This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Julie Brannagh. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Contemporary Single Title Romance category.
Grace never thought she'd be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh's lovable mutt to caring for his rambunctious son. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad….
With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family-until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don't know if what they have can last.
But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day . . .
And here is Julie's review:
Once upon a time, I picked up a Jill Shalvis book. The sun shone. Angels sang. There were puppies, rainbows, and free Ben & Jerry’s. Well, the Ben & Jerry’s thing isn’t necessarily true. In Jill’s Lucky Harbor, though, there’s free ice cream. I think. At the very least, there’s a significant amount of chocolate.
Forever and A Day is the story of a woman who’s looking for herself. Grace has spent her entire life trying to measure up to the example her adoptive parents set for her. Her mom, for instance, is a rocket scientist. Despite the advanced degree and the resume to back it up, though, things aren’t going well for Grace in the corporate world. She just left her last job in finance because the boss thought sleeping with him was part of it. She arrives in Lucky Harbor with her self-confidence (and bank account balance) in tatters.
Dr. Josh Scott has his own set of problems. The most immediate is a pug (nicknamed the AntiChrist) that needs a reliable dog walker. Directly after that, he’d like some assistance with his rambunctious son from a previous relationship, the rebellious sister he’s raising, a job that keeps him working round-the-clock, and the fact he’s all work, no play.
Josh calls Grace when he finds her flyer advertising her dog walking services. She’s never actually had a dog walking job, but that seems secondary to her first goal – make enough money to feed and house herself while she tries to figure out what she’ll do next. Josh meets Grace a few minutes after she’s convinced she’s drowned his dog. Immediate attraction ensues.
Grace takes on a variety of jobs to keep herself solvent in Lucky Harbor while continuing to interview for the jobs her parents want her to get. Josh continues working eighty-hour weeks and wondering why he’s so attracted to the world’s worst dog walker. Slowly but surely, that initial attraction turns to love. And sheet-scorching (lounge-chair-scorching?) sex.
Forever and A Day is sweet and humorous, but all is not belly laughs. The author addresses the fact that for her characters, money is nice, but it doesn’t solve all of life’s problems. Grace has to decide that maybe, the big office and the big salary aren’t quite what she’s after. Josh has to discover he’d rather follow his own path than his father’s.
Jill Shalvis is a terrific author. I wish she’d write faster. I recommend Forever and A Day wholeheartedly. I loved it, and I hope you’ll love it, too.