Monday 23 July 2012

Review: At Last - Jill Shalvis

UK Cover
Is love here to stay?

Amy Michaels loves her new life in Lucky Harbor and a mountain hike seems like the perfect weekend adventure - until a wrong turn leads her straight into the arms of forest ranger Matt Bowers. Amy might be tempted to kiss that sexy smile right off his face, but she won't make the mistake of getting involved with the town heartthrob.

A former cop whose life went south, Matt doesn't let anyone get too close. But after a hot night under a starry sky, Matt can't deny their attraction - or the fact that the feisty beauty makes him think about forever. Now it's up to Matt to help Amy see that, no matter what is in their past, together they can build a future in Lucky Harbor.

Lucky Harbor Series:
Simply Irresistible
The Sweetest Thing
Kissing Santa Claus (Novella in the Small Town Christmas anthology)
Head Over Heels
Lucky in Love
At Last
Forever and a Day
Under the Mistletoe (Novella)
It Had to be You (2013)
Always on my Mind (2013)
Once in a Lifetime (2014)

Visit Jill Shalvis' website for more information.

It's no secret that I've become a massive fan of Jill Shalvis since I started reading the Lucky Harbor series so of course I couldn't wait to start reading the fifth instalment At Last. I have been looking forward to finding out more about Ranger Hot Buns Matt for ages now and he didn't disappoint!

Amy has been making regular appearances throughout the series but it was only in the last book that we started to get to know her a little better. Although she has become good friends with Mallory and Grace she still holds herself back, she is reluctant to discuss her past and always tries to put on a front that everything is fine and she doesn't need any help. As we find out more about her troubled past and how she has been on her own since running away from home at 16 you start to understand why she feels the need to have her tough girl persona always in place. Amy is a survivor and has been through difficult times but underneath the surface she is also surprisingly sweet and vulnerable. She cares deeply about her new friends and is working hard to build a life for herself in Lucky Harbor. Amy arrived in the town following in the footsteps of her grandmother who had written in her journal about finding hope, peace and her heart when she visited the mountains there as a teenager. Amy is desperately in need of hope and peace, she thinks she can do without her heart but longs to find the first two so decides to try and find the trail her grandmother took through the mountains.

A city girl though and through it shouldn't come as a surprise that Amy finds herself lost on a trail as dark approaches. Who should come to the rescue but Matt - the sexy ranger she has been trying to avoid the attentions of ever since she arrived in Lucky Harbor. Matt has been drawn to Amy from the moment he saw her and comes into the cafe where she works almost daily just to get a glimpse of her. After leaving the Navy Matt was a SWAT Officer for the Chicago Police Department but his job cost him everything and he moved to Lucky Harbor to start again. He works long hours as a Forest Ranger and spends his spare time with his friends but after the break up of his marriage he isn't looking to find love again. The chemistry between him and Amy is impossible to resist though and although they both go into things agreeing to keep it just a fling that isn't going to be an easy promise to stick to.

I love the way their relationship develops and how they are both slowly forced to face their issues and come out stronger on the other side. The addition of homeless teen Riley added a nice extra element to the story that helped to show Amy's caring side and give an outside view of what her past must have been like. I hope we get to see more of Riley in the future as I'd really like to see her settle in and find a home for herself. Matt and Amy just make the perfect couple, they bring out the best in each other and fit together really well. They are smokin' hot but also sweet, tender and protective and every time they are together sparks fly. It looks like Amy might just find her heart in Lucky Harbor after all but will she find hope and peace too?

One of the things I love most about this series is the friendships that the author forms between characters that continue to build and grow throughout each book. In Lucky in Love Amy and Grace were giving Mallory bad girl lessons but now that they've decided it is Amy's turn to sort her life out I loved the fact that they turned it around on her and started giving her good girl lessons. I can't wait to see what they decide Grace needs in the next book. We didn't see quite as much of the male bonding between Ty, Matt and Josh in the last book but that was more than made up for this time around and we get to see much more of them bantering and generally messing around together. I still feel like Grace and Josh are pretty unknown entities though so I'm looking forward to getting to know them both better in their book Forever and a Day.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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