Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Book Review: The Good Luck Sister by Jill Shalvis


Title: The Good Luck Sister
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Wildstone #1.5
Publication Date: May 1st 2018

Synopsis: "This summer, romance blooms again in Wildstone!

After a difficult few years, Tilly Adams is ready for life to start going right. Though she has a case of first day nerves teaching art at the local community college, she knows it isn't anything a few snuggles from her rescue puppy won't cure. Until she sees Dylan Scott again, her one-time BFF and first love sitting in the front row.

Dylan knows he should've left well enough alone, but when he sees Tilly living her dream, he can't help but make contact. Ten years ago, he left Wildstone and everything in it behind, including Tilly. He had his reasons, but now he wants her back in his life, anyway he can get her.

When Tilly agrees to design the logo for Dylan's new helicopter touring company, it's business only... until she finds herself falling into his arms once again. Can she possibly open her heart back up to the only man who's ever broken it? But soon they're both realising the truth - love always deserves a second chance."

My thoughts: If you follow me on Goodreads, it's not secret that when it comes to contemporary romance, I'm a fan of Jill Shalvis. Whenever I'm in the mood for some romance with a little bit of sexy times in it, I turn to her books. I am a huge fan of her Animal Magnetism books, and I also really love her Pacific Heat duology - I actually reread them whenever I'm in the mood, too. Oh, and the Wilder books. And I'm quite partial to her newer series, Heartbreaker Bay... Anyway, I'm a fan, okay?

So when I saw that she was starting another new series, the first book being Lost and Found Sisters, I was intrigued. When the novella just following the first book landed in my lap, I dove right in, and am now eagerly awaiting the next one.

What makes Shalvis's books so great is present here, too - characters that feel fleshed out and real, with issues that actually make sense, and a depth to them not often found in contemporary romance. I particularly love how many of her characters are partial to rescue dogs and cats - warms my dear heart. 

While I will admit to occasionally getting frustrated with Shalvis' characters in the past for what seem like easily-correctable communication issues, I've also had to acknowledge that this is what relationships sometimes look like - emotions running high, people being afraid to share themselves, miscommunications abound. There was a little of that in this novella, but mostly I was pleased to find that Dylan, in particular, was really good at sharing what was going on for him, trying to work things out, and also giving Tilly the space she needed to work things out, too. And that's why I really love Jill Shalvis' writing: her characters are flawed, but real; they do their best to work on their own stuff and call each other out on BS; and (and I'd be lying if this wasn't a big factor) they have pretty amazing sex (well done, Jill, for being able to write so many sexy times scenes!). Oh, and Shalvis continues to evolve as a writer as time goes on, which is not something I have seen in other romance writers.

Okay, I'll admit that, while I had fun reading this, I did feel at times that things were a little too rushed, even with Tilly and Dylan's history. I definitely thought this one could easily be fleshed out into a novel. It does work as a novella, but it felt a little jumpy at times and I just wanted a little more development of the characters before they jumped right back into each other's arms. I also thought Dylan's background could have been expanded a little more - while we do get to know him during the course of the book, there were parts of his history that I just felt like I needed more from, and he still came across as a little bit of an enigma. I think the 'strong, silent type' trope can rub me the wrong way, sometimes, because that feels like a bit of a pressure on men to keep their emotions to themselves - not something I believe in. (If I'm writing a wishlist, I think I'd also like a little more LGBTQ+ representation, and maybe also some diversity in race... okay I'm done.)

However, if you are partial to a bit of contemporary romance, I would still definitely recommend that you check out Jill Shalvis.



{I received a review ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!}

A favourite line from the book: 'I said I was smart. I never said I had my shit together. - from "The Mixed-Up Files of Tilly Adams's Journal."'

You would like this book if: You enjoy contemporary romance with a hint of good communication and some decent exploration of consent; you enjoy good sexy times scenes!

Tea to drink while reading this book: Do not recommend a hot beverage as you will already be hot and bothered. Wink. Too far?

Rating:  6.5/10

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