Jill Shalvis is back again with another in the Lucky Harbor series, this one is all about overcoming labels and finding a new start. Narrated by Annie Greene, please read on for my review of
Once in a Lifetime
We’ve had a chance to meet Aubrey previously, and she’s still overcoming bad choices she made in high school, and the legacy that left her with. The former mean girl who was on the outside looking in, is still on the outside in most situations: she’s got two ‘friends’ who are also outsiders, but without the legacy she’s had to overcome. All Aubrey wants is to make her little bookshop a success, and for people to not instantly think of the girl she used to be before growing up and seeing how her behavior was hurting herself and others.
Ben is back in town after several trying years, yet the town still sees him as the eternal good guy, with he and his ex-wife being the ‘perfect couple’. No one could, or should have to live up to this legacy, and Ben’s not even interested in trying for something else with someone else, let alone Aubrey – that mean girl from school. He can’t ignore that she’s attractive, and he’s been lonely and wants something, not permanent, but something. The back and forth is strong in this one – with a solid sense of the reality of small town life, where everyone knows your name and your early mistakes and behaviors are often ingrained as the only perception people have of you. It makes change, truly growing and changing difficult, as people are all too willing (in both Aubrey’s and Ben’s cases, to revert to the ‘long held’ impressions. It takes understanding (from these two and the town) to see the now, letting go of the ‘what was’ to see what is – and Shalvis brought these situations and attitudes forward in ways that feel natural and organic.
Narration is again provided by Annie Greene, and she presented each character with a tone, feel and sense of themselves: even presenting the voices as they appeared in earlier books – the continuity adds to the understanding and recognition of each character as they appear, and that makes the listen feel just as if you are experiencing moments with the characters. A lovely presentation that brings the book to life. Possibly my favorite of the recent titles for Shalvis’ ability to present the pitfalls to a small town existence, and even the joys of being understood in ways that were honest and true, adding interest in the town and it’s residents in very real, if occasionally frustrating ways.
Stars: 5 Narration 5 Story 5
Title: Once in a Lifetime
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor #9
Also in this series: It's in His Kiss , Lucky in Love , At Last, Forever and a Day, It Had to Be You, Always on My Mind
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Small Town
Narrator: Annie Greene
Published by: Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Audio
Published on: 18 February, 2014
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 27 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
SOMETIMES WRONG IS OH-SO-RIGHT
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?
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.