Today I want to talk about Jill Shalvis, one of my favorite contemporary romance authors.
There's a few reasons I love her work.
First, her books are just plain good. Total page-turners, as in you just want to keep turning those pages to see what’s going to happen next. They have the important ingredients of yummy heroes, and steamy sensuality—and most of the time, great, relatable heroines.
Second, as a romance writer myself, I get a lot out of her books because, while every one of her books is good, I can see a progression in her writing skills from her earlier work to now--and that gives me hope that I will one day be as good a writer as I aspire to be.
Where is she strongest? In her sexy a hell, bad boy heroes. Where does she sometimes lag? In developing conflicts that make a book a page turner. It's forgivable because, like I said, her books are just good in spite of that fact, and as an author I get how difficult it is to create an impossible situation that you can then solve. Why is it hard to create? Hel-looo? Because the situation is IMPOSSIBLE to fix. But we in our awesome authorness figure out a way, thank you very much. Or not.
Sometimes this impossible conflict isn't so believable. It is the author's job to make it so. In. Some of Shalvis's early works, the conflict is kind of...lame. But, and this is the most important part, the other parts of her book make you as a reader NOT CARE! (much).
I love her latest series, Animal Magnetism, featuring three totally hot, almost-brothers, and revolving around a veterinary clinic in nowheresville, USA. Of course that means there are lots of dogs--and who isn't a sucker for sweet, four legged, furry creatures? She's definitely hit the mark there.
The series covers the romance of bad-boy Brady, a special ops pilot who's been lured home by his almost brothers, Adam, a dog-trainer and ex-search and rescue military operative and Dell, (Yes, Dell, a not so sexy name) a smoking hot veterinarian. Brady’s and Dell’s stories will have you falling in love with the characters in the series, so much so that you’ll forgive the somewhat weak conflict in Adam's story (Read that one third. :-))
But today I want to talk about a book in her Lucky Harbor series. Yes, she's another author whose done a series surrounding a small, happy town where everybody knows everybody, ala Susan Mallory, Roxanne St. Clair, and others. Shalvis does it superbly! Hey, there's a reason authors write these series. Readers love 'em. I sure do, as do my romance novel loving friends.
As I disclaimer, I’ll admit occasionally you'll run into one romance or another within the Lucky Harbor series where the plot is a little weak on conflict, or the heroine doesn’t grab you. But the book will still be a page turner due to Shalvis's yummy heroes and compelling attraction relationship between said hero and heroine. Can you say SEXUAL TENSION? Hell, can you say yummy SEX?
Today I want to talk about Shalvis’s LUCKY IN LOVE. To date, this is my FAVORITE work of hers. If you want a great summer, easy read that’ll fill your heart with delicious angst and the joy of falling in love, this is your book. It’s a girl-next-door meets bad boy, then takes a walk on the wild-side romance.
Mallory has always been the good girl of her family, especially as compared to her siblings. Her good-girl complex drove her career choice, and she works at the local hospital as an RN. She’s got a huge heart with a capacity to love those less fortunate, and this leads her to champion a health services clinic to service teens, drug addicts, homeless, and the local poor.
Ty is a retired SEAL medic who works as a mercenary now doing dangerous search and rescues. He’s in town recovering from a serious knee injury that’s taken him out of the filed, but the real recovery he needs involves a certain helicopter accident he had while a SEAL, in which he was the sole survivor.
The two accidentally meet. Mallory is drawn to Ty because he’s a haottie, but also because she’s a little tired of being pigeon-holed in her self imposed prison of always doing the right, responsible thing. Ty sees a woman whose capacity to love breaks down the guard rails he’s erected around his wounded heart.
Their romance will draw you in, and leave you with a smile on your face. Heat level is HOT (my favorite! :-))