This anthology contains the first 2 books in the Lucky Harbor series. I have reviewed each book separately below but this is a series I'd highly recommend.5 stars for Simply Irresistible
I've really been on a contemporary romance kick recently so when I saw all my friends on Goodreads start raving about the 3 latest books in the Lucky Harbor series I decided I'd have to give it a try. I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone who has mentioned these books because I absolutely loved Simply Irresistible. This may be the first book I've read by Jill Shalvis but I'm already looking forward to diving into the rest of this series and I'm sure I'll be checking out the rest of her back list too.
Maddie's life has gone down the toilet, she finally found the courage to dump her abusive ex-boyfriend but an incident at work has left her unemployed and completely broke. So finding out she has inherited a third share of a resort in the tiny coastal town of Lucky Harbor has come at the perfect time. Maddie has never spent much time with her half sisters Tara and Chloe but if she can convince them to help her run the inn then perhaps she can finally have the family she has always wanted. Her sisters have other ideas though and both of them are determined to sell up as quickly as possible and get back to their lives. To get the best possible price they are going to need to give the run down inn a makeover and Maddie hopes that will give her time to convince her sisters to make a go of things. Jax, the contractor they have hired to help fix the inn, only has eyes for Maddie but she has sworn of men for good. But can she resist the hunky, leather clad, motorbike riding Jax when they are spending almost every waking moment working together?
I loved the characters in Simply Irresistible, they are so real it's like they could walk out of the pages and you can't help but feel like you've become friends with Maddie and her sisters by the end of the story. Maddie is such an easy character to relate to, she is struggling to rebuild the confidence that her ex knocked out of her and needs to find herself again. She has insecurities that I'm sure most women will be able to relate to but she wants to do something to change her life and is determined not to be a victim any more. She finds it hard to trust Jax and open up to him but he slowly chips away at her defences and she can't deny the chemistry between them.
Jax is one of the best heroes I've come across recently and I can certainly see where the book got it's title. I'd dare any woman to resist his charms - I know I wouldn't be able to! When he first steps onto the page you would be forgiven for thinking he is going to be a bad boy but he is actually a complete sweetheart. He is sexy as sin, charming, funny, smart, caring and so much more. He is a man who knows what he wants and sets out to claim it. He is protective and loving and I would love to see him get his hands on Maddie's ex! I loved the way the author doesn't gloss over Maddie's past and Jax has to work at building her trust. If you've ever seen the effects of domestic abuse you'll know that there is no instant fix and it takes time for the victim to trust again. Even though Maddie knows deep down that Jax would never hurt her she can't stop her automatic reaction to flinch if he surprises her. The romance between this couple is fantastic, it may be a slow build emotionally but the chemistry is there from the very first time they meet and they can scorch the pages with just a look between them.
As much as I loved the interaction between Maddie and Jax (and boy did I love every second that this couple spent together) I also loved the scenes with Maddie, Tara and Chloe. The three sisters couldn't be more different from each other, they are practically strangers and they constantly bicker when they're in the same room. Their antics had me laughing out loud as I was reading and I enjoyed watching them bond as they got to know each other better. Anyone with siblings will recognise the way they interact and although they can't agree on anything and are always fighting they are also very protective of each other. Simply Irresistible was a fabulous read and one I'd highly recommend to anyone. I can't wait to get started on The Sweetest ThingHarbor to see what the sisters get up to next!4 stars for The Sweetest Thing
In the second book of Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series it is Maddy's older sister Tara's turn to find love. I'm sure anyone who liked Simply Irresistible will enjoy The Sweetest Thing just as much. This series is full of humour, fantastic family dynamics, heroines who feel like your friends, heroes you're guaranteed to fall for and steamy romance. Perfect for when you want something light hearted and fun to read these are books I'd highly recommend and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.
The last place in the world that Tara ever wanted to end up living was Lucky Harbor, it brings back too many difficult memories from a bad time in her life. Memories of broken heart that took her years to recover from and events that she will never forget. But getting to know her sisters has given her the sense of family that she has longed for and with nothing to return to Texas for she has decided to take a chance on building the Inn into a business they can all be proud of. If she can just keep her ex Ford at a distance everything will be fine. But Ford doesn't want to keep away from Tara, he let her get away from him once and has always regretted it so this is the perfect opportunity to win her back - especially when the chemistry between them has only grown during the years since they saw each other last.
Tara is the bossy older sister who takes everything too seriously and has the weight of the world on her shoulders. I didn't like her that much at the beginning of the first book but as we discovered her secrets towards the end I started to connect with her more and was looking forward to her story. The more we get to know her the more I liked her, she is a lot more vulnerable than I was expecting her to be and she never got over the end of her relationship with Ford and the adoption of their daughter. Although she still believes that she did the right thing for her daughter that doesn't mean she hasn't missed her ever since.
I really loved the relationship between Ford and Tara. Ford is almost her complete opposite, he is very laid back and in general is happy to let good things come to him rather than take the effort to chase after them. But he made that mistake once where Tara is concerned and this time he is prepared to fight for what he wants. He isn't above playing dirty too - he knows Tara is attracted to him and he is more than happy to use that chemistry to pull her back into his life. I totally fell for Ford and thought he was perfect for Tara, they just worked so well together that I couldn't imagine them with anyone else. Although Tara's ex-husband Logan is also on the scene trying to win her back I didn't feel he loved her in the same unconditional way that Ford did. Logan was a nice guy but he didn't win me over and I was definitely voting for Ford.
Mia's return added a nice element to the story and it was interesting to watch the dynamics between her, Tara and Ford. I did find it was a little too predictable at times though - it seemed a bit too easy that she suddenly turned up at just the right time and I was annoyed that the fact her adoptive parents were separating was used almost as an excuse for her to want to connect to her biological parents. In spite of that it was very amusing to watch Tara trying to deal with a younger version of herself - it can't be easy to suddenly find yourself trying to act like a mother to a 17 year old!
I still love the relationship between the three sisters Tara, Maddy and Chloe. They are growing closer all the time as they get to know each other properly but can still bicker with the best of them. It was fantastic to catch up with Maddy and Jax - there were some adorable scenes between the two of them - and I can't wait to read Chloe's story. I have a feeling we are in for some real fireworks between her and Sawyer in the next book!