Early Guest Review: Rumor Has It by Jill Shalvis (Animal Magnetism #4) with bonus Q&A
Today I am introducing one of my friends to you. Some of you may recognize her thanks to her love of all things Harley Davidson or for her adoration of the television show Sons of Anarchy (especially one Charlie Hunnam). I know her thanks to her passion of books and reading. Her enthusiasm about books is infectious and it’s easy to talk reading to her for hours. I should know – we’ve done it while sitting in a Tim Horton’s in my town 🙂 I am so pleased that she has agreed to review for me once in a while. I believe she is a wonderful fit as her taste in books is almost identical to mine. Ladies and Gentlemen, give a nice warm hello to my friend Anne.
November 5 2013
Mass Market Paperback
Received from publisher
Yummy Man – Griffin Reid
Kick Ass Chick – Kate Evans
From Goodreads –
Special Ops soldier Griffin Reid doesn’t exactly have happy memories of growing up in Sunshine, Idaho. He’s only come back to recover from a war injury, and while he refuses to admit he’s in a weakened state, he finds comfort in the last person he’d expect.
Kate Evans teaches fourth grade science in Sunshine, the place she’s always called home. Dreaming of graduate school and a happily-ever-after, she’s desperate to break out of the monotony of Sunshine. Luckily, a certain sexy man has just come back into her life.
To Griffin, Kate as always been his little sister’s friend, but now he’s finding her to be so much more. As both attempt to forge their paths, they must decide if their passionate connection can turn into something lasting…
I love this book so much.
I admit I am totally biased towards Jill Shalvis and love pretty much everything she writes. However, I do my best to give an honest review and I haven’t given ALL her books 5 stars or put them all in my favorites. But this one really is top notch.
This is the fourth book in Jill Shalvis’ Animal Magnetism series. The first three books were about three foster brothers: Brady, a pilot, Dell, a veterinarian and Adam, a former military man who is now doing search and rescue. Brady is married to Lilah, who runs an animal shelter, Dell’s wife, Jade works with him in the veterinary office and Adam is with Holly who helps run her father’s ranch.
This latest book is about Griffin, who is Adam’s best friend and also Holly’s brother. This seems a natural path for the series since the last book was about them. Griffin has spent the last 12 years in Special Forces since he left home at 18. Kate is Holly’s best friend and a second grade teacher. She has also had a crush on Griffin since she was 10.
Griffin comes home to be the best man for Adam. He is struggling with an injury which has him just out of the military which further means he has to decide what he is going to do with his life now. He seems rather at loose ends, without any real plan. That’s when he runs into Kate, as she’s busy taking care of everyone but herself, and lands at his feet. And he will see her again, at the wedding (she is Holly’s maid of honor).
Kate is a science nerd which makes me so happy. She has an opportunity to go into a master’s degree program but can she leave her family who depend on her? I love her family. Her dad is struggling with the loss of his wife and with staying sober. Her sister, Ashley, is a junior in high school and has her own decisions about what to do when she graduates next year. Her brother, Tommy, is in her second grade class, also a science nerd and a budding superhero.
Holly tells Griffin to steer clear of Kate since he’ll be leaving again soon. That’s not what Kate wants, though. Griffin doesn’t know what he wants until he realizes he wants Kate. It took Griffin longer to figure things out, but he is a man, after all, plus he hasn’t had anyone take care of him, pretty much ever.
I love these characters. They are smart, strong, honest, and caring. They were able to hang onto my emotions and haul them everywhere. Neither Kate nor Griffin has had an easy or perfect life, yet each has a huge heart, almost always putting someone else first. They have both lost their mothers, which is another bonding point for them. Best of all, the humor in this book was laugh out loud awesome. And I was happy to see old friends from the series too.
The discussions Griffin and Kate have are funny, sexy and fill my heart. They talk about life, and family and sex. This book is worth reading for these intimate conversations alone, but there is so much more. Adam and Holly have a beautiful, moving wedding. Kate is amazing with her second grade class, a problem child, and her family. Griffin learns more about his family and himself. And to top it all off, the ending chapters are heart melting.
Rumor Has It was an absolute delight to read. It is a book I will read again, and again.
“She looked down at two quarters and a dime, and then into his face. She’d dreamed of that face. Fantasized about it. ‘There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar,’ she said before she could bite her tongue. Dammit. She collects Bachelor of Science degrees. She was smart. She was good at her job. She was happy.
