Probably my favorite thing about being a book blogger is that I have made friends who serve as better tastemakers than people in real life. These friends subtly convince me to read various things by virtue of being so enthusiastic. One such friend is a person that I can always count on to give a solid contemporary romance recommendation – that person is Ginger at G Reads! She’s got such good taste, and so when she continually made recommendations for the various books in Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor series, I took note. I began reading the first book, Simply Irresistible because I was craving contemporary romance something fierce, and also I am always a sucker for books set during Christmas.
The premise behind Simply Irresistible is that three sisters (all with different dads) have inherited an inn from their free-spirit hippie mother in Lucky Harbor which is near Seattle, I guess. So the three sisters -nicknamed the Steel Magnolia, The Mouse, and The Wild Child all converge at Lucky Harbor to check out the inn and to kind of get acquainted with each other, as the three girls were raised by their dads and not their mother. Simply Irresistible follows Maddie, the middle sister, or the Mouse. Maddie worked in LA and while it was glitzy there, she was not happy. You see, she comes to Lucky Harbor down her luck. She breaks up with an abusive lawyer ex-boyfriend and unfortunately dumping him gets her fired. And so, Maddie has like no money but a lot of hope that she can open the inn with her sisters — one of which wants to sell. Anyways, while in Lucky Harbor, the three sisters inherit a recipe box filled with Phoebe-isms (Phoebe Traeger was their mother) and these sayings end up as epigraphs for each chapter.
I bet you are wondering about the romance. Well, the hero of Simply Irresistible is Jax, a former hotshot lawyer turned Master Carpenter and man about town. He is irresistibly drawn to Maddie and you guys the two have totally got this fierce zinging chemistry going on. It’s pretty darn swoonworthy. Also! Also! Their romance has kind of busted my slump as far as reading goes. I really, really liked this pairing BUT I will say, having read book 2, the best is YET to come.
Reasons You Should Read Simply Irresistible:
1. Maddie’s interesting back story – like I said above, Maddie’s down on her luck and this is really a super story of redemption and also gaining courage and confidence. I loved how Maddie was presented and how she changes.
2. Superb sister interactions – Okay, so the girls do fit into these sort of rigid roles, but as the story goes on they start to step out of the roles. I loved seeing them go from strangers to friends to sisters. It’s pretty heart warming.
3. Sex scenes that are actually good – and um, dare I say, blazing? Enough said.
On The Christmas Spirit Scale of 0 to Clark Griswold, How Would I Rate Simply Irresistible?
It’s halfway to Clark. There are lots of Christmas-type things that occur in Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis, however I am not sure I would place it solidly in the holiday romance camp. What I mean is that the book happens to take place during Christmas, but it’s not ABOUT Christmas and Christmas-love. That said, there’s a particularly fun scene that involves a Charlie Brown tree and some drunken antics, so this book is one to start the Christmas season with, and one I think would be a good start if you want to begin the season with a slow build up of cheer!
Disclosure: I purchased my own copy
Other reviews of Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis:
G Reads Books – “And then there was the passion”
Fiction Folio – “a must-read for adult contemp/romance fans.”
Angieville – “In retrospect, I think this series is definitely a good fit for Kristan Higgins fans“