THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THINGAfter dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack’s ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib – that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle . . .No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine – perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their “just friends” rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?
FTC: I requested this book as a mammoth fan of the series. I got the book for an honest review but it may be a little biased due to how good the other books are.
I love this series. It is sweet, sexy and fulfilling; I read each one with a big dopey grin on my face. The way Jill Shalvis writes romance is something that everyone should experience; I truly recommend it. Although I loved Leah and Jack together, separately I had some issues. Together they completed each other, seemed to give each other some peace. It was sweet which is why Leah frustrated me so darn much!
Jack, I adored. Leah was the only woman to remain consistent in his life and their current ploy put that at risk. Although they had laid the rules down, he knew that she had always been the one too close to his heart and he feared that they did not truly appreciate the risks that they had taken. I loved the way he transitioned into his role from playboy to boyfriend in a split second, giving up his many dates without a quibble. It was like he had been in a holding pattern before and now was back on track. His concern for his mother was admirable (and obviously made him that more attractive) but, honestly, it was the way he was with Leah that made me adore him. He knew her so well, treated her so fairly, and he was so damn sexy with her. If a sexy fire-fighter paid that much attention to me, I think I’d become a juddering mess.
Leah was a pain in the ass to be honest. I get that her life was up in the air, I get that she didn’t stay anywhere long but I just couldn’t get why. Her childhood was shocking but she fully understood the ramifications of her actions on other people and did them anyway. Maybe I am a little protective over Jack, but I thought she was pretty awful with him. She was only willing to give him a small portion of herself but allowed him to give her everything knowing full well that she was going to break his heart. I just thought she wore her past like an excuse to do whatever the hell she wanted and she didn’t really want to face up to the consequences of her actions. Whenever she made arrangements that would affect her relationship with Jack, she wouldn’t tell him. He’d find out by accident and be left reeling; I have no idea why he bothered with her. I may be being a little unfeeling towards her past but I can’t help it; she wasn’t blind to her actions and she selfishly did them anyway. Together, I loved them. The chemistry was sizzling and the history between them only made it that more satisfying to read about. It was clear that their arrangement would fail from the second it began.
The same shenanigans go on in Lucky Harbor as in the rest of the series and the small town antics made me chuckle and get all warm and fuzzy because they are comfortable to read about. They fleshed out this story but they didn’t really add to the love plot in this one.
Overall, it has all the hallmarks of a lucky harbor book and that made me enjoy it. Jack may be in my top three Shalvis heroes (number one will ever be the good doctor I think) but I’m afraid Leah isn’t on my heroine list. A good installment and I cannot WAIT for Ben…