Why I read it: I picked this up from NetGalley. I'm a fan of Shalvis and enjoyed the previous Lucky Harbor books.
What it's about: (from Goodreads) Mallory Quinn has had enough of playing it safe. As a nurse and devoted daughter, she takes care of everyone but herself. And as the local good girl, she's expected to date Mr. Right. But for once, she'd like to take a risk on Mr. Wrong. And who could be more wrong than Ty Garrison? The mysterious new guy in town has made it clear that he's only passing through, which suits Mallory just fine. Besides, his lean, hard body and sexy smile will give her plenty to remember once he's gone . . .
For the first time in his life, Ty can't bear to leave. Helping this sexy seductress-in-training walk on the wild side is making him desire things he shouldn?t?including leaving the military for good. As their just-for-fun fling becomes something more, Mallory and Ty wonder if they could really be this lucky in love. After all . . . anything can happen in a town called Lucky Harbor.
What worked for me (and what didn't): Instalment 4 of 6 of the Lucky Habor series, this is the first book in the second trilogy. The first was about the sisters Tara, Maddie and Chloe. This trilogy features the "Chocaholics", three friends, Mallory, Amy and Grace, who bond over chocolate. It was fun to return to Lucky Harbor, catch up on their Facebook page and some of the other characters (I'm looking at you Lucille). The girls from the first trilogy don't appear and their men are barely mentioned or only have small parts to play. You can absolutely start here in the series if you haven't read any of the previous books (although I have enjoyed them all).
What was a little different about this book is that the sexual relationship between Ty and Mallory starts very early in the book (which I liked :D) - Mallory decides to walk on the wild side and go for Mr. Wrong instead of trying to find Mr. Right. So, when an opportunity to get down and dirty with Mysterious Cute Guy comes up unexpectedly, she goes for it. For some reason it didn't strike me as at all odd that she would do this with such a short acquaintance with him - I guess Ty's level of sexy leaps out of the page so well that it didn't bother me. :)
Ty isn't really all that bad of a "bad boy". The only thing is that he's leaving town and not planning to return, but other than that, he's protective, noble, honest and sexy as all get out so there's a lot to attract a woman.
Mallory is a good girl - after the tragic death of her sister when they were both teenagers, Mallory thinks that if she is only a good girl then everything will be okay. Mallory is a little too good to be true - buying groceries for the elderly, searching out the homeless to give them food, watering the neighbours flowers, etc. If she had stayed that way I expect my teeth would have started to ache with her sweetness. During the course of the book, thankfully, she learns to stand up for herself and also that being rude and blunt is sometimes more effective than being nice.
There's nothing too startling about the storyline or the characters. They reminded me strongly of Lilah and Brady from Animal Magnetism - the conflict is essentially the same in both books.
However, I enjoy Ms. Shalvis' writing style so much, I think that she writes male dialogue very well (although there was one scene near the end where I question whether Ty would really say that - it was a kind of "you complete me" moment which was a little too sappy for my tastes) and she writes hot and steamy sex scenes which convey the developing emotional connection between the couple.
There are plenty of funny one liners and sexy conversations - Ty doesn't mind a bit of the dirty talk and the style is easy and fun - I breezed through the book in an evening and an afternoon. There's nothing earth shattering or new here, but I found the book an enjoyable sexy read and would recommend it to anyone who likes a good contemporary romance.
"Hydrogen, helium, lithium—”
She stared at him. “What are you doing now?”
“Listing the chemical elements so I can answer the door without a boner.”
“And knowing my mother is on your porch isn’t taking care of that?”