Forever and a Day
by Jill Shalvis
Book 6 of Lucky Harbor
While there were a lot of things about this book that bugged me, such as some characters' behaviors, or the almost too deliberate "Meant to Be" vibe coming off our couple in spades--actions, thoughts, and dialogue from both Grace's and Josh's POVs overtly mirroring each other--I found that I actually, really enjoyed this book.
Nonetheless, there were still a lot of loose ends left unwrapped, and some side tangents left unfollowed. I feel satisfied, but at the same time... well, not quite. If ya know what I mean.
Grace has spent her entire life trying to live up to her adoptive parents' standards, the two of them being rocket scientist over-acheivers. While she cannot follow in her parents' footsteps to take on a career in the sciences, Grace has found her niche in numbers, financials, accounting... the like, and is determined to be the most successful financial manager for any prospective business that will hire her. Unfortunately, her goals are dashed when she takes a position in Seattle, only to find that her boss is more interested in what she can do for him on a more personal level, if she wants to keep rising in her field. With that, Grace walks away from that job and arrived in Lucky Harbor, hoping to find herself and figure out what her next steps will be.
In the meantime, she finds herself taking up all forms of odd end jobs in order to survive her day-to-day, including an impromptu dog-walker job for Lucky Harbor's favorite young doctor, Joshua Scott. In no time, she's also babysitting Dr. McHottie's son, trying to help counsel his paraplegic baby sister, and generally worming her way into somehow managing to help organize his personal life for him.
After all, as an ER doctor who also inherited his father's practice, Josh doesn't seem to be able to find an extra hour anywhere in his day to spend with his sister or his son; something that has been looming over him as a source of regret. But Grace's presence seems to start a cascade of change in his life; not only is he uncontrollably attracted to her, but her passion for everything she does seems to help him figure out how to finally balance his work and personal life...
... or something like that...
There's no good way to really summarize a book when, to be totally honest, very little happens outside of the developments between our main couple. Sure, there are also developments between Josh and his sister, but those almost feel picked over in favor of the romance. And then there's even the nonexistent interactions between Grace and her parents--I would have really loved to have seen something happen between them, such as an understanding that Grace doesn't have to become as "perfect" as her rocket scientist parents. But this subject was never really touched upon outside of Grace's own misgivings and self-doubts.
I would have loved to see that maybe Grace's adoptive parents were never truly that stuck on Grace being the best or the perfect, ambitious over achiever. I would have loved to see whether or not all of these obligations she's set for herself, were maybe just her own, and not her parents'.
Coming back to the relationship between Josh and his sister, Anna--the story behind the animosity stems from Anna's anger after a tragic car accident that kills the Scott parents and leaves Anna paralyzed. But as we can see, Anna seems perfectly capable of taking care of herself, but has made it her life's mission to make her elder brother miserable in order to sate her feelings of anger, unable to truly express her self-doubt about her own life.
I thought there could have been so much more development between these two; a way in which they could come to some sort of understanding. After the death of their parents, Josh was also thrown into a whirlwind of chaos, because not long before his parents died, he was left with little Toby when the little boy's mother walks away, never looking back. On top of that, Josh had just started his career as a doctor.
The two Scott siblings had so much going on between the two of them, in their lives, and to add onto that, we learn that they are too stubborn for their own good to initiate taking a step towards working out their issues and fixing their relationship.
Even with Grace's presence as a catalyst, I think there could have been so much more potential between Josh and Anna's sibling relationship development. The version in this book feels kind of deflated, truth be told.
Anyway, Jill Shalvis still manages to deliver a very enjoyable romance, though she DOES tend to focus too much on the romance, at the detriment of other tangential story lines that would have been awesome if expanded upon.
Nonetheless, Forever and a Day is probably my favorite of this second trio of books in the Lucky Harbor series. Grace's unabashed show of ogling and groping Josh was actually kind of entertaining. This is one couple whose romantic development actually felt fairly down-to-earth, with an insta-lust slowly growing into a full blown relationship, and then to love.
It's just unfortunate that their relationship still suffers from that same ailment that all romance novel couples suffer from--lack of proper communication. No matter that Grace DOES spend a lot of time trying to pry into Josh's stubborn, tight-lipped secrets, whether to be helpful in figuring out how to take care of him and his family, or just out of pure curiosity. The two still spend a lot of time second-guessing what each other want for their lives without once trying to talk it out until the end.
Meanwhile, Anna tended to get on my nerves with her bratty behavior--some of it that could have even been quite dangerous to a five year old little boy--and so did the way that Josh treated her. These siblings could really use some good counseling, mainly on how to stop purposefully pissing each other off. Then again, being one fourth of a set of siblings myself, I know perfectly well that there is no such thing as logical discussion when it comes to siblings and rivalry and the like. Sometimes, you just fight for the stupidest reasons... because you can. It's what siblings do. Because at the end of the day, you're still related to each other.
On a side note, the best part of this book was probably the ornery duo of Josh's son, Toby, and their little devil of a pug puppy, Tank. These two were so much adorbs that I couldn't help smiling every time they presented in the story!