Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: Simply Irresistible

Simply Irresistible
Jill Shalvis
Contemporary Romance
Lucky Harbor/Book 1
Grand Central/October 2010

From the back cover ~

Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover.

In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.

Starting over won't be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.

The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes-and mouth-are making it hard for her to remember that she's sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie's struggles to overcome the past, though she's about to discover that there's no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.

It's not a secret that I'm a Jill Shalvis fan and Simply Irresistible is another reason why Shalvis is one of my go to authors when I'm craving a delicious contemporary romance. Maddie and Jax are funny and sweet and hot as all get out. They are a romance readers fantasy when it comes to couples who feel real and have hopes and fears just like we do.

Maddie Moore is desperate. She's in limbo with no job, no home and only a smidgen of hope of finding either. When she arrives at Lucky Harbor it's to find her inheritance of a run down inn filled with dubious decor. Her two half-sisters, Chloe and Tara want to sell and get back to their lives but Maddie doesn't have a life to get back to. She wants to make a go of the inn but needs her sisters to agree to her plan.

Maddie is adorable! She's funny and klutzy and doesn't take herself too seriously. She's also nicknamed the mouse for her inability to stand up for herself. She's determined to shed that nickname and take charge of her life. I loved how we get to see into Maddie's head when she's figuring out how to assert herself. She tries to emulate strong fictional characters like Trinity from The Matrix or Louise from Thelma & Louise. Maddie is a real work-in-progress, experiencing some setbacks while learning to grab hold of what she wants.

Jackson Cullen aka Jax is in for a surprise when Maddie comes to town. He's a local boy who made it to the big time but has come back home to his roots. He's well known and well liked by many in town and readers will agree that Jax is a man comfortable in his faded Levis and tool belt. He's attracted to Maddie right off the bat which is good since circumstances keep bringing them together. Jax is smart enough to know when a good thing happens and that good thing is Maddie.

Maddie's half-sisters, Tara and Chloe, bring their own baggage and their quirky sense of sisterhood to Lucky Harbor. The dynamics of the sisters relationships can be seen through the roles they take on. Tara the eldest, takes charge and isn't afraid to voice her opinion. Chloe is the youngest and the free spirit of the three. She doesn't hold on to responsibilities but shrugs them off as quick as possible. Maddie is the middle sister doing what she can to keep the peace even if it means keeping her feelings to herself. I liked all three sisters for different reasons which surprised me. Usually, with siblings, there's often one that I don't click with, but not in this case - Maddie, I've already mentioned, Tara for her hidden vulnerability and Chloe for her love of life.

Lord, I love Shalvis' sense of humor! The romance is sweet and funny. Jax and Maddie did a bit of stumbling around, learning about each other as they fell in love. Their relationship begins with wonderful chemistry and progresses into mutual care and respect. There are some secrets, really big secrets, that need to be dealt with before they can completely trust each other. Shalvis does a remarkable job of bringing all the threads together and weaving a story full of romance, passion and family.

The next book in the series, The Sweetest Thing (April 2011), is sister Tara's story and after reading Simply Irresistible, I can't wait to read Tara's book. Seriously, the way things are left between Tara and her hero, I know the tension and emotions will be high. But until then, if you're looking for a fantastic story with an adorable heroine, a sexy, tender, tool belt wearing hero and a couple of sisters to drive them crazy, Simply Irresistible is it.

Rating: A


  1. Agree with pretty much everything here. I love that I'll get well-rounded characters who believably fall in love and the books sparkle with humor. Awesome.

  2. Lori ~ The characters and the humor are something I can always count on from Shalvis.

  3. Sounds like you really enjoyed the book, Leslie :) I'm glad. I love the H/H, especially Jax. Oh man was he yummy :) The book was definitively cute... but so far, I'm not convinced about Tara and Chloe yet :(

  4. nath ~ Jax was a great combination of everything I love in a hero.

    Too bad about Tara & Chloe - maybe the next book will convince you. :)

  5. Wow, Leslie. What a great review! And Lori's comment is like the extra kick in the butt I need to just go out and get this one!

  6. Christine ~ Thanks! I think you'll like this one. It's such a fun read.

  7. I am definitely getting this book! Yay, another Jill Shalvis. :D