Always on My Mind (Lucky Harbor Series)
Published date: Sept. 24, 2013.
Cheeseball rating: One cheeseball.
Authenticity of Spirit: I totally believed these characters, the problems, and the slightly kooky supporting characters.
How hot is it: There was some sexy stuff, but pretty tame.
Hero: One of the better guys I’ve read lately. Age 32.
Heroine: She was kind of a weenie, but I liked her. Age 29-30.
I’ve only read one other Jill Shalvis book, and I remember being disappointed in the sex scenes because I wasn’t looking for something quite so wholesome, which is how I’d describe the two books of hers I’ve read. Not that there’s anything wrong with wholesome, there isn’t at all, but I read books based on my mood and if you’re looking for some sizzling action I’d probably look elsewhere. Though I will say, this one was hotter than the first book, Head Over Heels.
Anyway, Always on My Mind is a solid read. While there’s nothing particularly memorable about it, I didn’t have any eye-rolling moments either. Basically, Leah and Jack are old friends who both had to grow up fast, and as a result, have some emotional issues. Leah’s dad was a douchebag who thought she was a failure, so she’s not a finisher, while Jack’s grown up to be a people-pleaser and isn’t honest with himself about what he wants in life. These issues are explored just enough that I didn’t get too bored. It’s a pet peeve of mine to have to delve too much into the mental anguish of romance characters, I’ve got enough actual problems, people, that’s why I’m reading a romance novel! But back to the point, they have to pretend they’re in a relationship for his ailing mother, and of course, they have trouble keeping their feelings for each other strictly pretend. You know it’s going to happen, of course, but I think the author made it interesting enough.
There’s a sweetness about this story because Jack is like a big brother to Leah, and takes care of her. The whole Lucky Harbor Series has this warm quality about it, that the characters come together and heal each other in some way. This is added by the sense of home even I felt about Lucky Harbor and its quirky cast of characters. In a small town, you find a way to live with each other because you have to, and often the results are unexpected. Go ahead and pick this one up, you won’t regret meeting these folks.