August 1, 2012

Book Review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

At First Sight: When Grace Brooks decided to stop at Lucky Harbor on her way back from a job-interview-gone-wrong in Seattle, she figured she would stay for a couple of days and move on. But on her first night there, she met Amy and Mallory and they became fast friends, and weeks later Grace finds herself still hanging around, even when her work prospects are dim and her savings are starting to run low.

The daughter of two very successful and smart people, Grace has always felt its her duty to excel as well, but in Lucky Harbor no one expects such things from her, so she's happy to take odd little jobs - like flower delivery or art-class model - to keep herself afloat, even though she knows it can't go on forever.

Still, when she gets a call from someone asking her to walk his dog, Grace agrees since the gig is grossly overpaid and she needs the money. That's how she meets Tank, the demon puppy, and Tank's very handsome owner: Dr. Josh Scott.

Josh is a life-long resident of Lucky Harbor, a late-blooming geek who grew up into a sexy doctor with  a successful practice and a reputation for having 'the best hands' in Lucky Harbor. On the exterior, he seems to have it all together, but the people close to him know he's overworked and overwhelmed by the responsibilities of raising his son Toby as a single parent and taking care of his younger sister Anna, who is hell-bent on making his life impossible.

Hiring Grace was a desperate move, and what was supposed to be a one-time thing, starts to get a lot more complicated. 

Second Glance: After At Last - which I kind of liked but didn't love - I wasn't sure what I would find in Forever and a Day, but I was pleasantly surprised. From the very start I got sucked into the story. Josh and Grace as two likable, smart people who have their hang ups and large chunks of their lives that are less than perfect. 

For Grace is her relationship with her parents and the fact that she has never felt like a good-enough daughter for her super-successful parents. Josh became a parent after the first and only one-night stand of his life, and soon afterwards became responsible for his wheel-chair bound sister Anna when she was just 16, and their relationship suffered as a result. 

They are both trying to do the right thing while trying to figure out what is the best thing for themselves, and feeling really attracted to each other - even though at first they don't want to feel that way, which makes their interactions fun. 

My one hang up with the book is that sometimes it makes it sound like being an overachiever is bad, city living is bad, and happiness can only be achieved by living in a quaint town like Lucky Harbor.  

Bottom Line: Forever and a Day is a fun contemporary read, and it's tied with Simple Irresistible as my favorite of the series so far. The characters are likable, the interactions sound real and it has a few fun moments.

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