Animal Attraction, by Jill Shalvis

Animal Attraction 
By: Jill Shalvis
Published date: October 4, 2011

Cheeseball rating: One cheeseball.
Authenticity of Spirit:  Yeah, I believed these people could actually exist.
How hot is it: Hot enough, but not as hot as the title might suggest.
Hero: Dell, a veterinarian.
Heroine: Jade, office manager.

So I liked this book. I didn’t love it like I love Ed Westwick in a suit, but I liked it. It’s another solid offering from Jill Shalvis. This was an audiobook for me because I’ve been doing some traveling this summer, so I was looking for something reliable that I knew I’d like, and this didn’t disappoint.

The basic story is that Jade (is anyone else not a fan of this name, it just makes me think of a cheap Chinese buffet.) got held up at her family’s medical center in Chicago, and traumatized, clears her mind on a road trip that leads her to Sunshine, Wyoming. She gets a job running Dell’s veterinary practice, and for eighteen months she doesn’t volunteer any personal information about herself to her new friends. When her family begs her to come back, she’s faced with a big decision.

The romance between Jade and Dell is nice. There honestly doesn’t seem to be a super amount of chemistry between them, but the book is well-written and they’re both good people without annoying or stupid quirks so I can’t complain that much. Dell has abandonment issues because his mother gave him up and he was raised as a foster kid so he becomes a dude that just dates lots of chicks, but never has relationships. After being told all her life that she was strong, Jade is still coming to terms with her fear and being ineffectual during her attack. These issues are written believably, and by that I mean I felt like the author had the characters handle their issues in a believable and rational way. It’s kind of rare thing in romance novels so it’s definitely worth noting.

Their feelings for each other sneak up on each other, since their romance doesn’t start until Jade has given Dell her notice and is intending to go back to Chicago to her old life. Up until that point, Dell helps her learn self-defense, more or less giving her the confidence she needs to leave, and in the end, he also gives her the confidence to follow her own path, which of course, leads back to him and Sunshine. Dell himself is wonderful. I mean, it’s just difficult to go wrong with a character who loves and takes care of animals and is hot so I don’t know how Jade held out so long.

Anyway, this one is definitely worth the read. Like I’ve said before, Jill Shalvis has a way of letting her characters heal each other, and that’s definitely what happens here. While their conversations are kind of dull, they both give each other what the other needs to be happy, confidence for Jade and security for Dell. It was pleasant to listen to as I drove through the winding, majestic roads of West Virginia, and made me wonder what I’d find if I kept on driving.


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