Series: Lucky Harbor #1
Published by Forever on 2010
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Maddie has just broken up with her boyfriend and lost her job and she’s had it. She’s ready to leave and she does — she heads to the town of Lucky Harbor, a town on the coast of Washington, and deals with the inheritance her mother left she and her half-sisters. When they arrive in Lucky Harbor, after not seeing each other for years, they find out what they have inherited is an inn that is nearly falling apart. Maddie has nothing to lose at this point and sees a new start for herself in Lucky Harbor if she could fix the inn up but her halfsisters just want to sell the inn and be done with it and get back to their lives. She knows it will be a hard sell because the inn is a mess but she tries to persuade them to be a part of this with her. When she hires a contractor to help fix up the inn, she doesn’t realize he comes in the form of the completely hot guy she ran into on her first day into town. Having sworn off men, she tries to keep her distance from him but finds that to be impossible with him around all the time.
I read Simply Irresistible as part of my Courting the Romance Genre challenge for myself. It’s a series SO many of my friends have raved about (namely Ginger being the biggest pusher of this series!). You can read my general impression of adult romance and my experience here but I wanted to save specific book details for my review!
The verdict? I really liked Simply Irresistible. I can’t say it was a favorite but it was super fun and enjoyable and a good contemporary romance to help my romance novel adverse self into the genre. It was steamy (this is coming from someone who has never read a single romance novel so I was NOT prepared for the sexytimes because even the steamiest YA didn’t quite compare) but it wasn’t just sex — there was a ton of story and character development in addition to the romance. I liked that a lot because those are the things that I need in a book — as much as I love romance it can’t just be sex for me.
Simply Irresistible was a lot about sisterhood and I loved that. The sister’s (they are half-sisters) aren’t particularly close and they are so different but they come back together after their mother dies and they are trying to settle her affairs. I loved watching them open up to each other and REALLY get to know each other as they also learned more about their mom. They made me laugh, made me tear up a little bit and made me incredibly grateful for my own 3 sisters. I also love the strength they gained from each other — especially Maddie. As much as this story has to do with sisterhood, it also has a lot to do with picking yourself up after things fall apart and things DEFINITELY have fallen apart for Maddie. When she comes to Lucky Harbor she really has nothing left to lose but she ends up gaining a lot that she wouldn’t WANT to lose. Nobody SAVES Maddie at the end of the day but she draws strength from her sister and a certain hottie tottie male — Jax!
So obviously we have to talk about the romance because, well, this IS a romance novel! I really loved the romance from the start — it was so playful and fun! I loved their banter and then the tension just kept rising. I felt it just as much as THEY did for sure. And yeah, there were definitely some sexy times. For sure. But what I loved is that 1) they weren’t crazy graphic because I’m just not sure that’s my thing and 2) not super corny. Sure there were a few lines were I rolled my eyes (lots of mention of pebbled nipples) but overall I just enjoyed the obvious passion between the two combined with their STORIES. That’s what was so great about this book! And Jax, the swoons are off the charts for this man candy!
I’m excited to continue on with the series because Simply Irresistible was a solid read for me and I LOVED the West Coast town of Lucky Harbor. That is one of the biggest things about this book is that Lucky Harbor is a place I want to go visit and Jill Shalvis creates this town vividly — both landscape-wise and with the cast of characters and the places in the town. I kind of love Lucky Harbor in the way I love Stars Hollow and I can see that love intensifying through the series.
Simply Irresistible was a fun romance that was perfect for my first time reading an adult romance. It was certainly steamy (at least for this romance newb) but it also had a great story, characters and setting. I completely fell in love with Lucky Harbor and the great cast of characters and was definitely smitten with Jax and Maddie’s romance — it was playful, fun and passionate. What I loved MOST about this book, even though the romance was wonderful, was the growth between Maddie and her sisters and all the fun, goofy times they had together in the midst of some hard times. It’s good for your soul to watch them heal because of each other. Pebbled nipples aside, really solid book — it didn’t blow my mind or anything but it was super enjoyable if you are looking for a fun romance that balances story and sexytimes. SUBSTANCE. It has it.
Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? Did you like it or no if you’ve read it? If you’ve read further into the series, which book was your fave? What other contemporary adult romances can you recommend to this newbie?