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mlleelizabeth

Liz Loves Books

I love to read and to talk about books. I review many of the books I read. I do not accept any author/publisher submissions for reviews. I do not read or review ARCs. I do not enter any giveaways or contests. I obtain the books I review by purchasing them at the same price they are offered to the general public at the time of purchase. My reviews are intended for the use of my fellow readers. They are not advertising or promotion. They are not beta reads or constructive criticism or editing or advice to the author. My only obligation to the author is to pay the price charged for the book at the time of purchase. My reviews are sometimes critical and I will not stop posting critical reviews just to spare delicate authors' feelings. I am happy to make new friends, but friend requests from authors or promoters who have few or no books (and/or friends) in common with me and write or promote categories I do not read (especially new adult) will be ignored. I used to read more self-published books. After recent meltdowns by self-published authors, I now only read self-published authors I've previously read or who have been recommended to me by fellow readers I trust. I also used to read young adult/new adult books but rarely do so now.

SPOILER ALERT!

Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

Forever and a Day - Jill Shalvis

Here is my full review of Forever and a Day (Lucky Harbor) - Jill Shalvis . I fear I am going to come off as too fangirly. I should also disclaim that at least a small part of my love for this book comes from relief that the series is back on track after At Last.  

 

There are elements in this book that could have wrecked it - a kid, a puppy and an angry young woman in a wheelchair all of whom could have individually or in combination overtaken the main couple.  I found Josh and Grace and their growing romance so engaging that there was never any chance they'd lose my attention.  I was captivated from the beginning. It's the first book I've read in a while that I didn't want to put down and most of my difficulty choosing my next book is because I didn't want Forever and a Day to be over.

 

Spoiler-filled details behind the pagebreak.

 

Josh is a doctor and single father who's been taking on double shifts to juggle working in the ER and his private practice (which was his father's practice), helping out at the new clinic and trying to keep tabs on his sister, who is 21 but behaves like she's 15 a lot of the time and deal with a new puppy the sister has given his son.  His last nanny moves away at the beginning of the book. This guy is in desperate need of help.

 

The help he finds is Grace, who is jobless and quickly running out of money. She's a CPA and some sort of bank something or other. I think she was an investment banker but this was never really clear.  

 

Josh starts out convinced that Grace is a basket case and Grace starts out convinced that Josh is a stereotypical driven doctor who puts family and relationships last.  They start out viewing each other as practically toxic and despite their intense chemistry, they are determined to not get involved with each other.  What they don't know initially is that they are only each other's worst case scenario stereotypes because they both have gotten temporarily off track and need each other to get back to normal.

 

They both have some family issues. Josh lost both his parents in the accident that injured his sister.  He's run through a number of nannies who abandoned their job and his son's mother also took off when the going got tough. Grace is the adopted daughter of extreme overachievers. She's never felt like she was good enough or fit in.  Josh needs Grace to be there through thick and thin and Grace needs Josh (and Toby and Anna) to make her feel welcome and needed. 

 

Watching these two help each other get back on track was just a joy. Their relationship comes together organically and slowly.  The secondary characters all fit in naturally. Because this is a series, some of those characters have previously been developed. The new characters are the ones I expected to be problems, but they were very realistic and I felt they did more to enhance the relationship than detract from it.

 

Both the main characters are fun, likeable and believable.  They both do a lot of growing during the book.  They actually reminded me a bit of Lizzie and Darcy in that they have met under unusual circumstances and start out with very mistaken impressions of each other. And they overcome those mistaken impressions by slowly getting to know each other. They are thrown together as a family and they just fit, about as perfectly as people can.

 

It was also fun watching the Lucky Harbor community take Grace in and make her feel at home there.

 

Grace does a little bit of running away (some of which is not really running away but looks to Josh like it is) and there is one kind of contrived accident. Those were the only two negatives for me and they were fairly minor ones.

 

 The loves scenes seemed perfectly in proportion with the story. Also they seemed to match and flow along with the romance.  The chemistry between these two was OMG unbelievable.  The various issues that keep them from fully consummating their relationship until about halfway through the book were funny but they also made sense in context.

 

This is my second favorite in the Lucky Harbor series (Simply Irresistible being my first).  It was funny, sweet, and had just the right amount of drama.