Book(s) Review: Lucky Harbor Series – Jill Shalvis

I’m back at work today. From Saturday night till yesterday evening, I read 12 romance novels. All from the same series. By book four all the characters had blurred into the same lead pair. One sexy white alpha male with six pack abs and delicious pecs wearing board shorts slung dangerously low on his hips f***ing scr**ing falling in love with an equally sexy white supposedly feminist female with a serious junk food addiction and an irrational fear of spiders. Oh, the female usually wore “f*** me” boots. What the eff are f-me boots?

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After the first three (the collection is four trilogies), I was possessed by an irrational desire to read the entire series before getting back to work. I guess you can take a project manager out of office but you can’t stop her project managing. Also, I didn’t have the energy or attention span needed to do anything else. It was easier to read these books than watch tv or play with my son or even read my beloved Pratchett and Wodehouse.  I mean, just compare the cognitive effort involved.

I’d end up watching something like this documentary on TV:

Or have to process sentences like these by Wodehouse:

At this moment, the laurel bush, which had hitherto not spoken, said “Psst!”

A sort of gulpy, gurgly, plobby, squishy, wofflesome sound, like a thousand eager men drinking soup in a foreign restaurant.

or these by Pratchett:

The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the date last shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality

There was a pregnant pause. It gave birth to a lot of little pauses, each one more deeply embarrassing than its parent.

When coughing gives you a headache, it’s best not to spill your guts laughing. So turning to romance novels instead provides reading that’s more comforting and easier to understand.

There’s emergency chocolate (which I carry)

“Where did that flashlight come from?” Chloe asked.
“My purse.”
Chloe looked at Tara. “She carries a flashlight in her purse.”
“For emergencies,” Maddie said, trying to see into the yard.
“You have any chocolate?” Chloe asked hopefully. “For emergencies?”
“Of course. Side Pocket, next to the fork.”

Ogling at men (which we’ve all done)

“If I looked like him,” Tara said. “I’d want to have sex with myself. All the time.”

Nursing heartbreak (which most of us have done)

I’ve given up men. It’s true. At first, I was just going to give up attorneys, but that seemed immature – and far too exclusive, so I’m playing it safe and giving up all the penis-carrying humans.

And laughing at men and their one track minds (which, let’s admit, most of us have done too)

“Logan, why aren’t you wearing protection?”
The radio crackled, and then came Logan’s voice. “I have ‘protection’ in my bag,” he said. “But as much as I don’t want to say this, darlin’, now’s not the time to be asking if I’m carrying condoms. I have problems.”

“A life vest, Logan! I’m asking where’s your life vest!”

“Oh,” he said. “I knew that.”

So I find the genre pleasant and comforting in their own way. At least you know how the damn book ends and you don’t have to use your imagination much (or use it at all #justsaying). You can fall asleep halfway and not miss a thing. And you don’t need to stay up because the plot is so gripping. I was looking for a nice escape read and ended up on Smart Bitches Trashy Books trying to find a book that wouldn’t drop my platelet count by the sheer doormatness of the heroine and hoo boy, that was an educational experience!

I found out there are a lot of sub-genres in romance. There’s historical romance set in weird times of the past. No neanderthal sex though, I think. There’s the mostly sex romance but I think the marketing term for that is romantica or erotica or something. And there are all sorts of weird things including people turning into animals. I really didn’t want to know but I clicked on the “C” reviews and this one was hilarious. It looks like I’m in a minority here where I prefer to read about two rational, consenting adults who’re not perfect and not millionaire Greek gods protecting their poor little housekeepers. Two people falling in love where sex isn’t the main part of the book is a niche genre. Who knew?

Jill Shalvis more or less aces this little niche. Ok, so the characters in this series are all more or less the same. And there’s only so much bromance you can endure when the phrase “like a little girl” is constantly used as an insult. But overall, the books do have their moments. And they’re a good way to escape. Plus, and I’ve never encountered this in all my M&B reading days, the female characters all have friends. And they initiate sex y’all. They don’t shiver or wilt like little flowers under the smouldering gaze of the hero. What more can a girl forced to rest and drink fluids every hour ask for? (No point napping when the bathroom breaks are longer than the naps themselves, is there?)

So following dengue fever and near floods in Chennai, dear readers, I’m back! I missed you all. Really! I reviewed 12 books for you. Did you miss me too?

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