Saturday, May 28, 2016

Thoughts: Lucky in Love

Lucky in Love

by Jill Shalvis
Book 4 of Lucky Harbor

~ Goodreads ~

Rating: 3.0

Jill Shalvis has always been a hit or miss with me when it comes to her books, although I will admit that there was a mediocre semi-hit at least two years ago.

Lucky in Love is an enjoyable romance with the same humor and wit that embodies a Jill Shalvis contemporary romance. However, I can’t say that I was a hundred percent in like with this book even though it was fun to read from beginning until the end.  Certainly, there were a few things here and there that didn’t really sit well with me, least of all some of the annoying antics of certain characters.

Nonetheless, I’d give Lucky in Love an average rating, anyway--looks like this is my second mediocre semi-hit from Jill Shalvis.  Although, at the end of the day, it was still quite enjoyable.

The Story:
Mallory Quinn has always been the Good Girl of Lucky Harbor and everyone knows this. She’s the stable rock keeping her crazy family from falling apart. She’s the girl next door who’s willing to keep an eye on your home when you’re away. She gives her all, with passion and spirit, to helping people all around her.

But deep down, Mallory is tired of trying to live up to everyone’s expectations, especially her own.

With a little help from her new found friends, Amy and Grace, she is encouraged to “take a walk on the wild side”. And who best to do that with than sexy and hot Mysterious Cute Guy--a man who settled in Lucky Harbor temporarily to nurse some physical wounds?

Ty Garrison has lived his life for adrenaline and action and can’t see himself settling with anyone, anywhere--least of all in the small town of Lucky Harbor where everyone knows everyone’s business. He’s ready to go back to his job as a contract warrior, ready to jump back into the fray of action.

But his plans change when he meets Mallory the Good Girl. And while he’s showing Mallory how to play like a bad girl, Mallory might be showing him a thing or two about life as well.

My Thoughts:
It’s a cute little romance, when you think about it. And it’s not like I don’t like how the romance continues to develop. But underneath all that wit and banter and steamy sex, there’s a very thinly veiled “meant to be” factor that doesn’t escape my notice.  To be honest, it's a very standard, carbon-copy love story and the only thing keeping me from rolling my eyes are the unique Jill  Shalvis created characters.

On top of that, the whole “Good Girl” vs. “Bad Girl” ordeal is a little dated anyway--the terms are relative, after all.  Rather than saying that Mallory is a "Good Girl," it just seems that she's a self-sacrificial, very caring and passionate person; while the rest of the people in her life take advantage of that.

And then I can’t seem to help but notice that for all the “backbone” and “meanness” everyone claims Mallory has developed, she STILL felt like a pushover to me. It was frustrating in some ways, but in other ways was actually quite realistic. Nobody goes from being the meek kitten to a bold bitch overnight. And even if Mallory lets her inner snark out to play every so often, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s gotten to be a mean person. It just means that she DOES have a personality underneath all that Nurse Nightingale persona, after all. And this isn’t a bad thing, if only Mallory could be a little more consistent with it.

I don’t have much to say about Ty, because he’s no different than most of the broody, alpha, commitment-phobic main male heroes in every other romance book. He’s a good man despite his bad boy reputation… and that’s really all there is to him.

Final Thoughts:
I was a huge fan of the first three Lucky Harbor books. Maddie, Tara, and Chloe made a wonderful set of dysfunctional half-sisters learning to get along with each other, and finding themselves along the way.

I’m not entirely sure I can say the same of this new trio of friends, self-named The Chocoholics. While they embody the same kind of snark and wit that typical Jill Shalvis characters tend to have, their friendship seems strained and not as… well, not as fun as that of the three half-sisters from the first three books. And I was even quite frustrated with the three of them for some time--they got pushy and secretive, but then would turn around and demand that secrets be revealed by the others.

Then again, who am I to judge how most friends interact with each other?  They seem to genuinely like and care about one another.

Also, for some reason, a lot of the other Lucky Harbor residents got on my nerves as well. I’m not sure why, but what seemed to have been written in as supposedly funny background character antics just felt annoying to me.  I get the whole "small town gossip vine" thing.  But for some reason they just reminded me of sensational tabloids.  Maybe it’s just me.  But I don't remember the townspeople being this badly snoopy and judgmental in the first three books--even IF it was probably written to be a "funny background antic."

Nevertheless, Lucky in Love was still a fun and enjoyable book, and I hope I enjoy the next one a little bit more.


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
Bookish Resolutions Challenge


  1. That's too bad that the book didn't live up to your expectations. I give you props for sticking with it even though the characters were annoying. If you continue with the series, I hope you end up enjoying it.

    Vonnie's Reading Corner

    1. It was fun to read, nonetheless. I guess I'd just been hoping for better from Jill Shalvis--I loved her first three Lucky Harbor books. I hope the rest of the series is enjoyable as well. Crossing my fingers.

  2. I am glad you enjoyed it even if there were things that you weren't super happy with. I still need to read Jill Shalvis so maybe I'll start with the ones you seems to enjoy more. Great review!

    1. Thanks! I'll admit, this one was a bit of a let down after a great trio of an introductory with the first three Lucky Harbor books. I DO recommend those if you're in the mood for humorous contemporary romance.

  3. Sorry it wasn't what you hoped for but I am glad you sort of enjoyed it. Great Review!!!

  4. I am glad you still sort of enjoyed this one even though there were parts you didn't care for. I only have read Shalvis her Cedar Ridge series so far and those all have been hits for me, but I haven't read any of her older books. I just got the first book in her new series for review. She sure seems to have a way with creating her characters.
    And I agree it's more realistic for people to not fully or suddenly change as that just doesn't happen that fast. I am happy to hear you did enjoy the first three books in this series as that makes me hopeful I will enjoy those as well. Too bad this second group of friends doesn't work as well for you. Great review!