Christmas in Lucky Harbor is compilation of the first two books in the Lucky Harbor Series: Simply Irresistible and The Sweetest Thing. So I'm going to review each story separately.
The Deal: Still trying to recover from the wreck her life became - after loosing her boyfriend and her job as a result of it - Maddie Moore packed up her things and headed to Lucky Harbor, a small town in the Washington Coast where her mother grew up.
Maddie herself hadn't seen her Mother in years, having been raised mostly by her father, so she was a little surprised to find out her mother had left her - and her two half-sisters Tara and Chloe - the Lucky Harbor Inn, which had been owned by their grandparents.
With nothing left for her in L.A., Maddie has the hope that she can convince her sisters to give the Inn a shot, mostly because she really needs a place to stay and a purpose in life. But when they finally get together, Maddie realizes that Tara, the oldest, really wants to sell, and Chloe, the youngest, doesn't seem to care. But Maddie does care, and the organizational freak inside of her is thriving at the idea of getting the inn back on it's feet, and for once, the girl her mother called "the mouse" is not going to be mouse like at all!
Even if that means hiring sexy Jax Cullen to help her fix the inn. Jax is funny and relaxed and he's making Maddie forget that she swore off men after her last relationship.
My Thoughts: Simply Irresistible is just what small-town contemporary romances should be. It's sweet and fun, there is a quirky cast of characters - some of which you can see coming to the forefront at some point - and it's just fun. Simply Irresistible also has a lot of heart and it's a love story at two levels: the traditional romantic story with Jax and Maddie, and a love story between Tara, Chloe and Maddie, who were raised appart and are so different but grow to love each other.
I loved Simply Irresistible, it went by fast and it was fun. 5
The Deal: Tara Daniels, nicknamed by her mother as "the Steel Magnolia" grew up in her grandparents horse-ranch in Texas and had only been to Lucky Harbor once, when he was 17 and angry at the world. She would have been happy never to set foot in the place again, but then Maddie convinced her to give the Inn a shot, and Tara found herself still in town months later and having to face Ford Sawyer as a permanent fixture of her current life.
Ford is, perhaps, the thing she remembers the most bout that summer, when they were both 17 and crazy in love. When that love took them down an unexpected past that ended up with both of them sharing a big secret.
After that, each went their separate says. Tara off to college and to marry and divorce a NASCAR star. Ford to become a world-class competitive sailor. But now they are both back at Lucky Harbor, with chemistry just sizzling between them and the memory of a love that maybe never left either of them.
My Thoughts: The Sweetest Thing was a lovely sequel to Simply Irresistible, and in some ways this story started during the first book - because Tara reveals part of the secret in that book.
Tara and Ford had and have a complicated relationship that it's hard for them to work through, but they try, even when they are scared. Tara is trying really hard to find a balance in her life knowing that with Ford she gave too much of herself, and with her ex-husband Logan, too little; and now is trying to make herself a priority in her own life. It takes her a while but she gets there.
I loved reading about the other characters from book 1, and the hints at the stories to come, though I have to say they were a couple of twists that felt like a little much, and I didn't love this book as much as I loved Simply Irresistible. 4
As a whole, I thought Christmas at Lucky Harbor was a great book, it made sense to have these two stories together because they kind of go hand in and and they do hint at the stories to come. This is a really fun contemporary book and getting the two stories for one is a good value.1/2