Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Review: Once in a Lifetime

by Jill Shalvis
Rating: 4/5

onceinalifetimeSometimes wrong is oh-so-right
After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniel tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he's back in his hometown and face-to-face with Aubrey Wellington, the hot-as-hell woman who is trouble with a capital T. Family and friends insist she's not the one to ease his pain, but Aubrey sparks an intense desire that gives Ben hope for the future.

Determined to right the wrongs of her past, Aubrey is working hard to make amends. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is sexy, brooding Ben - even though he has absolutely no idea what she's done . . .
Can this unlikely couple defy the odds and win over the little town of Lucky Harbor?

This is book nine of the Lucky Harbor series and the final of the “Good Girls Gone Bad” trilogy. Although Aubrey is more of a bad girl gone good.

After Always On My Mind which while good was very average and both difficult to talk about and criticise or rave about it’s a relief to see that this was neither bland nor bad.

Aubrey is a self-proclaimed bad girl. She and Ben have been circling each other for the previous two books and its easy to why it took so long to get them together. After a run-in with Teddy her scumbag ex who’s written a book about his exploits and used Aubrey as ‘spice’ she runs into Ben and they almost kiss. Aubrey is absolutely confused in how she feels is she ticked at Teddy? Or lusting after Ben?

Trying to escape Ben after leaving Ford’s bar she runs into church where a pastor mistakes her for an alcoholic. Aubrey sits in on the AA meeting and finds herself intrigued by the concept of making amends.

The major plot is Aubrey renovating her late aunt’s bookstore into an escape like she had as a child and Ben as both handy man and busybody. Ben is resisting Aubrey because he doesn’t want to risk his heart again but he can’t help wanting to look out for her safety.

Ben also gets involved in a pair of foster children’s lives. They’re in a benignly neglectful foster home and Ben tracks down their father. This parallels with Ben’s own early childhood where his father was awful and he finally was virtually adopted by Jack’s parents. It’s very sweet to read.

The biggest problem I have is with Aubrey’s list. I appreciate her desire for redemption as her teenage actions were… bratty is probably the best way to put it. But Shalvis goes so far to make them relatable that I wonder what Aubrey felt guilty about. For example Aubrey apologises to her twin sister for not making it to sign some papers and her sister accuses her of blowing it off to do her hair and never actually asked why she was late, and later the sister who was on her high horse about a missed appointment reveals she had sex in the school library and let Aubrey take the blame for it. Aubrey got suspended and the librarian had it out for her from that point on. All the people Aubrey was mean to were retaliatory attacks that either accidentally went too far (teenager remember) or got out of hand.

It leaves you wishing some people had been forced to apologise to Aubrey not glad to see her change her ways. Because she’d already changed her ways, noone had caught up her reality. Still the story is a step up from the previous and worth every second.

**I received this book as an ARC from Jill Shalvis via NetGalley**

Currently LIstening: Everyday Superhero – Smashmouth

No comments:

Post a comment