July 20, 2012

Book Review: At Last by Jill Shalvis

At First Sight: After a difficult childhood and youth, Amy Michaels decides to follow her beloved Grandmother's long-ago steps and go to Lucky Harbor, Washington - a place that once helped her Grandma to find hope, peace and heart.

Since she has no other guide than her Grandma's old journal, finding the exact route and steps hasn't been easy, which is why Amy - never one to stick to one place for long - can't believe she has stayed in Lucky Harbor for six months. She can't believe that she has made friends with fellow transplant Grace and the town's good girl Mallory, that she has a estable job and an apartment to call her own, but these are all happy surprises to her. 

A surprise of the unpleasant kind is how attracted she is to forest ranger Matt Bowers - an ex NAVY, ex SWAT officer who moved to Lucky Harbor trying to find some peace and quiet of his own. Matt is a frequent costumer at Eat Me, the diner where Amy works, and he also feels quiet the strong pull toward Amy but he has his own reasons to want to stay away from her. 

Until one day when Amy gets lost trekking through the mountains surrounding Lucky Harbor, and Matt is there to find her and help her out. From then on, their relationship starts to change in to something they tell themselves they aren't interested in but can't seem to be able to stop themselves from. 

Second Glance: There are some parts that I really liked about At Last - mostly the Chocoholics (Amy, Mallory and Grace) and Amy's quest to follow her Grandma's footsteps and find some peace and hope of her own - but there were others that didn't work so well for me. 

Over all, I liked the characters and I enjoyed seeing how Mallory and Ty (from Lucky in Love), Grace and Josh (from Forever and a Day) are an integral part of both Matt and Amy's life. I think that's another point I enjoyed as well.

But the actual conflict between Amy and Matt felt a little thin for me, I never really bought into it. They both have issues that come directly from their pasts but I didn't see what the big trouble was for them to be together, particularly on Matt's side. Also, the addition of a teenage runaway that Matt and Amy are trying to help? that felt a little convenient. Like let's throw this character to mirror/show some of the issues Amy has to work out for herself.

Also, and I can't believe I'm saying this but, I felt there was a little too much sex in this book, like I got to a point where I was speed reading the sex-scenes because I wanted the story to keep on moving. The scenes were well written and all but they felt a little repetitive. 

Bottom Line: For all of what I've said you might think I didn't enjoy this book but that's not really the case. While I don't think the story in At Last is as strong as the one in Lucky in Love, these are all nice characters and I was glad for the time spent with them, and I'm actually looking forward to the next book in the series, Grace's story. 

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