Review: THE SWEETEST THING by Jill Shalvis

Two Men Are One Too Many . . .

Tara has a thousand good reasons not to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Yet with her life doing a major crash-and-burn, anywhere away from her unfulfilled dreams and sexy ex-husband will do. As Tara helps her two sisters get their newly renovated inn up and running, she finally has a chance to get things under control and come up with a new plan for her life.

But a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor has his own ideas, such as keeping Tara hot, bothered . . . and in his bed. And when her ex wants Tara back, three is a crowd she can’t control-especially when her deepest secret reappears out of the blue. Now Tara must confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she’s lucky, she might just find that everything her heart desires is right here in Lucky Harbor.

Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor, book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Year of release: 2011, April 1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought via the Book Depository

First line:
“Muffin?” Tara asked as she walked along the long line of people waiting on the pier to enter Lucky Harbor’s summer festival.

Memorable Scenes:
– the three sister sailing during Team Building Wednesday > hilarious! But also perfectly displayed the sisterly bond and dynamics between them.
– Tara’s blind date that ended before it actually began > Boyd is shudder inducing and not talking good shudders here, people!
– The kitchen/flour scene > If you’ve read the book you know exactly what scene I’m talking about.
– the scene at The Love Shack > Lucille and Sawyer cracked me up! Poor Ford!
-The apple tree incident and its aftermath > died laughing! Died!
– The drunk messages Ford left on Tara’s voicemail > Hilarious and really sweet too. Out of the mouth of babes and drunks, right?

Tara Daniels is the oldest of the three Lucky Harbor siblings that this series centers on and dubbed the steel magnolia. She’s always putting up a brave and sunny front, worrying about and taking care of her younger sisters. Tara is a little uptight, a control freak and a worrywart but beneath her tough exterior is a softy and a caring woman to the people she loves. Her need to care for others comes through in her talents as a chef, she loves to cook and bake.

Ford Walker is a bar owner and professional sailor. He’s laid-back, optimistic, caring and a natural charmer. Ford was awesome! The things he’d say to Tara would make my knees go wobbly right alongside Tara’s. I really enjoyed how Ford could get cool and collected Tara all flustered. She tries to resist him because of their past but it’s futile. Still throughout the book Tara continued with her habit to run away from Ford and Ford kept letting her go, not trying to keep her with him.

When I read the excerpt from this book in SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE I was a little afraid it was going to be all about the search for what Tara and Ford gave up in the past (purposely vague here to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t read either or both these books) and I was extremely relieved that Jill Shalvis didn’t go that road (but still gave it a satisfying closure).

There is some kind of pattern that I’m distinguishing in the love scenes of this series: Maddie and Jax had the attic. Tara and Ford had the pantry. So now I wonder what part of the Inn is going to be Chloe and Sawyer’s :)

Again (as in the SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE) the collection of secondary characters is comprised of wonderful characters that complement the primary couple and add to the overall good feel of the book. I love it when authors do that and I love kids and elderly people in my romances so I was very pleased with this cast and their contribution to the overall story and the stuff going on between Ford and Tara. I was also highly amused by the (pissing) contest between Ford and Logan stating their claim on Tara. It was so cute to see them both vying for Tara’s attention, yet already knowing what the outcome would be made it no contest at all.

And of course there are Ford’s best friends and Tara’s younger sisters. The banter between Ford, Jax and Sawyer is witty and just as much a strongpoint in the book as the bond and bickering between the sisters and the great push-and-pull romance between Tara and Ford.

Despite the verbal back and forth and sometimes heavy discussions, the warm bond and love between the three sisters is palpable throughout the entire book. They take care of each other and have each other’s back at all occasions but they’re also not afraid to tell it like it is when one of them is acting stupid. Chloe is a hoot! I loved that girl and can’t wait for her book to come out.

Jill Shalvis’ writing is mesmerizing in it’s simplicity and recognizability and this book is no exception. Once you start reading THE SWEETEST THING you just don’t want to stop. Without throwing in suspense plots or secondary storylines, she easily holds my attention with her wonderful characterization and her awesomely witty sense of humor. The ‘Taraisms’ and ‘Chloeisms’ at the beginning of every chapter were awesome. Absolutely loved them! Her characters aren’t picture-perfect which makes them all the more likeable to me.

When I’ve laughed out loud by page 8 and I’ve marked 5 quotes by page 12, I know a book is going to be another addition to my favorites shelf and THE SWEETEST THING has taken it’s rightful place on that shelf. Not only because it made me laugh out loud and made me mark a ridiculous amount of quotes I loved but also because underneath the fun and humor there’s emotions and struggles poured into some kick-ass writing. I vote for another RITA next year for Jill!

