Type: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Grand Central
My Copy: NetGalley
Ali Winters is not having a good day. Her boyfriend left her, everyone in town thinks she’s a thief, and now she’s about to be kicked out of her home. Her only shot at keeping a roof over her head and clearing her name is to beg for help from a police detective who’s as sexy as he is stern….
After a high-profile case goes wrong, Luke Hanover returns to his hometown for some peace and quiet. Instead he finds a bombshell brunette in a heap of trouble. As he helps Ali put her world back together, the pieces of Luke’s own life finally seem to fall into place. Is this the start of a sizzling fling? Or are Luke and Ali on the brink of something big in a little town called Lucky Harbor?
I, simply put, can’t get enough of Jill Shalvis and her writing! Her Lucky Harbor series is my favorite contemporary romance to date and I just don’t see that changing any time soon. Her quaint town of Lucky Harbor is engaging, vivid and the cast of characters are completely human and real.
Ali has worked hard to get where she is in life. Starting over in Lucky Harbor she’s content in her life, if not completely happy. Until she hears her up and comer boyfriend banging someone on his desk. Then he moves out and doesn’t renew their beach house lease AND he breaks up with her via text. Thinking she’d just stay one more night in the beach house, she truly doesn’t expect the new occupant and also the owner to show up in her kitchen while she’s giving her ex a piece of mind over voice mail.
Police officer Luke tells himself that letting Ali stay a night or two while she sorts out her living arrangements is the furthest he’ll go. He’s burned out after a hard case and he needs the quiet the beach house provides. When Ali is accused of stealing a substantial amount of money from her ex though he knows he can’t stay on the sidelines. The only thing Ali is threatening to steal is his heart.
I think my favorite aspect of this one was Ali’s back story and Luke’s reaction to it. Growing up in a less then stellar home has made Ali both a wonderful person and a wounded one. She has overcome most of her obstacles but Luke still rallies for her and feels protective instantly. He wants to slay her demons even the ones in her past. I found him endearing (and hot…and yummy..) and honorable. He’s gentle and sweet and even when he’s trying to distance himself, he never fails Ali when she needs him most. I mean, wh odoesn’t love a hot cop?
I also loved how Ali never gave up. It would have been easy for her to just give up and let herself shatter after other townspeople don’t stand behind her instead believing the worst, she didn’t and her fighting nature made me love her even more. She was real. Everything felt real. This town and these people could be people you know. Each and every character has an unique personality and often comedic dialogue.
Even though this is book 7 in the series readers can read them in any order they wish because Shalvis does an amazing job making them standalones. Past characters make cameos but they never overshadow the current hero/heroine and their unfolding stories.
It Had To Be You is an enchanting read from beginning to end. Shalvis never fails to give me a story that I love and characters that I fall for. Read this one… read it and love it….and then devour her entire list of books like I did. I can’t wait for the next one!
I Give It Had To Be You by Jill Shalvis 4.50 stars!