Maddie Moore lost her boyfriend and her job almost simutaneously. She didn't realize before things escalated that her boyfriend had a violent streak. When things turned ugly, she poured her steaming hot coffee in his lap. Unfortunately, he was the high-powered lawyer for the agency she worked at, and they fired her.
Same week, her mom dies. She leaves to Maddie a third of an inn in Lucky Harbor. She shares the inheritance with her two half sisters. None of them have the same father and they all grew up separately, so they don't really know one another really well.
Homeless, broke, and wanting to reinvent her life, Maddie is determined that at Lucky Harbor she will create a new life for herself. The problem is her sisters want to sell, and sell quickly, so they can get back to their lives. Maddie insists on taking a shot at it, and so she hires master contracter Jax to make over the inn. But Jax and Maddie create an instant spark between them. Maddie has sworn off men, and Jax is not looking for a relationship. Can the two work through the past and the present so they can have a future?
Simply Irresistible is a charming romance. Jill Shavis has a way with the pen, creating humor and complex yet likable and diverse characters. The love scenes are steamy, yet brimming with promise. A fun romp!
(3.5 stars) This book is my first Jill Shalvis novel and one I would definitely recommend, though I'm glad I got it from the library. I will say that Jax is such a delicious and wonderful hero, that I might end up caving and ordering it from PBS for that reason alone ... no self-control, it's ridiculous.
The story is a cute one, with no real heavy issues. There were some that could have been further developed or explored, like Jax's relationship with his father and his old way of life, though it seems like he resolved things enough internally before the book started that you don't feel like it being unexplored left something missing - just think it could have added more depth.
I didn't like the sisters very much, which definitely drew from my enjoyment of the book. Maddie's relationships with her sister is an integral part of the story, so to have both of them get on my nerves in almost every scene they're in did not really work out well.
Maddie is cute and sweet; she's insecure and carries a lot of shame from having previously been in an abusive relationship. This rounds out her character and the author does a good job of incorporating it into her character and then showing how she's trying to change and be "stronger" and not The Mouse. Maybe I wasn't in an easily satisfiable mood when I read this book, because again I felt like even more could have been done with this. What was there felt authentic, but could have gone deeper.
Finally, Maddie and Jax's relationship begins instantaneously, and I'm really not a huge fan of that. It was fun to read and often humorous, but started out so strong a little too early in the book for me and seemed mostly physical. Maddie's family and insecurity issues gave their relationship more emotional depth, but looking back it seemed pretty hormonally driven.
Check it out from the library - if nothing else, Jax alone makes it worth reading this book. ... Where can I get one of him??
As I said, the sisters did not endear themselves to me, so while they will be having their own romances (Tara with Ford, Chloe with Sawyer one can assume), I'll probably skip them. For a contemporary romance sister-trilogy where all three books were fabulous, pick up Kathy Love's Stepp Sisters Trilogy:
Book 1 --- GETTING WHAT YOU WANT (4.5 stars)
Book 2 --- WANTING WHAT YOU GET (5 stars, one of my all-time favorite CRs)
Book 3 --- WANTING SOMETHING MORE (4 stars)
(Written on February 12, 2011)