Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Sweetest Thing (Lucky Harbor #2) by Jill Shalvis

Tara has a thousand good reasons not to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Yet with her life doing a major crash-and-burn, anywhere away from her unfulfilled dreams and sexy ex-husband will do. As Tara helps her two sisters get their newly renovated inn up and running, she finally has a chance to get things under control and come up with a new plan for her life.

But a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor has his own ideas, such as keeping Tara hot, bothered . . . and in his bed. And when her ex wants Tara back, three is a crowd she can't control-especially when her deepest secret reappears out of the blue. Now Tara must confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she's lucky, she might just find that everything her heart desires is right here in Lucky Harbor.

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5

Lucky Harbor is really turning into one of my favorite series. The Sweetest Thing was a fantastic read and had me falling in love all over again with this group of characters. I love that the girls, so far, are all sisters and the guys have been best friends since they were kids. Just adds such a fun element to all of the relationships and how they interact with each other. Add in an insane small town full of meddling gossips, a couple with an emotionally charged past and a pesky ex that's trying to get back in the picture and you really have an amazing irresistible combination. 

Tara and Ford's story was wonderful. These two really do not have an easy go of things. They have so much in their past they have to get through and that keeps them pretty damn snarky and at odds with each other but make the final happily ever after so much more fulfilling. I'm an absolute sucker for the "second chance at love" storyline especially when it's done so nicely and the characters are people you're left really rooting for. And these two were so people I was rooting for. I loved their snark, I loved finding out what tied their pasts together, loved how they worked through their painful past and found closure and a wonderful relationship with [highlight for spoiler] the daughter they gave up for adoption when they were just kids themselves. 
“Sugar," Tara said in a voice that was pure Pissed-Off South. "You need to go far, far away." 
A few weeks ago, he'd have taken that to mean she didn't want to see his face within a six-hundred-mile radius. Now he knew the truth. He distracted her. He could live with that. "Came to see if I can help."
"I think I know how to make burgers," she said smoothly. "But bless your heart."
In other words, fuck off and die.” 
Tara and Ford are quite the pair. She's a bit uptight, a control freak, loves to cook/bake and just wants someone to fight for her. Ford on the other hand is rather laid back and goes with the flow even if he really wants something else. He's really just damn cute when he gets pissy and flustered, too. Then there's Logan, Tara's race car driving ex that's trying to get her back. And you know, I even liked him. He's so not right for Tara but I just couldn't hate him even though he was trying to win her away from Ford. I actually hope he'll show up later in the series and get his HEA. The scenes between Ford and Logan were a freaking hoot. Amazing how too much testosterone in one room can make two grown ass men act like 5 year olds. But damn if I didn't love it. 
“Don't tell me," Ford said. "Another Ginger Goddess." 
"Nah," Logan grinned. "I just wanted to see if you knew how to make a sissy drink. It was good though. Thanks." 
Sawyer, still sprawled back in his chair, laughed. 
Okay, that was it. Ford was cutting everyone off, the fuckers.” 
There were so many emotionally heartwrenching moments in The Sweetest Thing that kept me reaching for the tissues for nearly the whole middle section of the book. It was wonderfully written and just about did me in. Boy did it about do me in. I was a red splotchy mess for quite a bit. One of the things I'm loving about Shalvis and how she's writing the series is that some fairly heavy topics are tackled but done so in a way that, while they may bring out the tears, it doesn't bring you down or feel depressing. These characters are dealing with real life issues and turmoil that makes them feel so honest and real. It's not always pretty but they find the strength and courage to get through the hard parts and come out on the other side as better people. Shalvis does a fantastic job of mixing humor, steam and character growth that's really just so satisfying to read. 

The next little bit's slightly spoilerish but it is a romance book so, really, you know it's coming...Ford's marriage proposal. Hands down one of my favorites. It's got to be one of the funniest and at the same time sweetest marriage proposals I think I've read. I couldn't stop laughing or keep the grin off my face. Loved it! It was just so them and utterly perfect for who they are. I love that the relationships Shalvis creates are so unique and different from each other and that the stories just completely embrace the characters and who they are.

I am so loving this series and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good laugh and a heartwarming love story. Or just needs their spirits lifted. If you've read Shannon Stacey Lucky Harbor reminds me a lot of her Kowalski series. Not the storylines but the quirky families, situations, and less than pretty topics that are handled in a way that warms your heart and leaves you a better person for having read them.They always leave me with such a good feeling and greedy to spend more time lost in their world. I'm so glad there are two more books in this series sitting on my shelf waiting for me AND that we'll be getting two more in the very near future. Makes for one very happy little reader. 

Get your copy:    Amazon    Barnes&Noble 

Have you read the Lucky Harbor series?! Do you have a favorite sister? What about the guy? Loving them?! 

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