Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor #9) by Jill Shalvis
Released: February 18, 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Reviewed by Sarah
On the flap: SOMETIMES WRONG IS OH-SO-RIGHT
After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniel 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?
Aubrey Wellington has always been the mean girl of Lucky Harbor. According to the gossip she’s bitchy and irresponsible, often stirring up trouble. The reality is she was a young girl who had lots of issues and didn’t know how to deal with them. Sometimes she just got blamed without cause. Now she wants to run her own business but will it succeed in a place where she’s often frowned upon.
All American boy next door, Ben McDaniel has made his way around the world and back to the small harbor town. After the death of his high school sweetheart and wife, he went to third world countries to improve their water systems. In effect he was just running away from his emotions and troubles. Will he find his way back to some kind of normal?
Trying to re-open what was one her aunt’s bookstore, she has a lot of work to do in the space. Her uncle hires Ben to do the carpentry work. They’re placed together in professional circumstances but the attraction is instant and quickly the work begins to bleed into a more personal relationship. He begins to see what he thought of her and what she is are two different things; he sees while she puts forth a good face it’s hiding much turmoil.
Initially I thought this started out being horribly sad, not sure if it was my mood or I was just legitimately pained by the misunderstandings leading to Aubrey’s bad reputation. I mean she’s really shouldered a lot and in a small gossipy town. Regardless, this helped push the story and the evolution of her bond with Ben. It is nice to see how both personalities transform throughout the storyline. I never felt like these two were wrong for each other. In fact, their connection felt natural and complimentary of each other’s characteristics from the start. Also, this has some of the better dialogue I’ve read in a while. It’s a good romance focused on the people and not necessarily between the sheets, but that doesn’t make their chemistry any less sizzling.
Rating: 4 stars
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I have a large appetite for books with pensive alpha males. I tend to lean towards erotica and contemporary romance. I am completely addicted to my Kindle and feel naked when it’s not with me. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email them. I’m a single-ish woman with two crazy dogs. I also love football and basketball. Living in Oklahoma City, my teams are the Thunder and Sooners.