And ridiculously male challenged…
Griffin gave a playful tug on an escaped strand of her hair. ‘You never disappoint, “he said. “Good to see you again.’”
“’Kate’” he said, his eyes heating as he clearly read her thoughts. ‘You have to stop looking at me like that.’
‘I’ll take advantage of you,’ he said, no hesitation.
This caused another tingle. She wouldn’t mind him taking advantage of her…..
‘We’re not going there, Kate.’
‘That’s not what your kisses say.’ And then before he could respond to that, she walked away.”
Books in the Animal Magnetism series –
Rescue My Heart
Rumor Has It
Then Came You (July 2014)
Bonus! If you have not read this already on another blog, check out this Q&A with Jill Shavis!
Q: Can you tell our readers a little bit about the Animal Magnetism (Sunshine, Idaho) series, and where your inspiration came from?
A: I’ve always wanted to write a series where I could incorporate cute animals. Cute animals and sexy heroes together, who can resist that. So I came up with a series about a set of wildly alpha brothers running an animal center in Sunshine, Idaho at the base of the Bitteroot Mountains.
Q: What is your favorite thing about writing this series? The sexy men, the heroines, or the animals?
A: All of the above, but okay, let me admit the truth – the combination of hot guys and adorable animals is pretty much irresistible for me.
Q: What do you think makes romance readers and the romance community so strong?
A: I think what makes the romance community so strong is that romance readers are awesome. They’re loyal and dedicated and always so willing to help support our community by talking about the books and making it okay to read whatever you want, may that be straight contemporary, romantic suspense, erotica, whatever. I love that. As far as having a strong presence, that is an accidental cause of working alone most of the days out of the year. Reaching out to romance readers and writers via social media is just a really great way to not always be alone. 🙂
Q: Are contemporaries your favorite genre to read as well as to write? If so, can you give our readers some of your favorite recommendations?
A: Yes, though I love to read everything, across all genres. Heck, I’m happy reading the back of a cereal box. But as for my recommendations in the contemporary genre, you can’t go wrong with Robyn Carr, Kristan Higgins, Carly Phillips, Susan Mallery, Lori Foster, Rachel Gibson…
Q: Do you think reading romance makes us expect more from our own romantic partners? What effect do you think romance has on those that read it?
A: We’re writing fiction. Not nonfiction. But made up stories, fantasies really. I’m not writing “How To Have A Hot Romance.” Or “How To Train Your Significant Other Into Being A Perfect Mate.” I’m writing a fictional tale. I think our readers are sharp, and are well aware and capable of knowing the difference between a pat Happily Ever After and real life. If I can provide someone with a fantasy, a little escape from her reality, then I am considering it a job well done.
Q: You write so many wonderful contemporaries, how do you keep each novel fresh and exciting?
A: Keeping it fresh is a constant battle, and I struggle with that daily. I just love writing, and this genre, and work hard to do the job so I can keep doing it and pleasing readers. Also, I find that stalking neighbors and friends, and being extremely nosy about their personal lives and conflicts is very helpful. 🙂
Q: What’s your advice for a first-time pet owner?
1. Read up on your pet, on the specific breed.
2. Be patient.
3. Be patient.
4. Be patient. 🙂
5. Oh, and if there’s training issues? Chances are it’s you, so revisit #1.
Q: The interactions shared between you and Alpha Man always entertain; what is a recent “He Said, She Said” between you and Alpha Man that we may not have heard yet?
What are you eating?
Him (mouth full):
It smells like Oreos.
Are you … eating Oreos? I thought we were out of cookies!!
There’s only four left.
I need two.
I’ll give you one.
No! You can’t eat just one cookie!!! There’s a rule!!!
Show me the book where this rule lives.
I’LL WRITE YOU THE $%#!#$!@ book, give me a second cookie and no one gets hurt!
Is it possible that you need something to go with that cookie?
I was thinking Midol…
Q: Your friendship with Kristan Higgins and your friendly battle for “Man Wars” has become infamous. Why do you two connect so well?
A: I think our chemistry translates well because it’s genuine. You can’t fake a real friendship. We connect on lots of levels, such as competing for readers (kiddin!), and because we’re both raising aliens—er, teenagers.
Q: What’s next for Jill Shalvis?
A: If you read RUMOR HAS IT, you may notice a new vet is working at Belle Haven. Dr. Wyatt Stone. He and his two sisters, Darcy and Zoe, are each going to get their own story next year. 🙂