Once in a Lifetime by @JillShalvis

Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor #9)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?

Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Jill Shalvis is at the top of my ‘Must Read’ authors list so the greatest Christmas present Father Christmas brought me in 2013 was an ARC of Jill Shalvis’s latest book in her fabulous ‘Lucky Harbor’ series.

The whole series is great but the last two books (Luke/Ali and Jack/Leah’s stories) have been especially exceptional so Ben/Aubrey’s story had a lot to live up to – and boy did it!

The thing that I loved the most about this book, and the thing that makes it a bit different from other contemporary romances nowadays, is that Aubrey was a very real, flawed character.  There are too many too-perfect heroines in romances nowadays.  Yes, Aubrey is ridiculously gorgeous but she made some pretty poor decisions in the past which she has come to regret and this book is as much about her journey to right those wrongs and talk herself into believing she deserves happiness as it is about Ben moving on from his wife’s death and his feelings for Aubrey.

I loved the idea of Aubrey and her list.  Each name on the list had a mini-story behind it through which we got to discover more about Aubrey has a child.

Connected to Aubrey’s list is the tension stemming from what wrong Aubrey did to Ben in the past and wondering when he finds out, will they ever be able to move past it.  You’ll just have to read the book to find out what ~it~ is but what isn’t a surprise is that Ben/Aubrey do end up getting their Happy Ever After and the resolution is very satisfying.

Only thing to tie up is does Pastor Mike ever find out that Aubrey’s isn’t an alcoholic?  This reader wants to know!

Also I’m curious, are we going to get Cara’s story?

Book: 5*

Cover: 5*

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