Monday, February 17, 2014

Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis

Image linked from Goodreads
If you like character development, this one's a doozy. Former bad girl Aubrey Wellington is trying to make amends. She's also trying to avoid one man she wronged but the fireworks between them are hard to ignore.
Ben McDaniel has spent the five years since his wife's death traveling around the world installing water systems. But he's finally ready to stay home for awhile.
When the rest of the townsfolk notices the attraction between them, they aren't shy about warning Ben (the local hero, though, that title seems to belong to whoever this Shalvis book is about) off of a girl who is most recently known for being involved with a man who had a girlfriend. Actually, many, many girlfriends.
I gave this book three and a half stars because I mostly had good feels for this book. But thinking back, there were many frustrations as well.
I spent half the book appreciating what Aubrey was trying to do and the other half annoyed because it really didn't seem like what she did was really that out of line of normal teenage angsty-type stuff. Her so-called "bad deeds" were generally in retaliation for a very real slight that someone else had done to her. It's almost like Shalvis was trying to create excuses for her behavior. It wasn't like Victoria Dahl's Jane who truly was a wild child.
Ben, I enjoyed. Except for his ass-hat duncery at the end but the town of Lucky Harbor holds up a mirror and makes him face that. Oh, and the fact that he disabled her car? That's not romantic, that's creepy. Even though he admitted it, it's still creepy.
The plot was interesting but the last Big Misunderstanding the sex kitten pictures was cleared up rather too fast and didn't really need to be included at all.

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