what she wants. The only real issue I had with Maddie is that it took her a LONG time to come to the realization that just because Jax is (or used to be) a lawyer, like her ex, doesn't mean that he'll also abuse her. Personally, I think Jill Shalvis has something against lawyers. They are trashed in this book.
And then there is Jax, sigh. He's the perfect combination of bad boy and nice guy with tons of rugged manly appeal. The chemistry between Maddie and Jax is sizzling and the love scenes are très steamy. I was actually quite surprised at the amount of heat in this book, not that I'm complaining. Jax is absolutely delicious and has officially earned a spot on my list of book boyfriends. He's the main reason I would suggest reading Simply Irresistible because you'll be missing out on some yummy literary man candy if you don't. I also have to note that about halfway through the book, it dawned on me that Jax's last name is Cullen and he lives in Washington. I don't know if Jill Shalvis did this on purpose, but I found the coincidence to be quite hilarious. I'd take Jax over that sparkly perpetual teen any day!
The cast of secondary characters are also top notch. At first, I was a tad apprehensive of Maddie's sisters because they both have strong personalities. But after the sisters become more comfortable with each other, their true selves emerge and boy, are they hilarious. The banter between all three of them had my giggling throughout the book. I especially liked Tara with her southern bell charm. And Jax's best friends, Ford and Sawyer, aren't too shabby themselves. As you can probably guess, book two and three in the series feature Maddie's sisters and Jax's friends as the main characters, but I won't tell you how they are paired because that would ruin a major plot-line in the book. Oh the suspense!
Simply Irresistible was simply a great contemporary romance and the perfect way to kickoff the new year. I had a lot of fun reading this book and I can't wait to start book two!
"She should have chosen sex. Note to self: always choose sex over physical labor!"
"If I looked like him," Tara said, "I'd want to have sex with myself. All the time."
Other books in the series:
The Sweetest Thing
Head Over Heels
Lucky in Love (June 1, 2012)
At Last (July 1, 2012)
Forever and a Day (August 1, 2012)