Excerpt: Aubrey got a look at the man she’d inadvertently drenched and stopped breathing. Oh, God. Had she really thought her day couldn’t get any worse? Why would she tempt fate by even thinking that? Because of course things had gotten worse. They always did.
Ben McDaniel slowly stood up from his barstool, dripping vodka from his hair, eyelashes, nose… He was six feet plus of hard muscles and brute strength on a body that didn’t carry a single extra ounce of fat on him. For the past five years, he’d been in and out of a variety of Third World countries designing and building water systems with the Army Corp of Engineers. His last venture had been for the Department of Defense in Iraq, which Aubrey only knew because Lucky Harbor’s Facebook page was good as gospel.
He swiped his face with his arm, deceptively chill and laid-back.
In truth, he was about as badass as they came.
Aubrey should know, she’d seen him in action. But she managed to meet his gaze. Cool, casual even. One had to be with Ben, the man could spot a weakness a mile away. “I’m sorry,” she said.
She felt herself flush. He’d always seemed to see right through her. And she was pretty sure he’d never cared for her. He had good reason for that, she reminded herself. He just didn’t know the half of it. “Yes, I am sorry,” she said. Her heart was pounding so loudly she was surprised she could hear herself speak. “Are you okay?”
He ran his fingers through a sexy disorder of sun-streaked brown hair. His eyes were the same color, light milk chocolate marbled with gold caramel. It was hard to make such a warm-colored gaze seem hard, but Ben managed it with no effort at all. “Need to work on your aim,” he said.
I feel like a broken record every time I sit down to write a Jill Shalvis book review. This series has so much heart and the town is so close knit and loving, it’s hard not to enjoy this series. In fact I dare you not to. Once In A Lifetime is no different but I have to say, Ben is honestly one of my favorite Shalvis heroes to date. He’s a bit dark, a bit haunted, very broody and yet he goes all alpha protective in little time when he cares about something. He’s still in mourning even several years after the death of his wife and though he’s traveled to all sorts of war torn lands in an attempt to hide from his pain, now he’s back in Lucky Harbor and helping the one woman who makes his blood boil…Aubrey.
Aubrey’s character is so much like the average woman. She’s trying to right her wrongs, make amends for her wild and selfish teenage years and she’s finding not everyone is receptive to her attempts. She’s brash and has a mean streak a mile wide but underneath it she hides a big heart that cares a lot about what others think of her. She wants to succeed, not only in her apologies but in reopening her aunts beloved indie bookstore. She incredibly determined and I found that to be an endearing quality especially because it seemed to be such a surprise to her fellow Lucky Harbor residents.
What worked incredibly well in this one was Ben’s outright refusal to admit his growing feelings for Aubrey and then his total sweetheart moves every time he caught her feeling down. He continually wiped her tears and just simply held her well she felt beaten down by her need to make amends to those she felt she had wronged.
Once In A Lifetime (and the Lucky Harbor series in general) is one of those rarely wrote magical moments when all you want is to absorb the book into your soul. Shalvis is hands down one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. Where other favorites of mine have been hitting stagnant moments, Shalvis is still producing quality books that make me smile and warm my heart. She can’t go wrong.
I give Once In A Lifetime by Jill Shalvis 4.50 stars!
Top 5 Favorite Quotes from ONCE IN A LIFETIME
1. He was in jeans, wearing a tool belt slung low on his hips, his T-shirt clinging to him. He seemed a little irritated, a little sweaty, and just looking at him Aubrey got a whole lot hot and bothered in places that had no business being hot and bothered by this man at all.
2. He was back in his tool belt, which was made of leather and crinkled all male-like when he moved. Plus, it forced his jeans a little low on his hips. She couldn’t stop staring, because there was something about the way he wore his clothes that suggested he’d look even better without them.
3. She had no idea how long they kissed—and kissed—but she didn’t think about stopping until she ran out of air. Breathing hard, she slowly opened her eyes and stared directly into his.
They’d heated. Darkened. And something else. He wasn’t looking so relaxed now. In fact, he was looking the opposite of relaxed. He looked…feral.
And she was his prey.
4. “You’d better say it again,” he said very quietly.
“That you don’t want me.” He gave a slow shake of his head. “Because you’re looking at me like I’m dinner and you haven’t eaten all day.”
5. His mouth should be illegal in all fifty states, but she bet he could do things with it. Things she wanted.
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