He’s So Fine by Jill Shalvis

Grade: B
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, small town
Series: Lucky Harbor #11
Published: 9/30/14
Reviewed by Anne
233 ebook pages

Olivia runs the “vintage shop” in Lucky Harbor.  She and her friend Becca enjoy watching the guys who run a charter boat company and enjoy surfing.  So when Olivia sees one of them fall in the icy cold water off his boat, she jumps in to save him – never mind that she’s not a strong swimmer and he didn’t really need saving.  Olivia and Cole each have their own baggage.  Cole hasn’t dated since his fiancée left him two years earlier.  Olivia left behind a rough childhood and adolescence, even changing her name before settling in Lucky Harbor.  Neither is looking for a relationship, or even a hookup, but their attraction to each other is strong – and so are their matchmaking friends.

You just can’t go wrong with Jill Shalvis.  Even when she’s writing a “pretty good” story, which is how I’d rate this one, it’s still a step above most other contemporary romance authors.  Seriously.  “Pretty Good” for Jill Shalvis ranks even with the best of other romances I read.  Shalvis’ humor is sprinkled throughout the book.  As my teens would say, I LOLed!  Several times!  I enjoyed the chemistry between Olivia and Cole, and I believed they belonged together.

On the other hand, I was severely annoyed at how stupid Olivia came across in the opening scene.  Who jumps in to rescue someone when they’re not a strong swimmer themself?  How about running on the boat and throwing out a life vest?  Or calling for help?  Thankfully, this turned out to be an out of character move for Olivia, who is otherwise very intelligent and independent.  In fact, she has a hard time accepting help from Cole.  This turns out to be a new thing for Cole, who seems to be the fix it guy for the entire town, including his family.

I have one other nit picky detail.  There’s a side story about two little girls who spent some time in foster care before their father stepped in to take care of them.  So, now we’ve got this little family with no money to spare, so the characters in this book are stepping in to lend a hand with the little girls occasionally.  The girls, who are around 6, I think, mention that they’ve never celebrated Halloween before – like foster parents don’t celebrate Halloween?  I’m sure there are foster homes where that happens, but as a former foster parent, pretty much every kid I knew celebrated Halloween, in foster care or not.  In fact, the only kids I knew of who didn’t celebrate were those whose religion was a factor against it.  Maybe the back story of these girls is more fully explained in the previous book (which I haven’t read yet) but I sure do get tired of reading foster homes as the source of all childhood suffering.

Ok, so, stepping off my soapbox… this was a very enjoyable read.  The angst factor was low and humor factor was high.  I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance.   I’ve read most of the Lucky Harbor series, but not every book.  Even without having read the previous story in the series, this one was enjoyable.  So, read in which ever order you’d like, but do read it – it will make you smile and LOL!

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