Always on My Mind-Jill Shalvis

Always on My Mind
Jill Shalvis
Grand Central, Sep 24 2013, $8.00
ISBN: 9781455521104

After a debacle on the Sweet Wars reality TV show that has not aired yet, humiliated pastry chef Leah Sullivan returns to Lucky Harbor, Washington to run her ailing grandmother’s bakery. However, ashamed by what happened on the show, Leah has told no one as her neighbors are so proud of her. She has no idea what she will do once the townsfolk watch her failure.

Dee, the mother of Leah’s childhood best friend firefighter Jack Harper, is ill. Loving the ailing woman, Leah tells Dee a white lie that she and Jack are engaged. Upset Jack does not like lying to his mom; but agrees to a fake engagement because he wants nothing to mentally harm his beloved. As she prays for her grandma and her fiancé’s mother to heal, Dee waits for the airing of her calamity; while she and Jack fall in love.

The latest Lucky Harbor romance (see It Had To Be You) is an enjoyable second chance contemporary that for much of the entertaining storyline focuses on the lead couple in separate subplots; this enables the audience to deeply know the motives of both. The reality show segue is a two-edged sword as it grips readers with a voyeur need to know what happened, but the extended wait to learn how Leah flopped distracts from fully appreciating the protagonists’ changing relationship. Still the love story between the hotshot and the chef is a fun tale.

Harriet Klausner

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