There are times when the only type of reading material that will work is fluff. My favorite kind of fluff is romance. Maybe it’s because I’m an old married woman, and the most romantic thing my husband does for me today is wash the dishes (which, if you’re reading this honey, I love you for!) Or maybe it’s because the men are always Rob Lowe-sexy and it gives me some good material for dreamland. Whatever the reason, when I found myself with a recently neutered dog who wanted to spend the weekend curled up in my lap, I figured the best thing to do was sit there for him, while reading the second book in Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series, The Sweetest Thing.
In the first book of the series, Simply Irresistible, readers learned Tara Daniels’ deep dark secret: she’d given a baby up for adoption at 17. Even though she kept the identity of the father a secret from her sisters, it was easy for them and the reader to figure out it was Ford Walker, the one man in Lucky Harbor Tara absolutely abhorred.
Fresh from her divorce from NASCAR hunk Logan Perrish, Tara originally just planned to lick her wounds while helping her sisters settle their mother’s estate at the Lucky Harbor Inn. However, the three girls decided they should turn the inn into a B&B, which meant Tara needed to stay in the area longer than planned. It also meant she was forced to interact with Ford on a fairly regular basis.
Even though neither Tara nor Ford can deny the heat and attraction between them, there’s too much baggage for either one of them to make a move in the right direction. When their bickering finally comes to a head and they end up in bed together, Logan shows up out of the blue determined to win Tara back.
The scenes with Logan and Ford having their “manly” contests were some of the most hilarious scenes in the book, especially as the town gossipers decide to have their say and start a Facebook poll to see just who Tara should pick to be her man. Tara initially denies both men, but eventually decides if it’s going to be one of them, it would be Ford.
However, Tara is hit with yet another surprise when her and Ford’s daughter, Mia, suddenly shows up at the Inn looking for work and her birth parents, hoping to learn a little about herself and figure out why they gave her up in the first place. Mia bonds with Ford right away, and Tara finds herself jealous of their relationship as she struggles to explain to Mia why she doesn’t regret giving her up but why she wasn’t the biggest mistake of her life, either.
Shalvis is a very talented writer. Her characters are very well-rounded, especially Tara, who is dubbed the “Steel Magnolia.” I had a lot of respect for her, as she was trying to keep her life together while still being there for those she cared for. The requisite sex scenes are steamy and left me looking for something cold to drink and checking the windows for fog.
This is definitely a series you should have on your shelves. If you didn’t pick up Simply Irresistible last year, it’s a must-have, especially because readers see the progression of Maddie in The Sweetest Thing. The third book, entitled Head Over Heels and featuring the third sister, Chloe, will be out December of this year. I know I’ll be picking it up as soon as it’s out!