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Heroine: Ali Winters – Positive, Creative
Hero: Luke Hanover – Detective, Caregiver
In case you weren’t aware – Jill Shalvis is one of my all-time favorite contemporary authors. She knows how to write sexy alpha heroes that make you weak in the knees. She excels at writing funny, lighthearted, exciting, and steamy romantic contemporaries that make me excited for her next book every time. And I can always count on Miz Shalvis to put a cheesy smile on my face, make me laugh out loud, and make me happily sigh as I fall in love with her characters.
Ali Winters has been completely screwed over by her boyfriend, who not only cheats on her, but he breaks up with her via text, moves out, and fails to tell her the lease on their house has ended. Yep. He’s a jerk. Ali has finally reached her limit with the jerk. Ali is angry and yelling at the jerk’s voicemail, giving him a piece of her mind, when the owner comes home and finds her in his kitchen wearing only a bra and panties. Ali’s surprised to find someone in her kitchen.
Come to find out, the intruder is Detective Luke Hanover. He took a three week leave from the San Francisco PD, after a high-profile case went terribly wrong, with the hope to find his sanity. He doesn’t really know what to make of the panty-clad, pretty B&E perp in his kitchen who is armed with pottery and then proceeds to throw it at him. Luke finally settles Ali down and explains to her the house is his. Luke hasn’t been to the house in years, not since his grandmother passed away, but now he’s come back in desperate need of some peace and quiet. Although having Ali in the house might make that impossible. Her life is a falling apart. And Luke is too chivalrous to leave a lady in distress. Finding out Ali doesn’t have anywhere to live, he lets her stay the night, which then turns into her living with him until she finds a place to stay permanently.
Poor Ali can’t catch a break. Poor Luke just wanted to be left alone. Things become even more complicated when the police show up at the Luke’s house. Ali is now being accused of stealing a lot of money from the town’s fundraiser funds that were supposed to be in her former boyfriend’s office. The same office Ali visited after the breakup. Ali now looks like a scorned ex-girlfriend getting even with the jerk. Luke, ever the hero, knows Ali didn’t take the money and decides to help her out by investigating around town to find the true thief. But, in the meantime, as they continue to live together they both grow closer and the sexual tension rises. These two unlikely people, who have nothing in common, are perfect for one another.
Luke is so darn sexy and caring. He would take on the world if he could. He can’t stop blaming himself for his sister’s bad decisions and his grandmother’s death. Being back in Lucky Harbor where he grew up with friends and family, the memories from his past come rushing back to him. When he meets Ali, he’s drawn to her positive energy and strength to make the best of everything. Ali is like a breath of fresh air compared to the world he lives in as detective. He likes that she wants to protect him when he’s always been the protector. And the more time he spends with her, the harder he falls. But Luke is still fighting the demons from his past and doesn’t feel he can give anything to Ali, so he’s left feeling torn between leaving to go back to his job and staying in Lucky where he is feels happy with Ali.
Ali is super sweet, optimistic, creative, protective, and happy. I really want to give this girl a hug for being so awesome. Ali comes from a rough neighborhood and has learned to make the best of everything, even when life keeps throwing her rotten tomatoes. She chooses not to wallow in self-pity and smile instead. And this is the time when most people would wallow the most. Nope, not Ali, she continues to remain positive and determined to make things better in her life. So, with her life being a wreck at the moment, the last thing she needed was to fall in love with the super sexy detective whose is still planning to leave when his vacation is up. But denying the combustible chemistry they have together is impossible.
“I love that too,” she whispered.
He kissed the frantically beating pulse at the base of her neck. “What?”
“The feel of you.” She arched against him wordlessly, demanding more.
“Your mouth on me.”
He made his way along her jaw to just beneath her ear. “What else?”
With a shiver, she tightened her grip on his hair. He didn’t care if she made him bald, as long as she didn’t let go. “That you know my sweet spots.”
“You’re one big, sweet spot.”
Luke and Ali are so much fun and super sexy together. They are both highly attracted to one another but they both think it's a bad idea to become involved with the other. Yet they think if they scratch that itch, they will be able to get the intense sexual attraction out of their system. So they scratch it. But instead of getting each other out of their systems, they created even more lust and desire now that they've had a taste. It was a hoot to watch them banter flirtatiously and try to deny their strong attraction. The heat and steam between these two is smoking hot. Shalvis does sexual tension quite well. I’m really happy with the way Shalvis built up the romance. She didn’t overly do the angst and issues they both have.
It Had to be You is the ninth book in the Lucky Harbor series and the first in the next trilogy. It’s another fabulous installment to this addictive series. Luke and Ali have many sweet, tender, funny, and sexy moments. I thoroughly enjoyed reading as this relationship takes a slightly bumpy road to happiness. We get to visit with old friends like Lucille and Sawyer, and then are introduced to new friends. Jack, Luke’s best friend, and Leah, Ali’s good friend, are the next couple. I can’t wait to see these long-time friends fall for one another. And ladies… Jack is a deliciously hot fireman. Oh yes. Along with the fun and romantic storyline, there is a little bit of mystery entwined within the plot. I loved trying to guess ‘who done it’ as I was reading.
If you haven’t read any of the Lucky Harbor books, you can start with this one, but I highly recommend staring from the beginning with Simply Irresistible. You will want to meet all of the sexy heroes introduced in each book, especially Ford and Josh - my two favorite book boyfriends (so far!) from this series.