June 10, 2013

Book Review: It Had To Be You by Jill Shalvis

At First Sight: Ali Winters is having a pretty rotten week. Her seemingly perfect boyfriend turns out to be a cheater, he didn't renew the lease on their shared house which left her homeless and everyone in town thinks she's a thief because Teddy lost 50 grand and it's blaming her. And her former landlor Luke Hanover showing up is not helping matters. Or is it?

Luke is returning to Lucky Harbor for the first time in almost ten years, to stay at the house he inherited from his Grandma. A police detective, he needs a break from his last case (which ended in disaster) so he just wants to hole up in the old house and lay low.

He didn't expect to find Ali standing in his kitchen, yelling on the phone and wearing nothing but her undies. Luke can tell she's going to complicate his life, but he still lets her stay the night, and when Teddy's accusations surface, he sides with Ali almost right away, and lets himself be dragged into trying to find out who really did it and clear her name.

Second Glance: I do so enjoy going back to Luck Harbor every once in a while. And one of the things I love best is how, through the scope of the series there are this mini-trilogies that you can just pick up and enjoy without having to go back and read from the beginning.

It Had to Be You is the beginning of one of such trilogies, and it does a lovely job of it. It doesn't waste time introducing you to the town just to the new set of characters, starting with Ali and Luke. They were nice and likable.

Ali was very independent, loved doing artistic things and was close to her family even while she tried to live a different life from theirs. Luke had a few more hangs ups with what happened to his family years before, he's the type that often blames himself for everything and always tries to help.

It was good to see them together, I did believe them as a couple. And I loved the other characters introduced, like Luke's best friend Jack and Pastry chef Leah (they are set up to be the couple of the next book, Always On My Mind).

Bottom Line: For me, going back to Lucky Harbor is like chatting up with an old friend and It Had to Be You turned out to be a very nice conversation. It's a sweet story without it being overly complicated and, even though I could tell who had stolen the money from the start, I still enjoyed it a lot. 
Review Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

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