Below are my favorite quotes. I had 30 marked in the book. With a lot of culling and cutting, brought it down to my 19 favorites but still it was too much. However the 12 I’ve left I can in no way cut down further. These are really the ones I can’t withhold from you. I will try and pick up doing the Quotes-Posts again soon, I promise!

Favorite Quotes:
At that he flashed her a grin, and her knees wobbled. Sweet baby Jesus, that smile should come with a label: WARNING: Prolonged exposure will cause yearning, lust and stupidity.

With a laugh, Ford stepped close, so close that she could smell the ocean on him. He was salty and tangy, and so incredibly male that Tara almost closed the last inch between them simply so that she could lick him like a lollipop. Just one lick, she told herself, from sternum to the very low waistband of the basketball shorts…

With a deep breath, she tipped her head back and met his gaze. And yep, right on cue, as he took in the two-day stubble on his square jaw, the fine laugh lines around his mesmerizing eyes and the effortlessly charming smile, she melted like a glob of butter on a stack of pancakes.
“What?” he asked.
She studied his big, wet gorgeous self and slowly shook her head. “Why couldn’t you have gone bald or gotten fat?” It really was a bee in her bonnet that he looked even better now at thirty-four than he had at seventeen.
“The least you can do is burp or scratch an impolite body part, or something equally unattractive.”
His brow shot up. “You want me to scratch my ass?”
“Yes,” she said. “And maybe you could also pick your nose in public. “
His smile came slow and sure.
”You want to jump me.”

Chloe’s brows went up. She started to say something but Maddie covered her mouth. “Pay no attention to us,” Maddie said, dragging Chloe to the door.
“If only that was possible,” Tara muttered. “And what happened to going out with Jax? And the yoga class?
Chloe shoved free from Maddie’s hand. “Still happening.” She looked at her watch. “We have some time yet. We just didn’t realize you’d be having casting calls for Pimp My Chef…or was that Ride My Chef?”
“Internal editor,” Maddie murmured to her, which meant nothing to Ford.
Chloe smiled.
“We were just having a little trouble with the flour,” Tara said, still brushing at her dress.
“Yes, I can see that,” Chloe said. “I especially like the handprints you left on Ford’s butt. Nice job there.”

(A few Taraisms at the beginning of the chapters)
“Remember, a closed mouth can’t attract a foot.”
“Families are like fudge–mostly sweet, with a few nuts”

“What would you do to get the recipe?” he wanted to know.
“Okay, but if you change your mind and want to play with my underwear, text me and I’ll be right there. You can play with the ones I’m wearing.”
She felt herself go damp and hurriedly disconnected.

Her cheeks were getting hot, along with other parts of her. “I’m saying you seduced me with all the– “
“Say ‘cuteness’ again,” Ford warned, “and I’m going to strip you naked right here and show you exactly how not cute I can be. I’m going to show it to you until you scream my name.”

Lord. Maddie and Jax were like a couple of freaking newlyweds with a case of nearly expired condoms. “I’m surrounded by children.”
“Not exactly children,“ Chloe said. “More like horny teenagers.[…]”

“Does he look like he’s okay?” Tara asked, peering through the binoculars she’d found in the marina building.
“He has the two-way,” Maddie said. “He’d call for help if he needed it, right?”
“No, he wouldn’t. He’s a guy. He’ll call for help when he’s dead.”

Chloe rolled her eyes again.
“If you don’t stop doing that,” Tara said. “I’m going to pop them in a jar and roll them for you.”

(Ford drunk calling Tara’s voicemail) “I want you to know that if I could be your superhero, I totally would. But there’s no way my ass is gonna wear a pair of tights, not even for you.” He paused thoughtfully. “I could do sex slave though. That seems like a fair trade, right?”

“Wait, I didn’t taste the chocolate butter toffee,” she murmured, and Lance patiently offered her another tiny spoon.
She was in mid-heavenly sigh when she felt Ford shift close behind her, his mouth brushing her ear. “Moan through one more sample,” he warned in a thick husky whisper, “and I’m dragging you to the closest dark corner on the pier. And Tara?” His breath warm against her skin, making her shiver. “By the time I’m done with you, you won’t remember your own name.”
She couldn’t remember her own name now. “That’s a pretty outrageous threat,” she managed.
“Yes, and if you’re very lucky, I’ll wait until we’re alone to carry through on it.”


5 thoughts on “Review: THE SWEETEST THING by Jill Shalvis

  1. Hmm high time I read another Jill Shalvis book. I believe it is over 3 years ago. Great review Pearl, and I am sure this will be a great series for my taste as well.

  2. I love this series and we have the same fav quotes, especially the one where she's moaning about the ice cream flavors. Can't wait for Chloe and Sawyer

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