Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

Title: Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, #1) 

Author: Jill Shalvis

Rating: 4 Stars

When it comes to Simply Irresistible, there are only three things you need to know.

1.) Jax Cullen.

2.) He does not look like this:

3.) He looks like this:

Hmm...still here? You're not running to find a copy of this book yet? Well, in that case...Take 2!

Simply Irresistible, I have to admit, is a resistible piece of work...if you don't open its cover, that is. Once you begin reading this romance novel, you'll be hard-pressed to put it down. From the beginning itself, it's difficult not to become utterly invested in Maddie's tale, one brimming with hope, new beginnings, and past mistakes. Just having gotten out of an abusive relationship and lost her job, Maddie is making her way to the small Washington town of Lucky Harbor where her deceased mother's inn lies. Maddie, with her two half-sisters, now has the responsibility of either running the place - like her mother dreamed - or selling it off.

And yet, nothing in life is so easy. Maddie, for one, is known as the Mouse in the family. As the middle daughter, she is neither the Steel Magnolia that her older sister, Tara, is or the Wild Child that the youngest, Chloe, is either. After having been trampled over and taken for a fool with her ex-boyfriend, though, Maddie resolves to become something more than the Mouse: someone stronger. And it is her unrelenting perseverance to charge forward and face her fears that makes her such a remarkable protagonist. Granted, Maddie has some classic chick-lit qualities - a love of chips, a plumper figure than most, and a klutzy walk to go along with it. Nevertheless, I found that Maddie, with her attitude of trying to be oh-so-brave, still brought something new to the table as far as contemporary heroines go and, all the more, won my heart.

What truly makes the title of this utterly fitting, though, is Jax Cullen. You've already met him; just see the above picture for clarification. (If you're even sitting here and reading this when that face is staring at you!) Jax and Maddie meet when - wait for it - Maddie nearly runs him over with her car, but before she quite knows what's happening, he's asking her out for a drink and their chemistry is just sizzling. Although the romance begins straight off the bat with a whopping dose of attraction, the reason I enjoyed it so much is because Jax and Maddie take time to still get to know one another. For one, Maddie has sworn off the opposite sex after her nasty ex, but Jax slowly breaks down her barriers and wins her trust. Is Jax a little too good to be true? Maybe. After all, even when these two do fight, he's completely willing to make it up to her first. Moreover, he's patient with her skittishness and downright sexy, which makes for a lethal combination. Jax has his own past, full of its own secrets, but the romance in this novel played out perfectly, with just enough tension and care to balance it out and not a drop of unnecessary drama thrown in.

Needless to say, I am already clamoring for the next two novels in this series. Shalvis, first and foremost, is a fantastic writer, something I can testify with her deep exploration of family and self in this story. One of my favorite aspects of this book was the slowly creeping relationship between these three half-sisters. None of them are all that close, but they manage to find the ties of family that bond them together and truly come into their own. I have no doubt that there is still so much more to tell about these women, each strong and weak and brave and vulnerable in their own way. I love just how much there is to their characters and the small town setting of this novel certainly does it many favors as well. All in all, I would definitely say this is one irresistible package. (Especially when there's a snowstorm raging outside, you're passed out in bed from cramps, and the only thing within arms length is a comforter and your Kindle.) Still don't believe me?

How about now? ;)


  1. I have seen a lot of rave reviews about this book! Clearly I need to pick it up. Plus it looks winter-y, which I enjoy this time of year. I really like that despite some romance tropes, this book features a heroine that you wanted to root for, a sexy guy, and a realistic romance. And look at you adding pictures to your posts! I approve.

  2. From the moment Jax was described to look like Clark Kent, I couldn't resist adding pictures! ;) I definitely think is a great seasonal read, though. I read it awhile back but saved my review for winter when I knew it would be a little more relevant - I certainly hope you enjoy this one!(:

  3. Aww this book sounds like the perfect one to curl up with in this wretched weather. This story for some reason highly reminds me of You Don't Have to Say You Love me by Sarra Manning, you know how much I loved that book and how it left such a great impression with me for days after. Also I need a book which will be cute, fun and has sexy characters too! I will be definitely checking out books by Shalvis out soon! Lovely review Keertana!

  4. Mmm...Jax! I love Shalvis's stories -- they're sweet and fun and I think I want to live in those small towns she writes about. Hot men abound!

  5. HENRY CAVILL!!! *falls down dead of hotness overload* Good Heaven he's a beautiful man:) I'm so glad you loved this one Keertana (and honestly, how could you not picturing Henry as Jax?), I absolutely adored it as well. I'm a big fan of Jill Shalvis in general, but this was one of my very favorites. Can't wait to see what you think of the rest of the series!

  6. That certainly grabbed my attention. *puts novel in tbr list yowza

  7. Well, I obviously need to meet this JAx Cullen immediately! I don't know that I'm in the mood for another contemporary romance, having just finished Robyn Carr's Thunder Point books, but it's winter and I'm cold so who knows?!
    And yaay, you're reading Cady Bell! *thrilled* Have some patience if you find the first book just ok. The series gets better and better.

  8. I'm sorry... did you say something. I keep getting distracted by those pics! :D Aside from the pics (when I could pay attention) I do like the sound of these characters. I love a good character driven book. I believe you. Must read! :D

  9. I probably would have totally overlooked this book based on that cover, but seriously, Keertana! You just sold me on a novel I would never have otherwise considered! I clearly must meet Jax ;) Great review!

  10. I remember seeing reviews for this author and this definitely does sound good! I'm not always about adult romance, but this one sounds a little different. I'd consider reading it!

  11. LOL totally have to get a copy of this book now!!:D

  12. hahahaha your image of the Cullen family. Who is that guy in the images, though?
    Let's be honest: that cover is terrible. It epitomizes basically everything I dislike/am prejudiced against for adult romances.
    Still, though, reading about your very positive reaction to this book makes me reconsider my stance on this, at least a little. Though I will admit I'm more interested in the sister bonds than the romance. Or at least I think I would be. We'll see if I eventually get around to this haha.

  13. Simply Irresistible has characters that will tug at your heart and make you cheer for them to succeed. Max and Jax chemistry is hot and sizzles every time they see each other. The siblings story is engaging and will make you want to know more about Maddie and her sisters. I am eager to read Tara and Chloe's stories. Wonderful book.
    r rated ted doll


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