Tuesday, June 19, 2018

3.5 stars-- Rainy Day Friends (Wildstone #2) by Jill Shalvis

Rainy Day Friends was a good read. Great family, awesome characters, a tug at your heart storyline. A good time, indeed.
The Gist:  Lanie's a new widow and just found out that her dear husband...had been collecting other wives the whole time they were married. Yeah. Her method of dealing? Running away and accepting a graphic design job at a winery while she sorts shit out. The huge nosy meddling family and the hunky cop with two little girls...she was not expecting them. Nope.
The Good:

Lanie and Mark were great.
  • Lanie pulled at my heart. She's prickly and stubborn. Struggling with not feeling good enough or loveable enough. So dang sweet and generous and sacrifices so much of herself for others. 
  • And Mark. A single daddy trying to do his best for his twin daughters after their mom abandoned them. He's a solid man with a good heart, patience of a saint and the spirit of a protector.
  • His girls were something! Full of wild energy, shyness, heart. I loved seeing both Lanie and Mark with the girls and them healing from their mom's abandonment. They totally grabbed a girl's heart.
With a soft laugh, he moved toward her just as Samantha and Sierra came flying into the room.

“Daddy, Daddy, Daddy! We found our hairbrush!” Sam brandished it around, nearly taking out one of his eyes. “Sierra has the hair ties!”

“Inside voice, baby.” But he took the brush and the hair ties and set them on the counter. Then he scooped up Sierra and plunked her down on the counter as well, after which he proceeded to brush and then braid her hair with a practiced ease. He then executed a wash-and-repeat for Samantha, gave them both hugs and kisses that elicited happy squeals, and sent them on their way.

Lanie’s dad had been distant at best. Kyle had never wanted kids. So watching the big, strong, alpha Mark Capriotti not only be the opposite of distant but also be a true, hands-on dad was almost unbearably attractive.

When he caught her staring, he smiled. “Need your hair braided too?”

Yes, her mouth nearly said, oh please, yes, put your fingers through my hair . . . “I’m good, thanks.”

He poured coffee into a travel mug that said: TIRED OF WAKING UP AND NOT BEING ON AN ISLAND, saluted her with it, and then walked out.
The Romance was slow and rocky since both were rather anti-relationships because seriously their first go 'rounds were...unfortunate. I loved seeing them soften a little and slowly letting each other in even if reluctantly. Some nice heat, chemistry and sweetness added to the mix.

And, yall. Mark's family (they own the winery). They are something special. They'd drive you insane but you'd love them for it. They're loud, rowdy, in your face and completely loving and generous. It was a nice backdrop as Lanie and Mark both confronted their hangups and Lanie's cheating husband's adventures came back to haunt her.

The Eh:
  • All the memes. There was so much meme-ing it bordered on ridiculous. I would have liked to see some more originality instead of meme-dropping to bring in humor. Sometimes 2-3 used on a single page. Way too much reliance on them. 
  • I've enjoyed the series so far but there's just something not quite hitting the spot for me with them. I'm not totally sure what it is either just something a tiny bit off.
All in all, Rainy Day Friends was a lovely family adventure. Loud, vibrant, heartwarming. Time was well spent with Lanie and Mark as they fought for a happily ever after they never saw coming.
Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife. Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person?  Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan.

Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Brown changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.

Amazon | Goodreads | Shalvis on HCBS
*covers link to Amazon

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