Book Review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

Posted December 15, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 8 Comments

Book Review: Forever and a Day by Jill ShalvisForever and a Day by Jill Shalvis
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Published by Grand Central Publishing on July 31, 2012
Pages: 324
Source: the library


Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s loveable mutt to caring for his rambunctious kids. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad…

With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family–until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day…

Also by this author: It’s in His Kiss, He’s So Fine, One in a Million, Second Chance Summer, Sweet Little Lies, Get A Clue, The Trouble with Mistletoe, Chasing Christmas Eve, “One Snowy Night”, Rainy Day Friends, Merry and Bright

Sixth in the Lucky Harbor romance series and revolving in groups of three friends in this small town on Washington state’s coast. The couple focus is on Grace Brooks and Dr. Joshua Scott.

My Take
I liked this one. A lot. It’s a look at expectations, real and unreal, against a happy lifestyle. It’s an exploration Grace spends some time on, balancing her need to fulfill what she sees as her parents’ desires and her own. If she can figure them out. Josh has a similar problem, only his got dumped all at once in his lap, and involves too many people whose needs Josh is scrambling to understand.

“…that was all Josh needed, for yet another person to quit on him. It took a village to run his life, and his village was in mutiny.”

It is funny that these two are set on following the must-do path, are against having a relationship, are fighting not to get involved, and are so totally involved. Then there’s the relationship each of them have with Toby…it’s so sweet, you’ll want to cry, smile, and laugh all at once.

The insecure Grace is the third of this threesome and must find her happily-ever-after and complete this trilogy within the Lucky Harbor series. It does astound me that this smart woman can be so blind to the “job” opportunities that keep falling into her lap. And yet, she sees so much of other people. The truths, the hurts, the pains.

Josh does have good reason for the mess his life is in. Too much happened too soon too young, and he’s been struggling to do right ever since. Add in the lack of a sex life, and…mmm-mm…Grace Brooks is looking good. Especially with her coping skills.

Toby is too cute with his light sabre and his retreating into his own puppyhood. I love Grace’s assessment of the why and what she does to get around it. Quite clever and so patient.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit, annnd there were weird bumps in the metaphorical writing mode. I want them to be together, but it does feel as if Shalvis is shoving them at each other. Josh doesn’t want to want Grace. He’s frustrated enough in his life, and he’s quite vocal in his not wanting a relationship. And yet he keeps pushing for more. Now, I’m not against being of two minds — god knows I do enough of that in my own life — but the way it happens feels clumsy.

Then again, I do love how Shalvis uses words to describe the want, the desire

“There was just something about her that made him feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Like he couldn’t wait to see beyond the packaging, couldn’t wait to touch. And not just physically, which was what…”

Then there’s Anna. What a piece of work she is. She wants to be treated as an adult but is such a child! At twenty-one! Fine. She’s angry with her brother AND refuses to see life from his perspective. She hurts Toby just to get back at his dad. Anna wants to be an adult so badly? Move out. Get your own place. Get a frickin’ job. I love that Grace calls Anna on her shenanigans.

“You have to earn nice.

Oh, lordy, I do enjoy the epigraphs at the start of each chapter. I enjoy them all, but the one at chapter 26 is a pip: “Save Earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate.”

“Happiness should always win.”

And if that doesn’t make me think of Matt Haig’s The Humans

Oh, I want to find a Lucky Harbor…!! I can’t help it, I absolutely adore this series. It’s full of the same cranky, crazy, comfortable characters that exist in every town, every group of people, but they show their caring, they act on it. You can’t ask for more than that, and when Shalvis gives us this caring, well, you’ve a hard heart if you don’t fall in love with Lucky Harbor.

The Story
It’s a tug-of-war for Grace. Lucky Harbor has been the most welcoming place she’s ever lived, and yet she knows her parents expect her to achieve great things. Things not possible in such a small town.

Meanwhile, as she’s hunting for that high-flying career, she’s working everything and anything in Lucky Harbor. And it’s fate when someone needs a dog walker.

The Characters
It’s the chocolateers: the desperate Grace Brooks looking for a banking job of which her parents would approve; Mallory Quinn, a nurse who’s running a clinic, a local Health Services Center; and, Amy Michaels (At Last, 5) who waits tables at the Eat Me Café.

“There are four basic food groups: plain chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate.”

Grace was adopted at birth by an overachieving couple who expect the same of her. She’s struggling to pay her bills with that dog walking job, a stint as a model for Lucille’s art class, flower delivery, anything she can find.

