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Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

 Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

I know that I often come across as a grumpy contrarian yelling at kids to get off my lawn (well, I would if I had a lawn), but Im quite willing to toss aside all of my curmudgeonly angst for the right book. I have certain expectations for certain genres, and when it comes to romance, I want to be able to soak in a narrative bubble bath. I want to be charmed, I want to visit somewhere more appealing than where I live, and I want to come away with a bit of an imbecilic grin on my face. Ah, Jill Shalvis, you know how these things work.

Shalvis is covering all of her bases with the last in the latest of her Lucky Harbor series-within-a-series, and to great avail: Forever and a Day is easily as charming as its predecessor At Last, which I reviewed over here. If I was ever on the fence about this bookif you allow me a moment to be utterly superficial, the unconvincing hairline of the guy on the cover did give me pausethe presence of a bratty pug puppy called Tank pretty much sold it to me. If pugs arent your thing, there are plenty of references to chocolate as well, as well as a bonus spunky doctor, some pretty scenery and some sassy humour.

Actually, this book is big on the humour and even bigger on the sass, and its more of a romantic comedy than a straight romance. Our heroine is Grace, a one-time big-shot financial advisor whos seeking a bit of distance from the crushing expectations of her high-achieving parents. Instead of screaming buy, buy! amidst a crush of designer suits shes become the odd-jobs girl of Lucky Harbor, doing a spot of rudie-nudie modelling here and a bit of babysitting there. But her cushy nest egg is beginning to dwindle, so when she receives a wrong number asking her to take up a dog-walking roleno matter that Grace scarcely knows what a dog looks likeshes in like Flynn.

Quite a lot like Flynn, as it turns out, for her new employer is the spunky Dr Josh, a harried single father whos also responsible for his paraplegic younger sister Annawho snarks it up in serious twenty-something style throughout the bookin addition to the clinic he inherited from his dad upon his parents death, and a growing number of patients over at the local hospital. No wonder the poor guy has a receding hairline before his time.

Sparks fly and hilarity ensues, with Grace ending up in a stand-off with goggly-eyed, devil-souled Tank, playing parent Joshs son in a strictly learn-on-the-job basis, trying to cope with Annas mischief, and continuing to juggle her zany array of odd jobs. Josh, on the other hand, is sleep-walking through his days, doing everything he feels he should, but as is so often the case with these things, is doing none of it well.

Forever and a Day plays out as a struggle of identity and responsibility, with Grace wanting to live a fulfilling life on her own terms rather than those of her academically obsessed parents (Im pretty sure her mum is my dad, by the waysorry, Dad, still no PhD on the horizon here), and Josh seeking to be a better father and brother while still doing right by his late parents with regard to the clinics future. The romance between Josh and Grace unfolds with flair, with a nice balance between angst, passion and humour, but really its Graces relationships with Joshs son and sister, as well as those with her two close girlfriends, that really steal the show here. I really appreciated that although the romance element is clear and evident, both characters have rich identities and relationships beyond each other, and that Shalvis devotes so much time to these.

I was also pleased to be able to connect as a reader not just with Grace, but also with Josh, whose internal struggles I felt believably rendered. Rather than being some macho dude whose idea of wooing someone is chucking a girl over his shoulder and beating his meaty chest with his even meatier fists, hes beset by all manner of human difficulties and insecurities. Hes not your gruff, taciturn alpha male figure, but rather someone whos always attempting to put others firstan admirable trait that, even as he struggles with it, he attempts to maintain. (And, while Im at it, hes not even a retired Marine/SWAT guy/police officer/other job that requires you to carry a gun. Hes just a normal guy. Fancy that.)

In all, Forever and a Day is an appealing, engrossing and witty romantic comedy, and the saps (and pug lovers) among my readers will no doubt get a kick out of it.

 Rating: star Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvisstar Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvisstar Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvishalfstar Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvisblankstar Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis (very good)

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Other books by Jill Shalvis:

Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis Book review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis



  1. Im not a pug lover, and Im not sure if the cover photo models hair line is good or bad, but the book sounds good! ;) Ive read a few romances by Susan Elizabeth Phillips that I liked a lot for the humor of them.

    • Stephanie /

      I havent heard of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, but Ill keep an eye out now. Thanks for the recommendation!

      Even if youre not a pug lover, there should be enough in this one to keep you happy. :) I enjoyed this, and the one before it. Theyre very solid, feel-good romances, and theres a lot to enjoy about them. :)

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