The amazing Beverly Diehl tagged me to participate in the My Five Favorite Books blog meme. I was like, "Sure, no problem." Wasn't 'til later I realized I had a HUGE problem. How was I supposed to whittle the vast list of books I love down to five favorites? I mean, if I were stuck on a deserted island, I'd want my Kindle, my charger, Wi-Fi …and a case of wine. (Strangely, if I had all these things, I’m not sure I’d be in all that big a hurry to get rescued). Anyway, back to my huge problem… Luckily, I attended the SoCalRWA writer’s conference this past weekend, and the lovely, talented Jill Shalvis was our Keynote Speaker. That’s when it came to me. I could narrow the field a bit and list my top five favorite Jill Shalvis books!
Here they are, in no particular order (so, OKAY, I suck at decisions…now I know):
The Heat Is On – This Harlequin Blaze was actually the first Shalvis novel I ever read. A bit late to the game, I know, but still…it’s a great read. The story features Jacob, the hot cop, Bella, the nomadic baker, (maybe a small homage to Twilight on the part of Ms. S) murder, mayhem and chocolate. What more could a girl want?
Bared – Another Harlequin Blaze, yet completely different. Bared delivers an over-the-top sexy fish-out-of-water story, with overworked, TV writer heroine Emma Willis impersonating her model/actress sister Amber to pose for a super-sexy calendar by world-weary photographer Rafe Delacantro. Just say his last name out loud…D-E-L-A-C-A-N-T-R-O. That’s a French-kiss of a last name, right here. The rest of the book is just as sexy!
Simply Irresistible – The first of the Lucky Harbor series starts the whole thing off juuuuust right with the story of three estranged sisters lured to little, coastal Lucky Harbor after their mother’s death to inherit a falling down Inn. Simply Irresistible is Maddie’s story—well, Maddie and Jax’s story—but in the pages we also meet Maddie’s sisters, Tara and Chloe, and the duded destined to win their hearts, Ford and Sawyer. Lucky Harbor itself practically becomes the main character, with its quaint small-town feel and quirky cast of locals. I don’t want to give everything away, so I’ll just note the title says it all…simply irresistible.
Head Over Heels – It’s not that I didn’t love Tara and Ford’s story, as told in The Sweetest Thing--and Ford’s drunk-dial to Tara ranks as one of the funniest, sweetest, and all-too-real romantic fiction moments ever—but I was so primed for Chloe and Sawyer’s story after the first two books, I have to choose Head Over Heels. Chloe’s a loveable mess, with her tough-girl façade and her fragile health. Sawyer’s a stoic sheriff trying to walk the straight and narrow and somehow keep up with all her zigzagging. It works. Boy, does it work!
Animal Magnetism – I got this book in the goodie bag at the SoCalRWA conference this past weekend and, in my humble opinion, it puts the “good” in “goodie bag.” Brady is a big, strapping, ex-military, alpha who’s all tough on the outside, tender on the inside. Lilah is a home town girl with an adventurous spirit who has learned the hard way to guard her heart. Watching these two drop their guard and let each other in was good, not-so-clean, fun!
This is my opinion only. If you’re a Jill Shalvis fan, feel free to disagree. I’m up for a debate!