Book Review: Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis

Posted June 14, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on June 19, 2018
Pages: 365
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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

Second in the Wildstone contemporary romance series and revolving around a sleepy town that continues to reinvent itself. The focus is primarily on Lanie Jacobs and Mark Capriotti with a side introduction to River Green.

I’d considered giving it a “2” for how much I dislike Lanie, but the rest of it is so wonderfully comforting…

My Take

It’s about rediscovering trust, embracing it, and leaving behind the grief for a man Lanie realizes she never knew. And Shalvis uses third person global subjective point-of-view primarily from Lanie’s and Mark’s perspective, but River gets her thoughts in here too — part of Shalvis’ set up for River’s romance.

The pace was slow, primarily because Lanie was so annoying with her fears and issues. Sure she has good reason for her lack of trust, but she whines on and on about it! Oy. So, yeah, you can probably guess that Rainy Day Friends is character-driven, mostly with great characters you can’t help but adore. Everything about the Capriottis and the winery is family-oriented and that includes their employees. And those twins, lol, I think they make the whole story come alive. Mark is the most amazing dad.

Omigod, the food! The food!!

“…the good Lord put alcohol and carbs on this planet for a reason, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him down.”

Everyone has their bad luck story, some more so than others. And it’s so heartening to read of everyone’s compassion. It’s such a contrast with Lanie’s own upbringing and the chill of her childhood. And what strikes Lanie the most is how the family argues with each other but doesn’t judge. They stick together, no matter what.

The primary conflict is Lanie’s issues about trust and her lack of confidence. Mark has a secondary conflict that he appears to deal with much better than Lanie — at least he’s not as annoying as Lanie is with her fears and her quick judgments. Shalvis was realistic with it; it just annoyed me. She was also realistic about Lanie’s conflict over River and how the Capriottis took River in.

Okay, I’m not as forgiving as Lanie. Her mother ticks me off with her offhand dismissal of Lanie’s childhood. It’s yet another contrast as Lanie observes River embracing a child who only made her life more difficult whereas Lanie’s parents simply froze her out, a lesson Lanie proves she’s learned.

I do love the epigrams Shalvis likes to include at the start of the chapters — it sums up Lanie, that’s for sure.

“The human body is 90 percent water, so basically we’re all just cucumbers with anxiety.”

“My anxieties have anxieties.”

“I can be spontaneous, but first I must carefully plan everything and imagine all that could go wrong.”

Lordy, Rainy Day Friends is packed with funny bits…Uncle Jack’s comment on the difficulty of texting back in the day…ROFL, and Lanie’s comment on the difference between pussies and balls of steel, lololol.

The Story

She has to get out of here. Get away. Anywhere. Anywhere where no one knows who she is. Knows the truth of her marriage.

It’s pure luck that the Capriotti Winery needs a freelance graphic designer. It’s a two-month contract and should give Lanie a breather. A chance to decide who she is, what she wants.

It’s an opportunity that forces Lanie to confront her fears and come to understand her self, her past, and her future.

The Characters

Lanie Jacobs is a graphic designer who needs a fresh setting since her husband, Kyle Blackwell, died six months ago. Her parents are physicists with no clue about children. Great-aunt Agnes died of a stroke.

Capriotti Winery is…
…a family-run winery that was founded by Leonardo and Adelina Capriotti, Cora’s parents, in the 1970s. Cora Capriotti is the CEO of this multimillion-dollar corporation and Lanie’s new boss; she’s also a collector of lost souls. Cora’s children include Mark, a deputy sheriff with an appetite — who’s missing his Air Force career — and the six-year-old wild cupcake twins: Samantha “Sam“, a.k.a., Wild Hair, and Sierra “Sea”, a.k.a., Toothless, who never speaks. Brittney is the wife who ran out on him and their children.

Their daughter Alyssa handles sales and hospitality. She’s married to Owen “Bae” Booker, the winemaker, whom she’s known since second grade. Elsa is their youngest child. Chase and Tanner are their sons. The fractious Mia is the baby sister who manages the tasting room and is head of tours.

Uncle Jack is Cora’s brother suffering from Crohn’s disease, and he runs the winery’s social media platform. Cecilia is Jack’s daughter and one lazy, spoiled girl who is supposed to be working as the winery’s receptionist. He has twin teenage granddaughters who are supposed to work as office assistants.

Gracie is their English sheepdog. Anna has a birthday. Holden works as a wrangler and extra ranch hand when he’s on leave from the army.

River Green is homeless, hungry and six months pregnant. She had meant to become a licensed vocational nurse. Delaney is the baby.

Boomer, a bartender, and Mick are friends of Mark’s. Trevor and Julio are classmates of Sierra and Sam. Sean is an ex-boyfriend of Mia’s. Dr Rodriguez becomes River’s physician.

Wildstone Summer Festival
They have an annual event to raise money for a women’s shelter.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a gorgeous summer day at the beach with a pair of lounge chairs with their red-and-white striped cushions setting under a red-and-white striped umbrella. Pink thongs are behind the chair on the left while a brown backpack sits to the right of the chair on the right. Up against the sand dune on the left sits Gracie in a red kerchief, her tongue lolling, inviting us over. At the very top in black is an info blurb. The author’s name is centered below it in purple with a testimonial (in black) underneath it. Below and to the right of Gracie is the title in lowercase and a more red violet purple. Unfortunately, there’s nothing about the series, although we are informed that it’s the “first time in print”. I’d rather have the series info…!

The title is exactly what Lanie needs at this time in her life, Rainy Day Friends.

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