I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating: I consider Jill Shalvis one of the best current Contemporary Romance authors. Her Lucky Harbor trilogy was wonderful and I was sad to see it go. Fortunately for us, it seems like Ms. Shalvis wasn’t happy about it either because she’s written a new group of books set in the fictional town.
If you have read the previous books, you will recognize our newest hero as the guy no one knew anything about except that he was hot. He gets one mention and a memorable nickname, and the next thing I know, I’m dying to learn Mysterious Cute Guy’s story. In Lucky in Love he gets it, as well as name.
Ty Garrison is a former Navy SEAL who’s temporally in town to recover from wounds that go beyond the physical. He just wants to be left alone and brood, which he’s successfully achieving until one night he has an accident in the middle of a storm and one of the locals helps him.
Mallory Quinn has lived her life following the rules and being a good girl, trying to compensate for her family’s wilder ways and to atone for a tragedy that marked her life. A nurse, beloved by everyone in town, she doesn’t know that rescuing Ty is about to change her life.
Sparks fly between them and Mallory decides to let her hair down and engage in a fling. Ty knows that Mallory isn’t a fling type of girl, but he’s unable to resist her. Together they would find closure, love and the emotional health they both need.
This is the type of Contemporary Romance I like. It’s all about the main couple falling in love and dealing with internal issues. The conflict comes from within and they must learn to trust each other. There’s no villain, no external source of angst. It’s all about the main characters figuring out how to be together and actually doing it.
There’s really nothing new about it except the execution. The hero is wounded and suffering from PTSD and survivor’s guilt. He wants to stay hidden and isolated but the heroine is having none of that. She also has her own set of emotional baggage and he, unknowingly, helps her with it. So the story is about two damaged people finding each other and healing.
The heroine was sweet and caring. I liked that she comes out of her shell slowly but surely, and she does it with a lot of help. This was my favorite part of the story, the secondary characters play an important role in it and they aren’t there just as sequel bait. The next main couple is obvious, but everyone has a reason to be in the book. Both Mallory and Ty have a set of loyal friends who love and worry about them, so there’s a lot of fun banter and bromance, which I always enjoy. The town is another important character, and it’s a great example of why small town romances are so popular. The setting is lovely, and the minor characters make for great comedy.
Overall it was a great story. As I said, nothing really new happens, and the plot and characters aren’t really original. But Ms. Shalvis’ voice gives it a unique touch, and that is all it needs. The story can be slow and drag at parts, and the lack of external conflict may annoy some readers who look for something extra. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to read the next installment. The best of all is that it stands alone perfectly well, there are no spoilers for previous book and although I recommend reading them in order just because they are very good, you can perfectly start here.
Review by Brie
Mallory Quinn has had enough of playing it safe. As a nurse and devoted daughter, she takes care of everyone but herself. And as the local good girl, she's expected to date Mr. Right. But for once, she'd like to take a risk on Mr. Wrong. And who could be more wrong than Ty Garrison? The mysterious new guy in town has made it clear that he's only passing through, which suits Mallory just fine. Besides, his lean, hard body and sexy smile will give her plenty to remember once he's gone . . .
For the first time in his life, Ty can't bear to leave. Helping this sexy seductress-in-training walk on the wild side is making him desire things he shouldn’t including leaving the military for good. As their just-for-fun fling becomes something more, Mallory and Ty wonder if they could really be this lucky in love. After all . . . anything can happen in a town called Lucky Harbor.
Forever. May 22, 2012.