Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Contemporary Romance Review: Christmas in Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis

Title: Christmas in Lucky Harbor (Lucky Harbor #1 & #2)
Author: Jill Shalvis
Source: Review Request
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 2 Novels and 2 Short Stories
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating:  4 - Really liked it.  Don't pass it up.
Sexual: 3 - Flames. Sexy hot with details.

Love awaits you in Lucky Harbor . . .

Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor #1)
After losing her boyfriend and her job, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim her inheritance-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. She sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if she can give the inn the makeover it needs. Enter Jax, a tall, handsome contractor who knows exactly what Maddie needs...

The Sweetest Thing (Lucky Harbor #2)
Helping her sister set up the family inn is just the thing to make Tara forget her ex-husband and focus on her new life. Until she meets a sexy, green-eyed sailor determined to keep her hot, bothered, and in his bed. When her ex reappears, Tara must confront her past and decide what she really wants.

Kissing Santa Claus (Lucky Harbor #2.5)
NASCAR driver Logan Perrish returns to Lucky Harbor, Washington, with love in his heart and a ring in his pocket. But can Sandy Jansen forget the past and give him a second chance? Or will Logan be spending another Christmas alone?

Under the Mistletoe (Lucky Harbor #6.5)
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.

My Review:
I have always loved Jill Shalvis and jumped at the chance to start her Lucky Harbor series.  This is a great book to get started in it as well since it includes books 1, 2, and 2.5 - but the final short story (#6.5) jumped way out in the future a couple years and didn't quite fit with the flow of it all.

In book one, Simply Irresistible, we meet the three sisters that kick off the series, Maddie, Chloe, and Tara.  While they may all share the same mother, they grew up very different lives and haven't really connected with each other in a very long time.  When they show up at the inn that has been left to them after their mother's death, they all have different ideas on what to do with it.  Maddie alone wants to keep it and make a new life - create a new family with her sisters.  But she will have an uphill battle in this one - as Tara and Chloe both want to sell, but they do agree to a trial run.  Enter Jax, the sure hot contractor/bartender/jack of all trades.  When the sparks fly between him and Maddie they will both need to overcome some heavy personal obstacles to make things work.  This was a wonderful introduction to Lucky Harbor, the sisters, and the many unique characters that live along side them.

In book two, The Sweetest Thing, Tara gets her spotlight with an old flame.  Tara is my favorite sister so far.  Known as the "Steel Magnolia" she prides herself in keeping her control no matter what, but when she's around Ford things never seem to stay calm at all.  Their attraction is impossible for her to resist to matter how hard she tries.  But in this case, they have a history together along with lots of baggage they've built up since the last time they saw each other.  This was a very heart-felt story and my favorite in the bundle.

The short story, Kissing Santa Claus, wraps up a few loose ends from book two, and we get to see the man not chosen find his love.  It was a cute wrap up with a very nice Christmas theme - just perfect for this time of year.  The second short story is the only one that didn't really fit for me.  It was also a Christmas story, but it happens several years in the future.  It references things that I didn't know had happened yet in between books 2 and 6.  It was cute, but hard to follow sometimes.

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