Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis Contest and Review

ONCE IN A LIFETIME by Jill Shalvis
(February 18, 2014; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market; $6.00)

After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniel tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he's back in his hometown and face-to-face with Aubrey Wellington, the hot-as-hell woman who is trouble with a capital T. Family and friends insist she's not the one to ease his pain, but Aubrey sparks an intense desire that gives Ben hope for the future.

Determined to right the wrongs of her past, Aubrey is working hard to make amends. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is sexy, brooding Ben - even though he has absolutely no idea what she's done . . .

Can this unlikely couple defy the odds and win over the little town of Lucky Harbor?


It was dark outside when she got back to the Book & Bean, and she stopped short just outside the door. She’d locked up when she left and turned off the lights.
But the door was unlocked now, and the lights on. She went still, then pulled out her phone and dialed 9-1-1. She didn’t hit send but kept her thumb hovered over call. Taking a step inside, she paused. “Hello?”
The low, slightly rough voice wasn’t what had her heart pumping. That honor went to the fact that there was a man on a ladder in the back of her store.
He was in jeans with a tool belt slung low on his hips, his t-shirt clinging to him. He seemed a little irritated, a little sweaty, and just looking at him Aubrey got a whole lot hot and bothered in places that had no business being hot and bothered by this man at all. “What are you doing in here?” she asked.
“I work here.”
“What are you talking about? Get out.”
“Sorry, Sunshine.” He wasn’t even looking at her, but using some sort of long, claw-like tool to pull down a ceiling tile above the wall she’d been working on. And his tool worked way better than hers.
His movements were agile and surprisingly graceful for a guy his size. Not that he was bulky in any way. Nope, that tall, built body was all lean, tough muscle, and it screamed power. And with each subtle movement, his body made it clear that it knew exactly what to do with all that power. “The owner of this building hired me,” he said. “Said you were making a mess of things because your pride was bigger than your wallet.”
This caught her completely off guard, both the insult and the information. “My uncle owns this building,” she said.
He smiled thinly. “Yep. Happy Birthday.”
“It’s not my birthday.”
“Then happy you’ve-got-a-great-uncle day.”

  What I thought about Once in a Lifetime

Once in a Lifetime is my first read from the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis. If you haven’t read anything from this series yet, don’t worry. This book stood very well on its own. I didn’t know anything about Lucky Harbor and it didn’t impact the enjoyment of the story for me. If anything, it made me want to read some of the other titles in this series.

There weren’t a lot of surprises as far as the romance goes, but the real jewel of this book for me were the characters. I just loved Aubrey and Ben. Aubrey wasn’t afraid to show a wide range of emotions, from hope, to sadness, love, and regret. Her character was very well developed, and I really related to the character, both the good and the bad. 

When Aubrey tries to right her past wrongs, she runs into a lot of roadblocks. I loved her courage and thought her follow-through on her “list” very honorable, especially in a small town where everyone knows your business. Her resolve to make amends was awesome, especially in the face of some very difficult revelations.

Ben had some great attributes too. He’s obviously still figuring out how to live his life without his wife, and he's ready to take steps into a new relationship. The only problem is that everyone in Lucky Harbor knows it but him. But he’s fortunate to have some good friends to help him see the truth.

He’s got a heart of gold when it comes to two foster children he befriends, and his integration into the town through its young children was also a really nice part of this story. I loved the helpful, positive, loving feel of it all.

Overall, I really liked this read, my only complaint being that things wrapped up a little too quickly for me at the end. I found myself going back to reread favorite parts, and I just adored Aubrey and Ben. If you like a nice sweet romance with good character development, this might be a good choice for you.

Arc courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Social Media Links:

Buy Links:

1 comment:

Trader Mare said...

My first Lucky Harbor title and I loved it!