PJV Quickie: Another great episode in the Lucky Harbor series – with a light mystery, heavy sexual tension, and good-natured humor, It Had to Be You is charming and sexy with a side of fun.
Ali Winters loves living in small-town Lucky Harbor, living with her boyfriend Teddy, and working at a job she loves and volunteering at the Senior Center. Then, the night of the big town fundraiser, she catches her boyfriend having sex with someone else. Apparently Ali is the only person in town who thought they were exclusive – or even dating!! The next morning, Teddy breaks up with Ali via text and adds that the lease on their house is up and she has to move out. Things can’t get any worse, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Luke Hanover grew up in Lucky Harbor but hasn’t been back in 10 years, since the death of his beloved grandmother. He’s a police detective in San Francisco now, and after a particularly nasty case ends badly, he comes back to Lucky Harbor for 3 weeks to get his head back together. He’s hoping to just come home and relax, avoid the ghosts of his past, and forget about the case. Instead, he walks into his house and finds an almost-naked woman yelling into a phone. This is not the homecoming he imagined.
While Luke and Ali are working out Ali’s living arrangements, Teddy arrives at her doorstep with the police – she’s being accused of stealing $50,000 from the fundraiser! Now she has nowhere to live, is being dragged into the police station for questioning, and losing her job. The whole town thinks she took the money; everyone, that is, except for Luke. And now instead of using his 3 weeks to forget about his problems, he’s helping Ali to clear her name, and getting involved with the town again – one pretty resident in particular.
Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series is one of my favorites, and It Had to Be You is a fabulous installment. These books have sweet heroines, hunky alpha males, and quirky secondary characters that keep you laughing. I know when I crack open one of the Lucky Harbor books I’ll immediately be transported into a picturesque town that I feel like I’ve been visiting for ages.
I liked Ali and Luke together – their chemistry was slow-simmering and when it boiled over – Whew! These two are pretty hot together. I loved that Ms. Shalvis took her time with these two, allowing them to get to know each other even as they fought their attraction to each other (and giving us plenty of page time reading about Luke’s sexy abs and shoulders – rowr!). The fact that Luke is going back to San Francisco at the end of his three weeks added an urgency to the story as circumstantial evidence points to Ali as the most likely culprit. I have to admit – I totally fell for the red herring and was surprised when the thief was unmasked. The adorable senior citizens of Lucky Harbor rounded off this story and kept me entertained as I waited for Ali and Luke to “figure things out”.
Ultimately, I closed the book happy with the story but sad I was leaving Lucky Harbor again. I am counting the days until the next installment, Always on My Mind, coming in September.
Definitely recommended for fans of Contemporary Romance – this series has everything I want in a Contemporary romance and It Had to Be You delivers!