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review 2017-06-22 03:12
Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Lost and Found Sisters - Jill Shalvis

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

What a wonderful book this turned out to be! Jill Shalvis is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary romance authors because her books are consistently good. This book was even better than I could have hoped. I was grabbed by the story right away and it just kept getting better. I ended up reading most of the book in a single day because I just couldn't put it down. It was one of those books that left me with a big grin when I reached the conclusion and was an utter delight to read.

Quinn is the main focus of this story. She is getting by one day at a time and not really feeling much of anything after the sudden death of her sister. She gets some unexpected news that turns her whole life upside down. She has some really big decisions to make that will have a lasting impact not only on herself but on other people as well. I liked Quinn a lot. She was resilient and cared about other people deeply.

Mitch is in Wildstone trying to help his mother get her house in order. His constant companion is an aging Golden Retriever named Coop. Along with Coop, Mitch runs into Quinn when she is having an emotional moment and something just seems to click. They run into each other again later on and just seem to hit it off. Mitch was such a great character and I loved everything about him. He really fit with Quinn very well and they had some wonderful chemistry.

The story was really well balanced. This book had a wonderful romance in it but it wasn't just a romance. Quinn had some other things going on that were just as life changing. I really liked that this story was so complex and full. The secondary characters were wonderfully done. There was even a bit of humor that gave the story an element of fun.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This was a really great story about love and completely rediscovering yourself. I am really excited that this book is the beginning of a new series because I am already looking forward to spending more time with the people of Wildstone. 

I received an advance reader edition of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
So much to love about this story. Amazing characters dealing with some difficult situations. And Mitch...I am swooning over here.

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review 2017-06-19 19:42
Review: Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Lost and Found Sisters: A Novel - Jill Shalvis

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/06/review-lost-and-found-sisters-by-jill.html

 

Lost and Found Sisters is a journey of love, heartbreak, learning to live again, and finding home. Jill Shalvis’s women’s fiction debut has all the humor and heart I’ve come to expect from her work, and it’s all wrapped up in an engaging, emotional story of life after loss.

Quinn’s world was turned upside down after the loss of her sister two years ago, and she has never quite recovered. Though she seems to have the perfect life, Quinn is really just going through the motions. Then she receives some news in the form of an inheritance that will change everything she thought she knew about herself and sends her to the small town of Wildstone. Quinn is an endearing heroine; she’s funny, caring, and wonderfully flawed. I liked that she was in over her head and knew it, but she never backed down from any curveballs thrown her way. She also has a huge heart, and though she’s still grieving at the beginning of this story and is overwhelmed by everything coming at her, she doesn’t close herself off from the people she meets who need her.

It’s difficult to talk about the plot of Lost and Found Sisters without spoiling the story, which I’m loathe to do. Suffice it to say that Wildstone – a struggling town with character and heart – offers Quinn a chance at a new, vastly different life. Love – both romantic and familial – is central to Quinn’s journey of learning to live again, and it’s beautiful to watch multiple relationships develop. Mick, Quinn’s love interest, is incredibly appealing, as one would expect from a Jill Shalvis hero. He’s strong, patient, kind, and funny, but not perfect. He has his own journey to take over the course of the story, as he too is at a crossroads. It was easy to become invested in Quinn and Mick’s romance because they’re both incredibly likeable people with solid chemistry.

As I previously mentioned, Lost and Found Sisters is Ms. Shalvis’s first women’s fiction novel. I should disclose that this isn’t one of my go-to genres, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But since Jill Shalvis is one of my favorite authors, there was no way I was going to skip this book. I’m so glad I didn’t. While it took me a while to get into the story (there’s just enough of a difference in pacing and focus compared to romance that I needed to adjust), I ended up adoring not just Quinn, but every single character in this story. The book is mostly centered around Quinn, but there are multiple characters and plotlines (which again, I can’t talk about without spoiling the story) that bring the world of Wildstone to life. Ms. Shalvis is a master at crafting small towns with quirky characters, and it was easy for me to fall in love with Wildstone and come to care about the fate of the struggling town. All in all, Lost and Found Sisters is a winsome tale with characters who will make you laugh one minute and tug on your heartstrings the next. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the Wildstone series.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/06/review-lost-and-found-sisters-by-jill.html
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review 2017-06-05 02:02
Quick Thoughts: Rumor Has It
Rumor Has It: An Animal Magnetism Novel, Book 4 - Tantor Audio,Jill Shalvis,Karen White

Rumor Has It

by Jill Shalvis

Book 4 of Animal Magnetism

 

 

He'll help unleash the new woman in her...

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...



Well, Rumor Has It was definitely a lot more enjoyable than the preceding book in this series, Rescue My Heart, had been.  And then I determined that, it really wasn't just the book itself, but the heroine of Rescue My Heart, Holly Reid, was just plain annoying; case in point, I had an immense problem with her meddling, bossy attitude in this book, even if the story played it off as her being over protective of her best friend.

But this book wasn't about Holly, thank goodness, but her super nerdy (and super cool) best friend, Kate Evans.  Kate teaches elementary school, and has the uncanny bad habit of spouting science facts when she gets really nervous.  So when her long time crush, Griffin Reid comes back into town, she finds herself spouting all sorts of different science facts, whether they are nerdy facts, cool facts, or even some naughty, more lascivious facts.

