Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blog Tour: Always on My Mind (Lucky Harbor #8) by Jill Shalvis

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Always on My Mind

Lucky Harbor Series
By:  Jill Shalvis
Published:  September 24, 2013
Grand Central Publishing
Source:  Publisher

GR's Summary:


After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack's ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib - that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle . . .

No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine - perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their "just friends" rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?

 My Thoughts:

Always on My Mind by Jill Shalvis is the eighth story in the Lucky Harbor Series.  Yet, it is the first book that I have read by Jill Shalvis.  Each of these books can be read as a stand alone, because they are about different main characters, but some of the secondary characters get their own story in the series.  Always on My Mind is about Jack Harper, a hot, sexy and heroic firefighter, and Leah Sullivan, a talented baker.  These two were next door neighbors growing up, and best friends.  They formed a special bond at a young age when Leah leaned on Jack as she grew up being verbally abused and put down by her father, as her mother stood by and never defended her.  Then, when Jack's firefighter father died at a young age, the only person he could talk to was his cousin Ben, and Leah.  Jack and Leah have always been attracted to one another, and had unspoken feelings between one another that they never acted on.

Then, Leah returns to Lucky Harbor to help her grandmother, Elsie, run her bakery because her health is failing her.  She has also always been close to Jack's mother, Dee, who is falling into a deep depression over her Cancer, and the fact that her son is getting older, but still not in a relationship, Leah fibs, and tells Dee that she is in a relationship with Jack.  Pretty soon, the whole town thinks that Jack and Leah are a couple, and what starts out as pretend leads to the most real relationship that both Jack, and Leah have ever had in their lives.

I loved Jack and Leah's story!  I enjoyed how well developed both characters were.  Jack was a firefighter, and Ms. Shalvis helps us see what the life of a firefighter is like through her character, as he worked through exhaustion when he was putting out fires, worked with the fire commissioner to capture a serial arsonist, and educated the community about fire safety.  I found all of this fascinating, and thought of my good friend whose husband is a firefighter, and the stress, anxiety, and traumatic vigil she goes through worrying about her husband being endangered by his career.  Leah was such a fun character that I could relate to.  I have a passion for baking, and I was intrigued as she created, and baked pastries for her grandmother's Bakery.  Plus, she was a lead participant in the current season of "Sweet Wars, " which was described like the reality show "Cupcake Wars," my favorite reality show. The community of Lucky Harbor consistently watched Leah in "Sweet Wars, " and she was treated like a celebrity in her town.

The secondary characters within the story were a lot of fun, and added a layer of depth, and authenticity to the story.  I enjoyed getting to know Jack's cousin Ben, and his best friend Luke.  I also enjoyed Leah's two good friends Ali, and Aubrey.  I can't wait to read these characters stories in the series!  The town gossip, Lucille, was hilarious!  She was a little old lady who would pay people for pictures, and she would post them, along with her gossip report on Facebook!  I loved getting to know Leah's grandmother Elsie, and Jack's mother, Dee.  Elsie was such a sweet and wise grandmother, and reminded me a lot of my Nana.  She was one of my favorite characters in this story.  Dee was a good mother, who thought the world of her son, and just wanted him to be happy.  She knew that Leah was the right woman for him, and held heavy burdens and guilt upon her shoulders.  I am excited to continue this series, and already cannot wait to be reunited with the fun cast of characters in Lucky Harbor, Washington.    

My Rating:

I give Always on My Mind by Jill Shalvis 4 Stars filled with Sweetness, Swooning, Family, Friendships, and A Forever Kind of Love!  This story was an adorable and entertaining read within the beautiful, cozy and quaint town of Lucky Harbor.  There was humor, a sexy and heroic firefighter, an unforgettable cast of colorful characters, and an interesting sub plot full of mystery, and suspense.  This is my first story by Jill Shalvis, and I'm ready to get to know more about the characters that reside in the town of Lucky Harbor.  If you enjoy a romance with a slow burn, a solid foundation of friendship, and sexy and romantic scenes, you will enjoy Always on My Mind!    

My Favorite Quotes:

"Serious trouble.  He was in serious trouble.  Because he had a taste of her now, a damn good taste, and it was better than he could have imagined, making him want the rest of her.  With his fingers still in her hair, he pulled her in tighter, slanting his mouth across hers for more.  She moved with him, into him, making the connection all the sweeter.  No.  Sweet wasn't the right word.  Hot.  She was so hot she was turning him inside out."  (Pg. 90)


"Do you think I care what words you use to show me how you feel?  I don't need words.  I have the actions.  You watch out for me.  You watch out for my mom.  And my oversized drool-manufacturing dog.  You care so much about everyone else and their life, but when it comes to yours, you give up. "  (Pg. 253) 

~Jack to Leah

"All my life, you've been my Almost.  He softened slightly, his gaze touching over the features of her face as if memorizing her.  I want you, Leah.  I've always wanted you.  But wanting isn't enough.  You have to fight for it too, and you're not going to."  (Pg. 255)

~Jack to Leah

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Q&A With Jill Shalvis

1. With all the food being described in the book did you find yourself eating more sweets than usual- or craving Ecclairs? (Leah’s specialty?) 

I definitely ate a lot of cookies in the writing of this book, but that might have been the stress of having four teenage girls in the house at the same time…

2. In ALWAYS ON MY MIND, Leah has quite the shoe collection—do you share her love of shoes? How many pairs are in your closet? 

I have too many to add up. Is that bad? That’s bad. BUT mine aren’t heels or anything fancy. They’re hiking boots, sneakers, ski boots, and flip flops. :-)

3. Leah had a horrible experience on a reality show. Do you watch reality TV? Do you have a favorite show? 

I'm a bit of a reality tv show 'ho, to be honest. I watch a lot of cooking shows (even though I don't cook), I love Survivor (even though you'd have to put me on that show at gunpoint because I insist on having a fridge and toilet paper). I guess I imagined if I was on a reality show, it would go bad. So it was fun to do the same to Leah. :)

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky animals. Any resemblance to the quirky animals in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website at for a completely booklist and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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  1. No, I don't have a favorite Lucky Harbor couple so far. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Since I just discovered the series, no favorite yet but Jack and Leah sound like they might be it!

  3. I think my favorite was Tara and Ford!

  4. I have not have the opportunity to read these books yet. So many books, I need more hours in a day.

  5. I've heard such good things about Shalvis's writing, and have been meaning to start this series. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Lindy!

  6. Well, it was Chloe and Sawyer, but then I started reading At Last, and now it's Amy and Matt. Thanks for these amazing books and awesome giveaway!

  7. i do not thinki have reada any of the book but i love to read and blog on them

  8. As of yet I don't have a favorite couple from the series... Of course I'm sure that will change once I read them, which I'm off to do now. Great giveaway GL to anyone that entered.


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