My TBR shelf (okay bookcase) (okay 2 bookcases) is starting to groan and creak. In an effort to try and relieve it a bit I decided to dedicate every Thursday to a review off my TBR shelf. These won't be brand spanking new books though most will be on the newer side. This week's book is a romance since I've been heavy on the mysteries lately.
Always on My Mind by Jill Shalvis
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: Leah Sullivan is taking a break after something happens on a televised baking competition. She's home in Lucky Harbor running her grandmother's bakery and trying to come up with an exit plan before the finale of the show. She's not looking to complicate her life until she accidentally does just that. It starts when the mother of an old friend comes into the bakery after a hard chemotherapy treatment and worries about her son. Life starts getting really complicated when Leah opens her mouth to tell her that her son, Leah's old friend firefighter Jack Harper, is actually in a relationship with HER. What happens when old friends have to pretend to be something more? What happens when it isn't pretending anymore?
Pros: The friends turned something more is one of my favorite plots in a romance and add in the fact that Leah's a pastry chef and this has the makings of a perfect book for me. Shalvis did provide a twist with this because they weren't friends who gradually ended up being more. Jack and Leah were friends who had been ALMOST more for years. Jack is fantastic. He's tough, he loyal, he's dedicated and he's smart. I loved the interaction between him, Luke and Ben. I loved Leah's relationship with her grandmother and friends Aubrey and Ali. The whole concept of Leah being a contestant on a baking competition show was interesting. I'm a huge fan of cooking competition shows but I've never really thought about what happened after the show is over but before everyone knows what happened. This was definitely a novel and interesting concept.
Cons: I got frustrated with Leah and Jack's lack of communication. For two people who had been close friends for so long it seemed like they should be better at it or at least nicer to each other. I wanted a longer part of time with them actually together. Though I supposed that happens in the next book which is Aubrey's story and is also great so it's not to big of a con!
Overall Impression: I love the way Shalvis does the Lucky Harbor series. In so many multi-book series they end up being so interconnected that it involves a chart to keep track of each couple and the couple from book #1 has the required appearance in book #10 and so on. Shalvis has broken the Lucky Harbor series into basically sets of trilogies. Lucille is in all the books and places from the town are the same but we don't see characters from way past books unless it makes sense to see them. Like Sawyer from book #3 had an appearance in this book but it made sense and we didn't need to know all about his relationship with Chloe. That being said I do recommend reading the trilogies in order - start with Ali's book before this one but read this before Aubrey's. As usual Shalvis delivers a fun interesting romance with great male characters and a fantastic ending.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes