#COYER Review: Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor #9) – Jill Shalvis

Posted 25 March, 2014 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 8 Comments

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
#COYER Review: Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor #9) – Jill ShalvisOnce in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor #9
Published by Forever, Grand Central Publishing on 18 February 2014
Genres: Adult, Chick-lit, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

5 Stars


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?

*I received a free ARC of Once in a Lifetime from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

There is something so familiar and utterly satisfying about Lucky Harbor – and Once in a Lifetime hit exactly the right spot! Aubrey and Ben are both very attaching characters, I could relate to them, and I could like them – even if neither of them are perfect!

Aubrey is not exactly satisfied with the way her life is going at the beginning of Once inΒ  a Lifetime, and when she accidentally throws her drink in Ben’s face, before running away, she has an uncomfortable run-in with her ex. When she leaves, Aubrey somehow finds herself in front of the church, and ends up at an AA meeting. Even if she isn’t an alcoholic, she stays for the meeting, and two of the people who are sharing their experiences are talking about step 8 – to make amends with the people they have hurt. Thinking about her own karma, Aubrey decides that making a list and making amends is exactly what she needs to do.

One of the people on Aubrey’s list is Ben, and he figures this out fairly quickly, after picking up her notebook when she lets it slip out of her grasp. Ben being curious, he looks inside it, and he sees a long list of names. Once in a Lifetime is both about the fact that Aubrey really wants to ask for forgiveness for all her past sins – and some of those really aren’t that bad in my opinion; and they happened a long time ago – and about both her and Ben giving the present time and love a chance.

Aubrey truly made the story of Once in a Lifetime very enjoyable, she is a strong, confident woman who usually does not show anyone her inner feelings. And I also got to appreciate her because she wants to resuscitate her aunt’s bookstore in Lucky Harbor. It is just impossible to not enjoy a heroine who loves books and reading as much as I do πŸ™‚ Ben is pretty closed off, too, after his wife Hannah, died several years ago he fled from Lucky Harbor – but he did so to make life better and easier for people in third world countries. Tough on the outside, totally hot, and very loyal, there isn’t much not to love about Ben either.

Both Aubrey and Ben have been through a lot of heartache, and neither of them truly believes they deserve a true shot at happiness. But when they feel the chemistry between them, it is impossible to resist, and I, for one am happy they didn’t try too hard! The zing those two have is amazing, and Shalvis masterfully show her readers just how far that chemistry goes. I enjoyed their conversations, the way the opened up – even a tiny bit – to each other, and I can only say wowza about their sexual chemistry. Once in a Lifetime has it all – the tentative friendships, the love, the romance and the holding back. The tension is so well done, and so is the doubt the characters experience when things get a little more serious than what they had planned.

Another masterpiece in the Lucky Harbor series, Once in a Lifetime got to me big time! Character development, the small village life, the romance and, of course, the writing. It was all up to par and above.

There was one universal truth in Lucky Harbor, Washington – you could hide a pot of gold in broad daylight and no one would steal it, but you couldn’t hide a secret.

She flipped on a light and eyed Gus, and old, overweight gray cat who thought he was king of the mountain. She’d inherited him with the store. She knew nothing about cats, and in return, he acted like he knew nothing about humans, so they were even.

She sucked in a breath and put her hands on his chest. The touch gave him a pure electrical jolt that stunned him stupid. He had no idea where this sexual tension was coming from, but he liked it. He didn’t get a chance to figure it out before she gave him a little nudge that was actually more like a shove.

“A minute ago, it seemed like you needed a man.” “I don’t need anyone,” she said. “But if I did, it’d be someone… sweet,” she said pointedly. “Sweet and… beta.” “Beta,” he repeated. “That’s right,” she said. “I’m over alpha men. And you, Ben McDaniel, are as alpha as they come.” Well, she had him there.

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Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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8 responses to “#COYER Review: Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor #9) – Jill Shalvis

  1. Yeah, Lucky Harbor is another series I really love, where I know most of the supporting characters and really enjoy them. Jill Shalvis also really knows how to write her steamy scenes πŸ™‚

    Thanks for stopping by, Pamela.

    • Play catch-up indeed. I realized I haven’t read some of the books in the middle, but I really don’t think that takes any enjoyment away from the story.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jessica πŸ™‚

  2. Excellent Review Friend! I loved Ben and Aubrey’s story so much! I agree that Aubrey was a very strong woman and confident woman who doesn’t show her feelings. I loved her and Ben together, how they opened up to one another, and became each others new beginning. Of course I thought it was amazing that she got to own and ran the bookstore; my favorite place to be!!! I love all the great secondary characters in this series, and Ms. Shalvis is such a talented writer! I hope you’re having a great week Lexx, and not working too hard πŸ™‚

  3. OMG, Brandee! You haven’t read any Lucky Harbor books yet? Do you own them? If not, you need to let me know ASAP!!
    And you’re going to love this series – it’s hot, it’s fun and filled with very hunky males and excellent female characters!

    Thanks for stopping by πŸ˜€

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