Feb 21, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor #1)

Contemporary Romance
September 25 2010
Mass Market Paperback
311 pages
Forever Books

Yummy Man – Jax Cullen
Kick Ass Chick – Maddie Moore

From Goodreads –
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.


Those of you who follow my blog may have noticed that I read mostly Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance titles.  I love love love them but after reading quite a few in a row, I sometimes start to feel a little ‘heavy’ because let’s face it, titles in these genres tend to be intense in their stories, involved in their characters and dark in their themes.  That is why I sometimes look for a contemporary romance book to read.  Contemporary romances tend to snap me right out of my UF/PNR gloom – as long as they have all the elements I adore in a modern romance story.  For a contemporary romance to really work for me it must be fun, funny, sweet, sexy and cute.

Simply Irresistible is the first book in Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series and it is just darling and fits each one of my criteria.  I won’t bother going into what the book is about since the Goodreads summary pretty much says it all so let’s just get right into the characters.

Maddie I loved.  Quirky, smart, funny… there were times I saw me in her.  And not in her most flattering moments.  *g* I could go on and on about everything I liked about her but I think it would take up the entire review.  How she meets Jax was so funny and suited her perfectly.  That right there was the hint of things to come from her and from this story.  Really great.

Jax I loved.  (Do you see a theme building here?)  Used to be a lawyer and now is the handy-man/town hunk/overall great guy.  To me he was the perfect contemporary romance hero.  He was sweet and smart and funny and…  Apparently this is another character I could just go on and on about, so I’ll stop here.  Jax and Maddie make an amazing couple though.  They are both warm and giving and loving people and they really deserve each other.

Maddie’s sisters, Tara and Chloe, were in this book just enough to make me want to know more about them.  I didn’t love reading their disagreements but they were all part of their characters and it made them all coming together to reach their common goal all the more sweet.  Actually, thinking back, I really want to know more about them.  There is one thing in particular about Tara and this guy in town and all this animosity between them and…  I am pretty sure I have that all figured out but I am going to have to wait until the next book to know for sure because The Sweetest Thing is Tara’s book.

Jax’s friends, Ford and Sawyer, were fun too.  You didn’t see much of Sawyer but we did see quite a bit of Ford and he was a hoot!

I loved this book.  Everything about it was just charming and lovely and sweet and sexy…and yeah.  It was a wonderful contemporary romance read and it absolutely helped clear my head and my heart from the guns and paranormal creatures and world-changing situations that fuddle my head sometimes and replaced it with sunshine and rainbows.  The story was good and the pacing was good too.   Honestly, I can’t think of anything truly horrible about this book.  It made me want to keep reading, it made me smile, it made me giggle and it made me swoon.  The setting was great, the story was great, Maddie was great, Jax was great, the supporting characters were great…just great great great.  I will definitely be recommending this one to others with gusto and will be devouring the other books in the series as soon as I have the chance.

5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

Um…I was too busy giggling while reading this book I didn’t take the time to write any of the quotes down.

Books in the Lucky Harbor series –
Simply Irresistible
The Sweetest Thing
Head Over Heels
Lucky in Love (May 2012)
At Last (June 2012)
Forever and a Day (August 2012)

  1. Great review, Julie!

  2. YAY Julie, you got to read it. I told you this series ROCKS =) Great review!! I love your I was too busy giggling! I cannot wait until you read the rest of the series, they are all wonderful.

    Jill Shalvis’ is an auto buy for me and I’ve not been disappointed with any of her books!

  3. I love Jill’s book and especially her Lucky Harbor books…

  4. Lol 🙂 Well sometimes the giggling takes over and the quotes disappear in a haze of giggles 🙂

  5. This is a great series. I haven’t read Simply Irresistible, but I’ve read The Sweetest Thing and I just finished Head Over Heels last night. I’m so glad the series is getting extended. I’m a sucker for contemporaries that feature siblings.
    I agree that sometimes a person needs a palate cleanser after a bunch of heavy UFs and Paranormals. I usually head to contemporaries for that reason but I can’t read too many in a row because some of them tend to be so low in conflict, which I can only handle in small doses before getting bored. I think Jill Shalvis balances the easy comfort of small town contemporaries with just enough conflict to keep me really interested. Her humour really works for me, too. It’s not over the top but I do laugh out loud every once in a while.

  6. Christi – You were so right about this series!

    Didi – You too were so right about this series. lol

    Kathleen – This was my first book by her and I really enjoyed her voice. 🙂

    blodeuedd – Yes, the darned giggles… 😉

    Sara O – I’m about to start Head Over Heals tonight. Can’t wait. 🙂

  7. Great review Julie, and I do agree, you sometimes need a break from the paranormal genre. I switch between historical romances and cozy mysteries, and very rarely a “straight” contemporary (meaning without murder and mayhem). Still, this series does appeal to me.

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