Title: Always on My Mind (A Lucky Harbor Novel)
Series: A Lucky Harbor Novel (Book 8)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 24, 2013)
Author's Website: http://jillshalvis.com/
Notes: Received an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Have you ever said something that once it popped out of your mouth you wished you could immediately take it back? Leah Sullivan knows all about that, and has really no good answer as to why the words just bubbled up and out of her mouth. She and Jack have been friends for years and when his mother, who is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and doing poorly, voiced her concern that her son would never settle down and that she believed it to be her fault, the words just came out almost of their own accord.
Who would believe one little white lie, wrapped in three little words, could hold so much power? One little fib that could change everything--ruin everything or make it better...
This was such a fun and lighthearted read. In this, the eighth of Lucky Harbor novels, Ms. Shalvis combines one part hot fireman with one part sweet pastry chef. Mixes them together (shaken not stirred) and cooks up one irresistibly delicious love story. If I had to sum the book up in one word it would be Sweet. ;)
Leah Sullivan has come home to Lucky Harbor to help her grandmother and lay low while the reality TV series, Sweet Wars, she starred on goes through round after round of its baking competition. While being under contract not reveal who the winner is, everyone is trying to pry out of her whether or not the town's favorite pastry chef won the competition. What a fun and wonderful backdrop to the whole love story.
Jack Harper is one of Lucky Harbor's most sought after bachelors. He, as his mom suspects, has no plans of ever settling down. Recently retired from being a hotshot, the firefighters who jump out of an airplane to fight fires of a large scale, he's trying to adjust to being a regular firefighter without his normal dose of adrenaline rush. While things are normally tame around Lucky Harbor, a string of fires indicates an arsonist is afoot and needs to be stopped.
The fun part of the story, however, is the part where Leah tells Jack's mom, Dee, that she and Jack are a couple without his knowledge. The consequences were hilarious, and I utterly enjoyed watching the ripple effect of her words. Like most small towns, Lucky Harbor is not a place that one's secrets can be harbored and kept under wraps for very long. Word has a way of spreading as quick as a wildfire and blazing out of control. While Leah hoped to keep the pretend relationships under wraps, I chuckled to myself and knew that was never going to happen.
Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. A wonderful tale of love, laughter, friendship and romance all wrapped up within a small town setting that makes one smile. I adored the chemistry between Jack and Leah. I loved the story of how the two became friends. I loved the dance these two did before each reached down deep and dealt with the issues they kept locked up inside them that prevented them from making a commitment to another person. Plus, the drama added by both the fires and reality show made the whole story feel a touch more fully developed than quite a few of the stories I've read lately. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.
Notes to keep you in the know:
I always have to look it up just to verify it, but most contractions technically are two words. It is slightly confusing given that a contraction is usually two words being combined, but according to Cambridge English:
"Contracted words count as the number of words they would be if they were not contracted. For example, isn't, didn't, I'm, I'll are counted as two words (replacing is not, did not, I am, I will). Where the contraction replaces one word (e.g. can't for cannot ), it is counted as one word." Source: https://www.teachers.cambridgeesol.org/ts/exams/generalenglish/fce/faqs