Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Thoughts: One in a Million

One in a Million

by Jill Shalvis
Book 12 of Lucky Harbor

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

This last Lucky Harbor book has been doing so well, and might have even been my favorite of this last trilogy.  I loved both MCs, and Callie was fantastic.

This isn't to say that the book itself wasn't great.  I still enjoyed the book a lot...

But sometimes, you can only suspend disbelief for as far as it takes the small town's biggest, little old gossip to play exposition fairy for the whole series, within one book.  I feel like there might have been a lot of unnecessary dialogue emphasizing how many couples have gotten together in the course of these twelve books.

Fortunately, it wasn't exactly the awkward "Couples Curtain Call" that it could have ended up being.  But I still wish we could have spent more time on Tanner, Callie, and Troy, than Lucille's matchmaking escapades.

The Story:
Callie Sharpe is the sole owner and brains behind her wedding planner business, dealing with crazy brides and their insane demands and ideals.  Callie had also been left at the altar a few years back, but this is something that would be bad for business.  Now, Callie has been tasked to return to Lucky Harbor, the small town where she was born--and couldn't get away from fast enough--in order to check in on her grandmother.  Apparently, there have been rumors that Lucille might actually be losing it... you know, what with all the naughty pics and jokes and polls on Lucky Harbor's social media sites.  And returning to Lucky Harbor wasn't exactly something Callie wanted to do... especially not after discovering that certain other people from her past have returned to Lucky Harbor as well... a certain first crush whom Callie can see swimming along the beach every morning from her rented apartment in the warehouse.

Ex-Navy SEAL Tanner Riggs had been thought of as an adrenaline junkie his entire life, having been in the military, as well as the bomb diffusing expert on the oil rigs.  Now he runs Lucky Harbor Charters with his two best friends.  And meanwhile, his ex-wife Elisa has decided to drop off their sullen teenage son on his doorstep; not that Tanner minds--he'd been hoping to get a chance to be a proper father to the over-dramatic, fifteen year old Troy since the boy was born.  It was just not easy to do when Elisa had uprooted and fled across the country to Florida when their short-lived marriage fell apart.

And now Tanner will have to deal with the attitude-ridden son who thinks that his father never wanted him.  At the same time, it almost feels like the boy's mother is looking to abandon him as well.  And meanwhile, Callie Sharpe's reappearance is attracting his attention in the strangest way.  Especially when she somehow manages to make herself comfortable in his life, as well as his son's.

My Thoughts:
As I'd already stated, this book really was quite enjoyable.  I absolutely adored the relationship between Callie and Troy--yes, between our female MC, and our male MC's rebellious teenage son.  It was all sorts of cute.  Meanwhile, the relationship between Tanner and Troy wasn't bad either; especially after Troy started being less of a teenage pain in the ass.

I even found Callie and Troy's morning ritual quite sweet as well.  It was amusing that she could get caught in public so many times wearing a fashion consultant's worst nightmare.  Meanwhile, she's a wedding planner who pointedly instructs her clients to do the exact opposite of everything that she seems to do.

One in a Million made for a nice little wrap up of the long-running Lucky Harbor series, and the only thing that would have made it better might have been a more subtle approach at telling the readers that this is the end.  Instead, as I mention in the beginning of this post, we get an exposition fairy who feels the need to remind us about all the lovely couples who got together within the last eleven books, as well as which couple will be getting together in this particular book.  Truthfully, it felt like fan service and might have been a bit overmuch.

Lucille is great and all, but I really don't care for exposition fairies or the darned, dreaded "Couple Curtain Call."  It's jarring and doesn't help you forget that this is, indeed, just a contemporary romance series, starring multiple couples you may or may not fall in love with.  Instead, I might have just settled for a brief appearance by a few random couples or individuals at the right moment, that doesn't interfere with story flow.  That's not too much to ask, right?

And besides, there's still one more novella left in this series, of which I have totally been expecting a "Couple Curtain Call," if only because it's Christmas related, and you can't entirely hate a Christmas-themed novella starring all your favorite couples in one of your favorite contemporary romance series.  Right?

Or maybe that's just me.


There's not much else to say about this book.  Callie and Tanner are good people.  Troy is a good kid.  The situation between Tanner, Elisa, and Troy could have been handled better, but it got handled, so I guess I'm satisfied with that.  Meanwhile, the situation dealing with Callie and her own parents got left on the shelf, probably to never be dusted off and addressed... ever.  Which seems typical of a Jill Shalvis contemporary wherein the main heroine has her own family conflicts and no satisfying resolution... but I'm past caring by this point.

We've made it to the end.

And I still love the first three Lucky Harbor books the most.

How about that?

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