My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).
My reviews cross-posted from Wit and Sin.
Maddie Moore is at a crossroads in her life. She’s lost her job, ditched her jerk of a boyfriend, and isn’t in the best financial condition. With nothing left for her in L.A., Maddie heads to the small town of Lucky Harbor, Washington, to check out an inheritance left to her and her two half-sisters by their mother. What she finds is a run-down inn and two siblings who are nearly strangers to her. Maddie, the middle sister, has always been known as “the Mouse.” But Maddie wants to make a go of restoring and running the inn, which means she has to find her voice and convince her sisters to at least consider a trial period. It also means that the inn needs some serious work done on it. Maddie gets more than she bargains for when she hires contractor Jax Cullen. Jax turns Maddie on like no other man has, but with her life in chaos and her decision to stay in Lucky Harbor in peril, is Maddie really ready to take a chance on falling in love with Jax?
There are some stories that make you smile and give you a warm, cozy feeling reading them. Simply Irresistible is that kind of book. Jill Shalvis has delivered one of the most delightful books I’ve read in a long time. I loved everything about the aptly-titled Simply Irresistible.
Maddie, Tara, and Chloe are three half-sisters who seem to have nothing in common except one free-spirited, now-deceased mother. They’re virtual strangers at the beginning of Simply Irresistible, and part of the charm of the story is watching them start to become a family. I adored Maddie’s kindness and humor, Tara’s surliness and veiled caring, and Chloe’s zest for life and outrageous comments. In Simply Irresistible, Maddie also finds herself and her personal journey could have made the book fantastic on its own. However, what sends Simply Irresistible over the top into favorite book material is the romance. I loved Jax and Maddie together. Jax is the kind of guy I curse Ms. Shalvis for creating because I want one of him to show up on my doorstep (tool belt optional). Maddie and Jax hit it off from the start – almost literally since Maddie nearly runs Jax over – and the two of them make Simply Irresistible sparkle.
Simply Irresistible is one of the most entertaining books I’ve read this year and it’s got an honored spot on my keeper shelf. I finished Simply Irresistible one happy reader and I dove right into the second Lucky Harbor novel, The Sweetest Thing.
The Sweetest Thing
On the surface, Tara Daniels may have it all together, but being back in Lucky Harbor – the place where she made one hell of a mistake as a teenager – keeps her frequently on edge. As does sexy sailor Ford Walker. All Tara wants to do is get the inn she co-owns with her sisters up and running while she puts her life back together. She doesn’t have time for Ford or the feelings he evokes within her. Too bad her body and heart have no interest in following Tara’s plan. To make matters even more complicated, Tara’s sexy ex-husband shows up in Lucky Harbor, determined to win her back. The past is catching up with Tara and with two gorgeous men also in pursuit, life in the small town of Lucky Harbor is about to get very, very interesting.
Love lost and found is the name of the game in The Sweetest Thing. The second installment in Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor alternately sizzles with sexual tension and tugs on your heartstrings. Tara and Ford have each been through things in life that have marked them forever. Though I won’t spoil what those events were, there are times that The Sweetest Thing brought tears to my eyes – tears of both joy and sadness. Tara and Ford both show only parts of themselves to the world and as I read The Sweetest Thing, I delighted in uncovering the layers of their personalities. Ms. Shalvis had me rooting for these two to get together, but she didn’t make the journey easy on Tara and Ford. Their road to happily ever after was filled with bumps, but the obstacles that had to be overcome made the end result that much sweeter.
A brilliant supporting cast of characters rounds out The Sweetest Thing, further bringing Ms. Shalvis’s world of Lucky Harbor, Washington to life. I can’t express how much I adored everyone in The Sweetest Thing, but the fact that I began reading the third Lucky Harbor novel, Head Over Heels, as soon as I finished Ford and Tara’s book should indicate how much I love this series.
Christmas in Lucky Harbor is an omnibus containing the first two Lucky Harbor books. While both books can be read as standalone stories, the Lucky Harbor series is simply too good for readers to miss out on a single novel. I practically devoured Christmas in Lucky Harbor and I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy contemporary romance.
Now, when can I move to Lucky Harbor?
Kissing Santa Claus
I’ll admit right off the bat that I’m in love with Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor series. So when I saw that Logan Perrish – who failed to win his ex-wife’s heart back in The Sweetest Thing – was getting a story of his own, I had to read it.
“Kissing Santa Claus” is a wonderful holiday treat. Logan fell hard and fast for Sandy without even knowing it. It’s only after spending five months away from her that he realizes he can’t live without her, so he returns to Lucky Harbor, intent on proving his love to Sandy. Who can resist a sexy man willing to pull out all the stops for the woman he loves? Not me. I do wish that “Kissing Santa Claus” were a bit longer, especially since I’d have liked to read about Sandy and Logan’s initial fling. Nevertheless, “Kissing Santa Claus” is an entertaining story with a dash of Christmas cheer and a healthy dose of sensuality that will likely please Lucky Harbor fans.
Under the Mistletoe
Mia’s plan for a bright and joyful Christmas comes screeching to a halt when her boyfriend, Nick, refuses to come to Lucky Harbor and meet her family. Heartbroken, Mia travels to Lucky Harbor to lick her wounds and celebrate her aunt’s wedding. What she doesn’t expect is Nick to follow hot on her heels, begging for forgiveness.
Like Mia, Nick was given up for adoption at birth. Unlike Mia, he wasn’t adopted by loving parents and never connected with equally loving birth parents. Family, acceptance, and love are foreign to him, but he learns they’re things he wants. Now he just has to convince Mia to give him a second chance. Because for this Christmas and every holiday after, her heart, her love, is the only gift he’ll ever need.
Everyone deserves a second chance, and Nick gets his in this sweet, romantic Lucky Harbor story. Mia and Nick are young, smart, likeable protagonists who fit each other like lock and key. The similar issues they have because of their pasts might have been what initially drew them together, but Jill Shalvis clearly shows it’s not the sole reason they make such a powerful couple. Whenever Nick and Mia share a scene the chemistry between them is easy to see. I loved them together, and because I did I practically devoured Under the Mistletoe.
Under the Mistletoe can be read as a standalone, but for maximum enjoyment I recommend reading the first three Lucky Harbor books. Mia’s birth parents, aunts, and uncles are the heroines and heroes of Simply Irresistible, The Sweetest Thing, and Head Over Heels and they all play strong supporting roles in Under the Mistletoe. In addition, fans of The Sweetest Thing will recognize Carlos, Mia’s first love, as a supporting character and Ms. Shalvis gives a brief update on his love life that made me smile and want to know a bit more about the woman who captured his heart.
The only niggle I had when reading Under the Mistletoe was Mia’s wish to be “picked.” I understood her desire to be picked by someone instead of her always doing the chasing and choosing, but given that this need stems from her being given up for adoption, it bothered me a bit that she never addressed the fact that she was picked, by her adoptive parents, who clearly love her. Given that Under the Mistletoe is a Lucky Harbor story, I understand the focus on Mia’s birth family. I just wish there had been a bit more acknowledgment for Mia’s adoptive parents.
Overall, Under the Mistletoe was a delightful read that made me smile and fall in love with some of my favorite Lucky Harbor characters all over again. Under the Mistletoe is the perfect story to curl up with this winter, for Mia and Nick’s romance is simply lovely.