Today I’m participating in the Blog Tour of Once in a Lifetime. The ninth book in one of my all time favorite contemporary romance series, Lucky Harbor. To celebrate the release of this new great installment I have something very special for you, I have “5 Things You’d be Surprised to Learn about Jill Shalvis”, my review, a fun excerpt, but that is not all people, I also have a great giveaway for you where you can win the entire Lucky Harbor series or one of five copies of Once in a Lifetime. To participate just fill up the Rafflecopter form at the end of the post.
Title: Once in a Lifetime
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor, book 9
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
“SOMETIMES WRONG IS OH-SO-RIGHT
After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniels tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he’s back in his hometown and face-to-face with Aubrey Wellington, the hot-as-hell woman who is trouble with a capital T. Family and friends insist she’s not the one to ease his pain, but Aubrey sparks an intense desire that gives Ben hope for the future.
Determined to right the wrongs of her past, Aubrey is working hard to make amends. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is sexy, brooding Ben …even though he has absolutely no idea what she’s done…
Can this unlikely couple defy the odds and win over the little town of Lucky Harbor?”
Once in a Lifetime is the ninth the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis.
Aubrey wants to turn her life around and after accidentally stumbling in an AA meeting she decides the best way is to make amends to the people she has wronged, for this she does a list, the only problem is that the list includes her high school crush, the dreamy Ben McDaniels.
Aubrey starts approaching the people of her list, not always encountering the forgiveness she seeks; still she is determined to finish her list.
Aubrey is also working at her bookstore, with the official opening just couple of weeks ahead she pretty busy. What Aubrey didn’t know was that her uncle and landowner contracted Ben to help her with the remodeling of the bookstore. Now she just needs to find the strength to be honest with him and tell him how she wronged him. The only problem is that there is an extreme attraction between them and she knows he will despise her when he learns the truth she has been hiding all these years.
Ben is trying to find his bearings after been away for such a long time from Lucky Harbor. When Aubrey’s uncle offers him the job of remodeling the bookstore he knows that is something he can do until he decides what to do next. The only problem is being close to Aubrey because to his great astonishment he finds her compelling and even though he doesn’t want to acknowledge it there is a strong attraction between them.
Since the death of his wife five years ago he hasn’t been involved with anyone and he’s not ready to do it now, especially with a woman like Aubrey whom everybody knows for her bitchy personality and troublemaker fame.
After expending some days with Aubrey and seeing her go through her list, Ben realizes everybody is wrong, Aubrey is caring, loving and just acted up because of circumstances people were not aware of. After learning this he knows his in greater danger of losing his heart to her.
For the last couple of books Aubrey is a character that has intrigued me a lot, I knew there was more to her than just her bitchy personality and I was right. Aubrey hasn’t had an easy life; people have judged her without knowing her and assumed the worse of her. She has had to deal with this since early age and has used “the bitch façade” as a way to protect herself, while inside she has been hurting and has always wanted something different in her life.
My heart ached every time a new truth about Aubrey’s life was uncovered. This made realize how easy is to judge people and hurt them without even knowing them. I can’t imagine how tough is must be to grow up in a little town like Lucky Harbor surrounded by people judging you and always expecting the worst of you. This only made me love and understand Aubrey a lot more.
Aubrey is strong, smart, caring and fun. One of the most likeable heroines I have read in a while.
I liked Ben in previous books and I liked him in this one. I liked how he cared for his aunt, Dee, when she was dealing with the cancer treatments and how he was there for his cousin Jack when he needed him. In this installment he is dealing with finding seriously attracted to a women for the first time since the death of his wife. That was not easy to come to terms with and is completely understandable. He was afraid of giving his heart because he knows the pain of losing that person you love. He made some questionable decisions and trying to protect his heart he hurt Aubrey along the way. Although I didn’t like what he did I understood why he did it. The good thing is that his stupidity didn’t last long. ;)
The chemistry between Aubrey and Ben is off the charts, when they are together the pages sizzle. They both are afraid of giving their hearts and seeing them fight their feelings was highly entertaining and hot as hell.
In this installment we also see how Jack, Leah, Luke and Ali are doing. I loved how Aubrey found real friends in Leah and Ali, something new to her. I also love how Jack had his revenge and mingling in Ben’s affairs as Ben did in Jack and Leah’s book (Always On My Mind).
Here we also see some glimpses of Ben’s friend, Sam. We don’t know much about him; we know he’s quiet, a good friend, and no much more. Sam will be the male protagonist in the next installment in the series, It’s in His Kiss.
After nine installments is not easy to keep a series fresh and consistently good, but Jill Shalvis is a master at her craft and she does it once again in Once in a Lifetime.
With well-crafted characters, engaging story and a beautiful setting Once in a Lifetime is the perfect example of what I look in a contemporary romance. If you want to read a fun, sweet, hot and all around endearing story Once in a Lifetime is the book you want.
I’m looking forward to August 26th to the release of It’s in His Kiss. I can’t wait to read Sam’s story.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
The Sweetest Thing
Head Over Heels
Lucky in Love
Forever and a Day
Always On My Mind
Once in a Lifetime
It’s in His Kiss (August 26th)
Other reviews Goodreads
5 Things You’d be Surprised to Learn about Jill Shalvis
1. I really do eat a lot of cookies
2. We really do get a lot of bears in our trash
3. Frat Boy really is named Frat Boy
4. I can’t spell to save my life.
5. And I hardly ever really use real life people in my books.
I’m sure Jill Shalvis is not the only one who eats a lot of cookies; I might also be known as the Cookie Monster, especially if they are Girls Scouts Samoas cookies.
If I’m honest, number 4 made me feel a bit better about my “limitations” with the English language. Thank you Mrs. Shalvis.
About Jill Shalvis:
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
Social Media Links:
Aubrey got a look at the man she’d inadvertently drenched and stopped breathing. Oh, God. Had she really thought her day couldn’t get any worse? Why would she tempt fate by even thinking that? Because of course things had gotten worse. They always did.
Ben McDaniel slowly stood up from his barstool, dripping vodka from his hair, eyelashes, nose… He was six feet plus of hard muscles and brute strength on a body that didn’t carry a single extra ounce of fat on him. For the past five years, he’d been in and out of a variety of Third World countries designing and building water systems with the Army Corp of Engineers. His last venture had been for the Department of Defense in Iraq, which Aubrey only knew because Lucky Harbor’s Facebook page was good as gospel.
He swiped his face with his arm, deceptively chill and laid-back.
In truth, he was about as badass as they came.
Aubrey should know, she’d seen him in action. But she managed to meet his gaze. Cool, casual even. One had to be with Ben, the man could spot a weakness a mile away. “I’m sorry,” she said.
She felt herself flush. He’d always seemed to see right through her. And she was pretty sure he’d never cared for her. He had good reason for that, she reminded herself. He just didn’t know the half of it. “Yes, I am sorry,” she said. Her heart was pounding so loudly she was surprised she could hear herself speak. “Are you okay?”
He ran his fingers through a sexy disorder of sun-streaked brown hair. His eyes were the same color, light milk chocolate marbled with gold caramel. It was hard to make such a warm-colored gaze seem hard, but Ben managed it with no effort at all. “Need to work on your aim,” he said.
Good luck to you all!