Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: A Lucky Harbor Novel, Book 1
Hero: Jackson Cullen III (Jax Cullen)
Heroine: Madeline Annie Traeger (Maddie Moore)
Date of Publication: October 1, 2010
Started On: January 26, 2011
Finished On: January 29, 2011
Ever since I read Shadow Hawk and didn’t like it as much as I expected to, I have been a little wary of picking up anything by Jill Shalvis and that’s the main reason why I have hesitated in getting a copy of her latest novel Simply Irresistible, the 1st book in the Lucky Harbor series. Now, I am so very glad that I let reviews from my friends on Goodreads who all loved this book to pieces convince me to give this title a go because I am slapping myself for being stupid enough to let such a yummylicious read go by for so long without an attempt to read it.
Simply Irresistible is a book that lives up to its title, yes, its simply irresistible and I found myself so engrossed in the world of Lucky Harbor, the small town life, the larger than life heroes, Jax Cullen who makes my knees go wobbly each and every time and the sisters who make this novel come vibrantly alive that I forgot to mark this book for quotes as I read along, something which I always do when I am reading a novel so that my review would be a complete one. That just goes to show how marvelous a tale Ms. Shalvis has spun with her new series and I can’t wait until the next one comes out in April of this year.
Jax Cullen is a hero who presents himself as a mass of contradictions and I so love myself a hero like him. At first he comes across as the bad boy hero who rides into the story on his bad-ass motorbike; but layer by layer his character unfolds to reveal the complex man he is behind the facade. Jax had grown up with his father when his parents marriage had failed and his father being a cutthroat lawyer by profession, their relationship had had no room for emotions. A grown up Jax had followed his father’s footsteps and had become a very expensive defense attorney for a huge law firm in Seattle, where winning cases at all costs had been the bottom line. His work there had earned him the name of Jackson Cullen III and it had taken Jax’s last case which had gone horribly wrong for him to quit his job and return to Lucky Harbor, the last place he remembers being happy. Now 5 years out of a profession that had sucked the very soul out of him, Jax is laid back, goes through life at his own pace and works doing what he loves; building and restoration. The mayor of Lucky Harbor for the second term Jax is not looking for a relationship after his fiance had walked out on him when he had walked out on his job; that is until beautiful and klutzy Maddie nearly runs him over in her car.
29 year old Maddie is broke and homeless when her late mother’s will brings her to Lucky Harbor. Maddie had been raised by her father who had been a movie-set designer ever since he had taken custody of her since Maddie had turned 5 years old. Having never had much contact with her flighty mother, Maddie is as surprised as her father and two half sisters Tara and Chloe to learn about her mother’s will which had bequeathed them Lucky Harbor Inn, in the hopes of bringing 3 of her children together even if she may not be around to see it. Maddie had earned the nickname of the Mouse from her mother and is a survivor of a physically and emotionally abusive relationship from her ex-boyfriend Alex, an angry, uptight and aggressive LA attorney who didn’t know how to control his temper. It had been Maddie’s retaliation towards Alex that had cost her her job and makes her swear off of men altogether until she runs into the very sexy and delectable Jax Cullen who makes her tingle in all the right places with his searing velvety gaze alone.
When their mother’s will brings them together, it is only Maddie who at first wants to make a go of things and work towards making the derelict Lucky Harbor Inn habitable once again. And that is how Jax Cullen and his tool belt comes into the scene, seducing Maddie of every good intention she has about swearing off of men until now. As Jax brings down the walls that surround Maddie’s heart, so develops a heartwarming relationship between 3 sisters who had not seen each other for the past 5 years. Amidst the small town life of Lucky Harbor, sexual awareness of the eyebrow singeing variety turns into a love so worth taking a chance on that I as a reader absolutely couldn’t have asked for more.
1- Jax Cullen. Every single time he walks in with his tool belt around him – needless to say I am a puddle of goo every time that happens and wouldn’t have it any other way. He has this way of seducing Maddie out of her noble intentions that left me breathless and wanting more of where that came from. I loved him for his quiet intensity, his kindness, and the smoldering sensuality that leaps into the picture every time he walks in *fans self*. Jax can certainly master my ahem! baser emotions any day he chooses! ^_^
2- Maddie. She is klutzy, less than perfect and so down on herself when she comes to Lucky Harbor. But she has an inner strength that can definitely make her the Steel Magnolia, the title her mother has given to Tara the eldest of her 3 girls. Maddie’s determination to heal from the brutality of her relationship with Alex and how she is so irresistibly drawn towards Jax and his quiet determination and strength made me root for her big time!
3- Loved the dialogues, each and every one of them whether it be between Jax and Maddie, or between Maddie, Tara and Chloe or Jax and his buddies. Several laugh-out moments in the conversations that makes this an excellent book to cure you from all your woes.
4- Jax and his tool belt. There! Now I have said it. Can’t help but remember a guy on a show on Discovery Travel & Living who had a tool belt around him whilst he went about giving makeovers to people’s homes. Even then, my sole focus was on the tool belt. I guess that explains a bit on my fascination with the tool belt. ^_~
5- I absolutely loved the relationship that develops between Maddie, Tara and Chloe. They are all so very different from one another but the affection and love they have towards each other is evident right from the very beginning. Though it is Tara’s story that will be coming out in April, I can’t help but want to read Chloe and Sawyer’s story. I have a mind that it’s going to be pretty darn explosive!! ^_^
6- Loved the quotes from Phoebe Traeger at the beginning of each chapter. They were seriously thought provoking and at the same time gave me something to laugh out loud as I delved into each chapter.
7- Jax’s lethal brand of seduction. I seriously, seriously could get used to it! *winks*
I disliked: None.
Two, and even more unsettling, he smelled good – sexy and alluring. Closing her eyes, she felt her body tingle, brought to a hyper-awareness that felt almost foreign as something zinged through her.
Desire. Bone-melting desire.
When she opened her eyes again, he was even closer. His eyes weren’t the solid warm caramel she’d thought but had flecks of gold dancing in them, as well. She could have drowned in all that deliciousness.
Not a bad way to go, she figured – death by lust.
Chloe stood there, a small smile on her lips as she peered past Maddie at the Jeep. “Who’s that?”
Maddie watched the brake lights of the Jeep as it vanished into the night. “Jax Cullen. And that’s all I know,” she said before Chloe could ask anything else.
Well, except that he had a voice that went down like smooth whiskey, a way of looking at her that tended to get her to say more than she should, and oh, yea, he kissed like heaven on earth.
With a sigh, she picked up her knitting instead of inhaling any more food and continued from where she’d left off last night. “In, wrap around,” she said to herself. “Pull out.”
“You know,” Chloe said licking some batter off her thumb. “The way you knit always sounds a little dirty. I bet if you knitted in earshot of a guy, you’d get laid for sure.”
The back door opened, and all three of them swiveled to look as Jax filled the doorway. He looked like sin on a stick in faded Levi’s, a long-sleeved graphic Henley, and – there went her pulse – that damn tool belt slung slow on his hips.
“Don’t take life too seriously. After all, none of us are getting out alive anyway.” – Phoebe Traeger
“Experience is something you get… after you need it.” – Phoebe Traeger
Recommended for: Anyone who loves a good contemporary romance that can play with all your emotions in a good way and leave you with a huge smile at the end should read this novel. A great beginning to a series which I am sure can only get better. A story that petted, stroked and fed each and every craving I have as a romance reader; I can’t recommend this novel highly enough!
Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!