Mallory is engaged to Ty Garrison (Lucky in Love, 4), a local flight paramedic, and flashing around a spotlight on her ring finger. Amy is with Matt Bowers, a forest ranger, and selling her artwork like hotcakes. And she gets engaged.

“‘You know that what was missing wasn’t a man, right?’ Amy asked. ‘Because I didn’t need a man to make me whole. I just needed to open myself up to new experiences. The man part sort of fell in my lap.'”

Dr. Joshua Scott, a.k.a., Dr. McHottie, is overworked, trying to do it all from multiple shifts in the ER at the local hospital to keeping up his father’s, Dr. Weston Scott‘s, practice. The angry Anna is his paralyzed sister. Tank is the evil pug he wants to lose. Toby is his much-loved son who has just started kindergarten. Nina is the pissy housekeeper. Devon Weller is Anna’s current jerk of a boyfriend. Katy is supposed to be Toby’s nanny.

Mrs. Perry, Josh’s neighbor, is dead keen on her petunias. Matt and Ty are Josh’s workout partners at the gym. Some of Josh’s patients include Mrs. Burland, Mrs. Tyler wants to know how he feels about cougars, Mrs. Dawson who’s trying to get into his pants, Mr. Saunders and his kidney stones, Nancy Kessler and her bladder infection, the clumsy Randy Lyons, Mrs. Munson‘s allergies, Ben Seaver who’s gonna lose that ding-dong of his, Mrs. Porter keeps “dying”, Kenny Liotta is a stupid, clueless truck driver, Mrs. Dawson, Lisa Boyles, and more. Dee is Josh’s nurse practitioner, Michelle and Stacy are front office clerks, and Cece is his LPN. Dr. Tessa McGinley is the doctor the hospital brings in.

Lucille is the octogenarian art gallery owner who spends more time on Facebook than anyone in town, posting all the gossip she scoops up. Mr. Wykowski may be 80, but he has all his own teeth and a driver’s license. Tara (The Sweetest Thing, 2, and she’s married to Ford Walker) is Grace’s landlord at the B&B along with her sisters, Maddie (Simply Irresistible, 1) who’s married to Jax and Chloe (Head Over Heels, 3) who is engaged to Sheriff Sawyer Thompson.

Dr. Martin Wells volunteers his time, with little grace, to the Health Services Center. Kyle’s mommy is a bitch. Bryce Howard III saw himself as the center of everyone’s universe. Stone Cameron was a bank guy who was his own universe. Ally is Toby’s mother more interested in living the moneyed doctor’s life, but with the doctor and no baby.

Serena is a nurse at Lucky Harbor Elementary. Mrs. Gregory, Jenna Burnett, and Sierra Hennessy are some of Lucille’s art students. Angela Barrison is another of the many who want to apply for any position with Dr. Scott. More applicants include Sarah Tombs and Riley, the runaway teen from At Last, 5. Sadie is the class kitty.

Jeanine Terrance owns a pottery shop. Anderson is the local hardware store owner. Lance and Tucker are brothers who own the ice cream store on the pier. Jan owns the Eat Me diner. Mindy owns a florist shop.

The Cover and Title
The cover is a bright white wedding day as Grace and Josh share a rather stiff kiss up on a hill with a green valley spreading out behind them and a bed of pink and white tulips before them.

The title is how Josh feels about Grace, how he wants her Forever and a Day.

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8 responses to “Book Review: Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

  1. I am determined. Determined I tell you to read this series in 2015. Your review and others have me excited to meet all these characters, swoon and fall in love with Lucky Harbor. Excellent breakdown 🙂

  2. Thank you, ladies! As you could tell, I do love this series.

    Carmel, her books are full of quotes like these. And I can’t resist sharing some of my favorites. There are so many more, but there’s no room to add the whole book!?!

    Felicia…if you like Animal Magnetism, you will love Lucky Harbor. I like the vets series, and like LH even more.

    Kimba, you won’t regret it. It’s a series you want on hand for the days you feel bad and need a lift as well as for the days when you simply want to laugh and bask in that feel-good glow.

    Katherine, you are after my own heart. I want to re-read this series as well, lol!

  3. I just need to finally read a book by her. I see her books everywhere, and I do love series books in small towns. I am glad you enjoyed it, thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. You are most welcome, Lorna. I think this would make a great addition to your “small town” series collection *grin*. Shalvis is reasonably consistent in the quality of her writing with some good messages, laughs, and a small-small number of tears.

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