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Thursday, April 14, 2011

REVIEW: Simply Irresistible (#1, Lucky Harbor) by Jill Shalvis

5 of 5 Stars - Read December 2010


After the amazing yet emotionally intense and tumultuous experience of The Bronze Horseman Trilogy by Paullina Simons, I needed a light and humorous yet-still-touch-me-emotionally kind of romance, set during the Holiday Season. And SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE was just what I had needed for my Christmas beach holiday read! What a JOY to read! I REALLY enjoyed Jill Shalvis' writing style.

Simply Irresistible is the story of sweet, klutzy, adorable Maddie Moore, with her curly, wild blonde hair, who returns to Lucky Harbor, Washington, after losing her job and boyfriend. Maddie and her two half-sisters, Tara and Chloe, have inherited their free-spirited mother’s inn by the sea, Lucky Harbor Resort, which is in serious need of repairs and TLC. 
The Adorable and Klutzy, Maddie Moore
Maddie "the Mouse" is determined to make a new start and sees the potential for a new home and career in the inn. The challenge will be for her to succeed in convincing her two sisters to let her, considering one of them wants to sell, and the other remains undecided. I really loved seeing the relationships grow and develop between these three very different sisters, who never spent much time together while growing up because they been raised apart. It was very heartwarming.

The other challenge will be in resisting the HOTTIE she meets, considering she has completely sworn off men... for now, anyway. While driving to the resort along a narrow, winding road, munching on salt and vinegar chips, Maddie almost runs over a tall, broad shouldered “Hot Biker Guy”, with wavy dark brown hair and caramel eyes. 

"Hoty Biker Guy" a.k.a Jax Cullen - *SIGHS*
I loved their "meet-cute”. After Maddie apologises, and “Hot Biker Guy” picks off half a salt and vinegar chip from her sleeve, Maddie decides she needs a way to escape from this awkward situation…  
“What she needed now was an exit plan. So she put the phone to her ear, pretending it was vibrating. “Hello,” she said to no one. “Yes, I’ll be right there.” She smiled, like look at me, so busy, I really have to go, and, turning away, she lifted a hand in a wave, still talking into the phone to avoid an awkward goodbye, except- 
Her phone rang. And not the pretend kind. Risking a peek at Hot Biker Guy over her shoulder, she found him brows up, looking amused.”
Mmm...Rip It, Sexy Master Carpenter!

Haha! Nice try, Maddie! ^o^ This book was off to a great start!

Turns out, “Hot Biker Guy” is Jax Cullen (aah ...there's something about men named "Cullen"... *sighs*), the contractor and master carpenter that Maddie needs to help fix up the inn. 
I was smiling and laughing A LOT while reading this, and also had many shivers and tingles from the palpable sexual tension and electrifying chemistry between Maddie and Jax.

 "Clearly reading her mind, his mouth slowly curved. “So no interest, and certainly no chemistry,” he murmured, dipping his head to take in the fact that her misbehaving nipples were pressing up against the words BITE ME on her T-Shirt.

“R-right,” she managed. “No chemistry whatsoever.” But then she took a step into him instead of away, and look at that, suddenly his mouth was just there, and her hands were fisting in his fleece hoodie.
How had that happened?"
Jax Cullen is HOT!!! Yes, well deserving of bolded all caps - Not only because of his good looks, but his kindness, intelligence, loyalty, dependability, how much he cares for people, the way he teased and flirted with Maddie, all his light touches, determined to seduce the woman who said she’d sworn off men. 

I loved the way he was always there for Maddie when she needed him. Jax just SIZZLED off the page in his low slung tool belt, in a very sexy and adorable way. 

Here’s a little sample of Jax’s HOTness in a scene where the Jax is chopping some firewood: 
'"Um, Jax?" 
He glanced over his shoulder.  
"You look..." Hot. "Overheated. Probably you should take off your other shirt, too."
"You think?" 
Oh, yeah. Not trusting her voice, she merely nodded. 
His lips quirked, but he said nothing as he reached up and behind him, tugging the shirt over his head in one smooth, very male motion. 
And then he stood before her in those low-slung jeans, tool belt, and nothing else but a gleam of sweat.
"Better," she tried to say, staring at his tatts, but it came out more as a squeak. She was lucky not to be a puddle on the ground. Honest to God, the man shouldn't be allowed to look like that. It just wasn't fair to all the other men on the planet.  
Turning to his task, he went at the wood for a while. Maddie backed up to a large wood round and plopped down. After a few minutes, Tara came out with a peace-offering tray of iced tea and glasses.
"Oh, sweet Jesus," she whispered, eyes locked on Jax as she sank to the log next to Maddie.'
I was "virtually" plopping down right along with Maddie and Tara, enjoying this “visual” and needing a cold glass of ice tea, myself, to run along my overheated skin! 

Granted, though I had Ryan Reynolds in my mind as my Jax Cullen, this scene did not have him looking like this: 
 -- Well…at least, NOT the crazy eyes! *LOL* But most definitely the ripped, glistening body. 
*fans self* 
His face looking more smouldering, like THIS, in my mind. ^^^
  And playful, flirty and amused, like THIS:
And just in case you’re still having trouble picturing the delicious Jax Cullen with his sexy tool belt and low slung jeans…. 

 “If I looked like him,” Tara said. “I’d want to have sex with myself. All the time.”
Did your eyes just go hazy? Yeah, I know, Jax has that effect… But I digress….  

If you are after a really fun, romantic and sexy Contemporary Romance, with a lovable cast of characters, which will make you smile right down to your toes (well, make your toes curl, in any case), then Do. Not. Resist. This. Book! READ IT FOR THE SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE JAX CULLEN, ALONE! And while this is set during the Holiday Season, you need not (should not) wait until December 2011 to enjoy this. Jax Cullen is a gift to be enjoyed, no matter the time of year!

Speaking of gifts, here's a Jax Cullen hand towel gift. Great for those... overheated... moments. ^_^ 

I am very much looking forward to reading more of Jill Shalvis' books, since this was my first but will certainly not be my last - and especially Tara’s book, The Sweetest Thing, release date 1st April 2011, with another hottie... Ford Walker. 

Jill Shalvis had some lovely inspiration during the writing of Simply Irresistible. Here's the link to her website on: The Making of Simply Irresistible 

The Lucky Harbor Series:
1.Simply Irresistible
2. The Sweetest Thing - My Review Here
3. Head Over Heels - My Review Here
4. Lucky in Love – Release May 22, 2012
5. At Last - Release July 2012
6. Forever and a Day – Release August 2012

- Anthology: “Kissing Santa Claus” in the anthology A Small Town Christmas (Logan, Tara’s ex-husband’s story)
- Heating Up the Kitchen: Recipes With Love from Lucky Harbor (Recipes by Tara)

My Maddie - Drew Barrymore
My Jax - Ryan Reynolds


  1. jayne, the photos of jax cullen are perfect! now i feel like wanting to read this book hehe. love the review!

  2. @Vien: Thanks, Vien. Oh, yes, you MUST read this series, Vien!!! This was book great and the second book, The Sweetest Thing (which I'll be reviewing soon), was just as good. The 3rd book, Head Over Heels, is due out 25th November 2011. I think you'll really enjoy these books.

  3. @B?...D?...B?... Hehe. Like how I did that? ^_~ What shall I call you here? Blithely? Thank you!! I love your site and your reviews, too. Loving your new banner, sister mine!