Monday, February 4, 2013

Jen's Thoughts: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis


Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover.In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother--a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.Starting over won't be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career--if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes--and mouth--are making it hard for her to remember that she's sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie's struggles to overcome the past, though she's about to discover that there's no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.


When my blogger friends speak, I listen. Ginger has absolutely raved about Simply Irresistible. And while I usually stick with the YAs (they make me feel young!) I can’t say I’m opposed to some good old romance. And for $1.99 on Amazon, I scooped this up like some Rocky Road.

Highlights

  • Maddie. This girl is 29 years old, so she’s a bit closer to my age bracket than the usual 17 year olds I read about. Depressing, but true. She and I could totally be friends. We could share stories of the resilience of our Hondas, share a bag of our favorite salt & vinegar chips (just kidding,  we’d have our own bags. I share with no one.) and make crotchety old lady comments over “kids these days.” Plus, she’s a pretty tough cookie. She’s been dealt a crappy hand in life, but has lost none of her spunk. I can respect that. 
  • Like a Lifetime movie, Lucky Harbor has a cozy small town feel. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone knows everything about everyone. And while I wouldn’t quite choose to live in that all-knowing fashion myself, it’s still fun and comforting to read about. The supporting characters show up frequently, so you get a chance to know and adore them. Not to mention there’s like, a million books in this series, so they’re bound to show up again. 
  • There is a strong emphasis on family and sisterhood. Guys, I do not see this enough in books. It’s all about the cute boys who sweep us off our feet, but rarely do I read about the bond of sisters. Jill Shalvis does a great job of depicting the bitch-fights, the banter, and the love amongst three sisters. I love the crap out of my sister and wouldn’t trade her for the universe, but damn it if I don’t want to backhand her sometimes. Shalvis captures all of that.
  • ADULT TIMES. Plentiful adult times with bad boy biker lawyer handyman Jax Cullen. Golf claps for the tasteful, yet steamy, sexytimes scenes.
  • Christmas. I know, I know, it’s February. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a wintry read. It is sleeting as I write this, after all.
Lowlights

  • Just like a Lifetime/Hallmark movie, Simply Irresistible tends to be a little hokey. Jax has some intriguing lines, but after awhile, I’m facepalming. Jax Cullen, who even talks like you?! He always had the perfect thing to say at the perfect time. I need flaws, please.
  • Maddie and her crazy indecision. First she was all “I’m swearing off men.” Then she’s making out. Then she’s like “no, we can’t.” And then she’s groping. Then she’s running away. I get that it’s supposed to build the intrigue, but mostly my head just threatened to explode. 

Wrapping it Up

Simply Irresistible does exact what you expect it to: leaves you with that warm, full feeling like you just finished nomming an entire box of Thin Mints, curled up in your Snuggie. And now you have crumbs everywhere and chocolate smears on your face but AIN’T NO SHAME IN YOUR GAME. We all need that feeling with our books sometimes. I’ll very likely be revisiting Lucky Harbor to read about these fun, lovable characters.
I’ve Got You Covered

Snooze. And hello, Photoshop. WHERE ARE MADDIE’S CURLS? There was such an emphasis on these curls, I feel like the girl should not have straight hair.

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