Series: Lucky Harbor #9
Author: Jill Shalvis
After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniel tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he's back in his hometown and face-to-face with Aubrey Wellington, the hot-as-hell woman who is trouble with a capital T. Family and friends insist she's not the one to ease his pain, but Aubrey sparks an intense desire that gives Ben hope for the future.
Determined to right the wrongs of her past, Aubrey is working hard to make amends. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is sexy, brooding Ben - even though he has absolutely no idea what she's done . . .
Can this unlikely couple defy the odds and win over the little town of Lucky Harbor?
Like with some other auto-buy authors(hi Nalini!), every time I read a Jill Shalvis book I feel like coming home or eating chocolate mousse: the combination of well-being and euphoria is lovely.
This book is the last in another Lucky Harbor trilogy and it features Ben, Jack’s cousin and BFF, and Audrey, kind of a mean girl. Audrey stumbles unintentionally, while trying to hide from Ben :D, into an AA meeting. After listening to the stories the people had a thing struck her: how people were trying to make amends to improve their relationships with the people they wronged. When Audrey got home that night she made a list of all the people she wronged and started thinking about what she could do to own to hers.
Ben is an engineer, one of Lucky Harbor’s beloved residents, and he just finished an overseas contract. His friends and family are trying to entice him not to leave again so they are finding him a job(they actually inform him he has an interview), they rope him in a craft class for preschoolers… He also accepts a refurbishing project from Audrey’s uncle: he is to help her in any way to redecorate her new business, a bookstore. That doesn’t go as either of them want :D
Audrey is a great character: she’s smart, determined to succeed even if people keep telling her that she won’t, she loves her family, is a bit skittish though, around everyone… I love the way she wants to make amends. She doesn’t have an easy time of it, but she doesn’t give up, I really admire her for it. At the same time she’s stubborn and jumps to conclusions. I think Ben describes her perfectly here.
Ben is the strong, silent type. He lost his first wife 5 years before and hasn’t had any real relationships with women ever since. His friends love him and because of that they are trying to rule his life, which is more or less working :D The way he handled the craft lessons made me laugh out loud[he didn’t know he was working with small human beings]!
“You’re a shithead,” Ben said in lieu of a greeting.
“You made them clean out your truck?” Jack asked incredulously. “Seriously?”
“So I’m fired, right?” Ben asked hopefully.
Jack laughed. “You’re going to have to do a lot worse than that. And don’t even think about it. I need you there. The kids loved you. But Jesus, figure out a craft that doesn’t involve cleaning out your truck.”
One of the days Ben was into town he saw Audrey and her making amends list and what’s a guy to do? Follow her, of course! That way he kind of deduces what she is doing, but, also, he reads her list and sees a “Ben” written in. Audrey doesn’t want to tell him why he’s on her list, especially because they are sleeping together and she kind of fell in love with him… But when she does tell him, well, let’s say that it doesn’t go well…
I loved this book, like I do all Ms. Shalvis’ “Lucky Harbor” books. They are fun, well written, full of emotion and have great characters that aren’t afraid to admit when they are wrong. She also writes great relationships: between friends, family, the residents of the town. I recommend this book and this series to anyone who likes all of the above.
My favorite scene: Audrey goes to Ben when she’s drunk to confront him about the shitty way he handled the list thing.
“Okay, first of all, I didn’t sleep with you to make amends. I slept with you because I wanted to.”
He still didn’t say anything, and she pointed at him again. “And you know what? It was your own damn fault. It was those jeans you wear, and the tool belt. It was the size of your hammer!”