Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: He's So Fine by Jill Shalvis

He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor, #11)
He's So Fine by Jill Shalvis
(Lucky Harbor #11)
September 30, 2014
Grand Central Publishing
368 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+
(Contains: detailed sex, mature language)
Source: eARC for Honest review

For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It's the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she's rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she's ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to "save" him. In fact, he'd like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He's just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole's heart, or will it be the end of Olivia's days in little Lucky Harbor?

So this was a cute, romantic read, but also touching and humorous, in true Jill Shalvis fashion. Lucky Harbor seems to be the place to go to find true love, and that's only one reason why this town is so great. It's also filled with people who may gossip about you, but love you and have your back. This time around, we have Cole, a native of Lucky Harbor, who returned two years ago after tragedy struck and heartbreak followed closely after. Being the local MacGyver and Charter boat captain (beside his two equally hot best friends), Cole is well loved and admired, but has kept his heart at a distance with his high expectations and unresolved hurts. When shop owner Olivia literally lands on him, he finds himself unable to ignore his heart's wants any longer. Olivia has her own difficult past and set of hurts a mile long, so despite her attraction to Cole's kindness and honesty (and looks), her heart is also having some troubles of its own.

I love the way Cole's character was set up. He's not your typical alpha male hero, though still with some alpha tendencies to make it interesting. But he has so many other great and intriguing qualities, that he really made for a terrific hero for me to read about. I loved that he wanted to help Olivia (and anyone else he sees), but slowly he also becomes aware of the things he needs to deal with in his own life. Also, seeing him alongside Sam and Tanner, as well as his mother and sisters, really rounded out his well-meaning, flawed, but heartsy personality.

Olivia was also a fun, unique character to get to know. She has such a strength about her, yet the walls and secrets she has built around her don't hide her kind nature and tender spirit. It was hard reading her struggles at times because I just wanted to make her do the right thing, but knew this was her journey to take. I loved how the tender bits of her were showcased. And then there was the way she fell for Cole without even knowing it, even though we could all see it. They were a fantastic match.

While these stories can feel a bit formulaic at times, I love Jill Shalvis's writing, storytelling ability, and character development, especially for the romance reader. I can't help but be drawn into her stories, and He's So Fine is no exception. Cole and Olivia's story pulled me in and didn't let me go. I was happy. I laughed. I was frustrated. I shook my head in disappointment. I swooned. I cheered. I loved it. And I'm really looking forward to Tanner's story in the next book. I'm hoping some extra peeks into Sam and Cole's lives, since it'll be the last book, as well as Tanner's HEA.

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