Summary from GoodReads:
Maddie Moore’s whole life needs a makeover.
In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother–a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.
Starting over won’t be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career–if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.
The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes–and mouth–are making it hard for her to remember that she’s sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie’s struggles to overcome the past, though she’s about to discover that there’s no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.
I have been seeing quite a few positive reviews for Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor books, and I have been wanting to switch up what I usually read (YA) so I thought I would give this book a try. It was a fun read, and I did like it. I didn’t love it, but I am glad I read it.
First, right off the bat, this is an adult romance novel – which means there are definitely quite a few steamy scenes in this book. If that sort of thing bothers you, then this book is not for you. It didn’t bother me, but I think it might make some people uncomfortable.
So, this book is mainly about the characters, less about the plot. The plot is a typical romance (not criticizing here – I like romance). But the plot is basically about whether or not Maddie and Jax will end up together. And being a romance novel – they do. Since it is a romance novel, I am not spoiling it. That is how romances are – reading about how two characters can work through whatever problems they have to create a relationship with each other. Again, I am soooo not criticizing! I like knowing that they will end up together. And I have mentioned many times that I care much more about the characters of a novel, than the plot.
So let’s talk about the characters. First up – the heroine, Maddie. I liked Maddie. She desperately wants to start a new life in Lucky Harbor, but she is lacking in confidence due to a really bad relationship. I definitely understood Maddie, and I liked seeing her gain confidence throughout the story. It was great to see Maddie build relationships with both her half-sisters, the residents of Lucky Harbor, and, of course, Jax.
Jax is a pretty awesome hero. He came back to Lucky Harbor after a time spent in Seattle. Jax is also dealing with some stuff from his past, but, for the most part, he has been able to work through it all. His name is kind of ridiculous, but at least it is a nickname. His real name is Jackson Cullen, but he goes by Jax. But, he was a good romantic character, strong, supportive, and caring.
But, since these books are mainly about the characters, I have to say that I couldn’t understand why Maddie got so mad at some of the things Jax did. I mean, I get that Shalvis needed to find ways for Jax and Maddie to have reasons to not be together, but they just didn’t feel realistic. And I think that is really important in books like that. Perhaps if the book was a little shorter, Shalvis wouldn’t have had to keep coming up with reasons why Jax and Maddie couldn’t be completely together.
But, overall, it was a good read. I really enjoyed the smalltown setting. It made me wish I lived in a small town like Lucky Harbor. I can’t say that I will be reading any more of this series, but I don’t regret reading this one. If you like adult contemporary romance, give this one a try.