Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Aaaand she’s back. She being the wonderful Jill Shalvis and not that she was ever really gone. But whilst I really liked Book #10 in the Lucky Harbor series, I didn’t LOVE it. Well, I definitely LOVED Book #11.
“H-hang on to m-me,” she said, and …dunked him again.
For the love of God. “Stop trying to save me,” he told her. “I’m begging you.”
Her hair was in her face, and behind the strands plastered to her skin, her eyes widened. “Oh my God. You’re trying to commit suicide.”
“What? No.” The situation was ridiculous, and he was frustrated and effing cold, but damn it was hard not to be charmed by the fact that she was trying to save him, even as she was going down for the count herself. “I’m trying to keep you from killing me.”
From the opening scene of He’s So Fine when Olivia jumps into the water to ‘save’ Cole followed swiftly by the ‘let’s get naked to warm up, friends walk in, Cole/Olivia left trying to explain that this isn’t what it looked like’ scene, I was in love with this book. So much of the dialogue between Cole/Olivia made me grin.
As individual characters, they were easy to like. Olivia is a former child star with an infamous past and a money-grabbing mother. With family like that, you could completely understand why Olivia pretended they were dead and why she wanted to get away from her old life.
Cole is suffering from mild PTSD due to an explosion on the rig he worked on and losing his best friend. I wholeheartedly love Cole. Whilst he may be rigid (“Am I … rigid?” “I don’t know man,” Tanner said, “But I’m really hoping not.”) I can totally understand why he is that way and whilst he may see things in black and white he has a great heart and is always willing to help people.
I think the novel as a whole ended rather abruptly. We never got to find out how much of Cole’s love declaration ended up on TV as being part of the special or whether doing the program got Olivia’s mother and sister off her back. It would also have been interesting to have a chapter to see how life changes for Olivia in Lucky Harbor after her secret is revealed. I also thought that as part of the ‘big blow up’, Cole would find out that one of his sisters knew who Olivia really was and kept it from him aka Sam and Tanner keeping the Susan/Gil thing from him. Also, did Cole ever really deal with his fear of flames/PTSD?
So overall, whilst I loved it, He’s So Fine didn’t really feel complete. However, I am sure we’ll get glimpses of Cole/Olivia in the next book which will hopefully resolve some of the loose ends.
Talking of the next book, love the idea of bringing in Lucille’s family as a way to round up the Lucky Harbor series!
Cover: 3* – why is there a photo of a couple on a bicycle when Cole/Olivia never rode a bike in the whole book?!