Kate is like a woman after my own heart, with her no-nonsense personality, and her penchant for seeing good in all people, without letting anyone walk all over her.  But she's also got this strange need to take care of everyone in her orbit, which doesn't exclude Griffin when she learns about the injuries he'd gotten while fighting war overseas.

I definitely love the development of the relationship between Kate and Griffin, even though Griffin could really use a reality check (as could everyone else in the book) about their perception of Kate.  It seems that because Kate is such a sweet, lovable person, everyone and their mothers seemed to think she couldn't handle a one night stand with a man she'd always had a thing for, and I actually DID kind of find it amusing when Griffin clambered over himself to make sure Kate was okay and NOT pining over him after they have sex.  I loved that Kate kind of just put him in his place, with her, "Well, all I wanted was to have a bit of fun.  And that's what we did."

The book progressed very smoothly from one anecdote to another, with an underlying conflict in the background that sort of got a little too emotional for my liking by the time the ending rolled around.  I thought it was a nice touch, except I didn't care for how soap opera it kind of got at the end there with Griffin.

Once again, Thing One and Thing Two are absolutely the coolest names for the two dogs owned by Griffin's father.  I would totally get myself a pair of dogs and name them 'Thing One' and 'Thing Two' if I could handle raising two dogs together.  As it is, our one little puppy drives the family batty enough.

Kate's younger brother Tommy was all kinds of adorable, and I loved how he took after his elder sister so closely--spouting random science facts, trying to take care of or rescue other people, just being a plain weird kid.  And I love how Tommy doesn't seem to really care what the other kids think about him or say about him; he kind of just lets the insults roll off his shoulder, and will sometimes throw something back at the other kids, a phrase or a science fact so strange that no one really knows how to respond.

I wish we could have seen more of some of the previous characters in this series, but we were mainly stuck with Holly and Adam.  And while Adam's presence was a bit more mellow, Holly's frustrating, meddling, annoying personality didn't seem to dim much until a little over halfway through the book.  Even NOT being the main character, Holly managed to make me groan in frustration.

I was actually kind of ecstatic when she and Adam disappeared for part of the book on their honeymoon.

Anyway, Rumor Has It was a pretty enjoyable, sometimes insightful contemporary romance.  Most especially, I loved Kate.  Even though she spends more time taking care of other people instead of herself, never say that she didn't know how to stand up for herself, and keep others from walking all over her.  Griffin was a nice bonus, and the romance was fun, but truth be told, as an individual, Kate was the greatest thing about this book!


***

Booklikes-opoly


Roll #16: (See Also: Roll #16 Activities)
This book is set in a small town.

Page Count:  281
Cash Award:  +$3.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $67.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/06/quick-thoughts-rumor-has-it.html
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review 2017-05-22 03:18
Brief Thoughts: Under the Mistletoe
Under the Mistletoe - Jill Shalvis

Under the Mistletoe

by Jill Shalvis

Lucky Harbor #6.5 (novella)

 

 

JUST ONE MORE KISS

There's no place like home for the holidays.  And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer.  But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright.  Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet.  But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts-and asking for forgiveness.

Nick grew up without a family of his own so he's overwhelmed by the love that Mia receives from all her relatives, gathered together to celebrate the season.  Under their watchful eyes, Nick finds earning back her trust the hardest thing he's ever had to do.  If he succeeds, he will receive the greatest gift of all, Mia's love for a lifetime.



I feel a little mean giving this novella such a meh rating, especially since it DOES also give us a brief glimpse of Chloe and Sawyer--my utmost favorite Lucky Harbor couple.  Unfortunately, the glimpse is simply too brief for my liking.

I know, I know.  Chloe and Sawyer already got their book.  This novella is about Mia and Nick.

It's a cutesy and teeth-achingly sweet short romance story, but the events and our main couple's behavior was so over-dramatic that I found myself rolling my eyes on several occasions.  To be totally honest, I was never really able to relate with Tara and Ford's daughter, Mia in the third Lucky Harbor book--her development wasn't entirely fleshed out.  And while I'm glad that she gets a nice Happily Ever After in a short story, I don't feel like this story was totally necessary.

AND it infringed upon Chloe and Sawyer's wedding day as well, which makes me a bit disappointed.  As my favorite Lucky Harbor couple, I would have liked for these two to get a special epilogue or novella for their wedding...

Er... yeah...  Moving along...

Anyway, like I said, the novella is cute and sweet, but I just couldn't find myself understanding what the conflict truly was, though I DO see what we were trying to make of the conflict.  That whole thing where Mia was always the one to pick the people in her life and never the other way around, and for once, she wanted someone to pick her.

Except, as an adopted child, even with feelings of abandonment, it doesn't escape my notice that... well, didn't her adoptive parents pick her to be a daughter, part of their lives?

Anyway, this short seemed like a pretty flimsy plot, with some super cheesy dialogue in the end when Nick was trying to win Mia back.  Still, once again, it's cute and it's sweet, so we get points for that.

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/brief-thoughts-under-mistletoe.html
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review 2017-05-22 03:10
Thoughts: Forever and a Day
Forever and a Day - Jill Shalvis

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.


The Story:
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...


My Thoughts:
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!

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/thoughts-forever-and-day.html
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