RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis


Title: Forever and a Day
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publication Info: Grand Central 2012
ISBN: 9781455503704
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Forever and a Day This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Kelly. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Contemporary Single Title Romance category.

The summary:     

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 Kelly's review:

 First, things you should know. I'm going to admit to having read this book a few months ago and I did not re-read it for the review. I do prefer contemporaries, so this book works for me there. “Forever and A Day” is the 6th book in the Lucky Harbor series and the 3rd book in the 2nd set, the “Chocoholics.” The first 3 books in the series were half sisters who came to Lucky Harbor and found their true loves. The second 3 books in the series are the stories of 3 women who bond together over chocolate and a stormy night. (Lucky in Love is book 4 or first in the Chocoholics, is up for a RITA as well, and was reviewed here.) There are characters, such as the gossip hound, Lucille, who appears in all 6 books and as Anna pointed out, she'd be creepy if she was a man and not a “harmless” old gossip.

Forever and A Day star Grace and Josh.  Grace's car ran out of gas as she entered Lucky Harbor and she stayed.  She makes ends meet by taking on odd jobs and is trying to restart her life after leaving her previous job because her boss sexually harassed her.  (I wish she had called him on that and sued his ass off, but no.)  Due to having been adopted by brilliant scientific parents, she also pressures herself to find an “appropriate” job that her parents can be proud of.  It isn't what she wants but it is what she feels she must do to please them.  Because of this, she's lying to her folks until she can make them proud.  This is not motivation that works for me, but I can understand it as I too am willing to lie to my parents to keep them happy and not nagging me.

Josh is a doctor who has extra responsibilities at home, a 5-year old son, Toby, and a bitter sister, Anna, who is in a wheelchair.  Anna got a pug puppy for Toby and to push her brother's buttons.   Since the introduction of the puppy, Toby only barks.  Josh works at the local hospital and takes care of his father's practice.  The hospital Josh works for wants to buy his father's practice but he has been very reluctant to give it up out of loyalty to his father and his patients.  His parents are dead due to an automobile accident which is also how Anna ended up in a wheelchair.  Josh's life is summed up rather nicely in this quote:

“Josh had been twenty-eight, a brand-new father from his first and only one-night stand.  Overnight he'd lost his parents and had suddenly become responsible for a badly injured, headstrong, andy teenager along with his infant son.”

That was five years past from the start of the story and all that responsibility as well as the absence of Toby's mother has him burnt out.

Josh hires Grace as his dog walker, but she doesn't do a great job of it.  After firing her and then regretting it, he ends up rehiring her.  His sister bails on Grace leaving Toby in Grace's care.  Before I summarize the whole story, I'll simply say Grace ends up working her way more and more into Josh's life and the lives of his family.  As you can assume, Josh and Grace have wickedly strong chemistry between them that they fight for awhile before giving in.  And as is typically, physical penetration happens way before emotions penetrate the heart and minds of both characters.

The secondary story belongs to Anna.  She is bitter about being in the wheelchair and feels sorry for herself and more than a bit of guilt.  She's rebelling and dating a guy that isn't a romance hero.  Truth be told, her boyfriend is a jerk and he's using her.  This part gets to be a bit dark and dangerous.  For me, this wasn't needed for the book, but it does add another dimension.

The things that didn't work for me, sex in the backyard by the pool.  I fear they will be caught which pulls me out of the story.

To get to the things that work for me:  I like the banter and the pace that the book moves.  Both of them have so much that they are working through, it is sweet the way they end up helping each other.  I love the secondary characters, their friends, who help them, sometimes sweetly and sometimes with  blunt force.  I enjoyed laughing out loud at scenes and I did see the characters grow and change as they realized that they had been making choices based on what they thought others, primarily parents, would want them to do.  They grew up.  I also love the town and how they rally behind Grace and wanting the best for their beloved Dr. (Josh) Scott.

The book is sweet and funny and as I skimmed the book to refresh my memory to write this review, I may end up reading it all again.  I really enjoy the whole Lucky Harbor series and recommend reading all of it in order.  “Forever and a Day” isn't my favorite though, which is why it got the A- instead of the A.  (Book 3 is my favorite = A+) I'm really looking forward to reading book 7, It Had to Be You.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks.

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