Thursday, March 6, 2014

Once In A Lifetime by Jill Shalvis

Sometimes wrong is oh-so-right…

After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniels 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?


Ok so I don't want get rotten fruit thrown at me or anything, but this book annoyed the crap out of me. Like 100%, I want to kill someone, annoyed me. And honestly, I'd have to lay this whole at Ms. Shalvis's feet since it's because she's such a great writer that I ended up so annoyed.

Aubrey is back in Lucky Harbor trying to find a new place for herself and working to "make amends" for her past. It's a pretty basic premise but what didn't work for me were all the things that Aubrey is trying to make amends for had some pretty extreme extenuating circumstances, not the least of which being that she was in HIGH SCHOOL when they happened. Now I get that some of the way things snowballed from her actions was a little unprecedented, but in each situation it seemed to me that the individual harmed had been a huge asshole first. Almost every instance involved people in positions of authority who used their power to disparage, insult, and pretty much just beat down Aubrey because of things outside her control. How is it then her responsibility to make amends when things spiraled out of control? Or maybe didn't spiral out of control because honestly I can't feel bad for any of these people.

In the end I'm glad that Ben had a pretty big groveling session before the HEA because without it I probably would have been dissatisfied every which way with this book. And none of this is because Ms. Shalvis is a bad writer. It's the exact opposite in fact, because she was so good at her job of getting me to empathize with Aubrey that I couldn't understand why anything she'd done actually deserved atoning for. Go figure.

Overall Feeling - C

Series - ...8) Always On My Mind 9) Once In A Lifetime

*Title won on Twitter*