He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11)
by Jill Shalvis
For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It's the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone ... until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she's rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she's ever laid hands on.
Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to "save" him. In fact, he'd like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He's just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole's heart, or will it be the end of Olivia's days in little Lucky Harbor?
Rating: 4 stars
The saga of the small town of Lucky Harbor continues with an interesting look into the life of a former child star and the sexy seaman who steals her heart. Lucky Harbor is a series I started on a whim and expecting it to just be a short foray into the lives of three estranged sisters who have returned to inherit their family inn, but the adventures didn’t end there. Shalvis always has the ability to make you smile, cry, laugh and love while bringing to life the small town residents that are truly characters and giving the story life. This final trilogy in the series began with a grumpy but sexy boat builder and the bright and terrifyingly cheerful neighbor that sneaks under his guard to love him, but this story is just as interesting and kicks off with one very hilarious, slightly unconformable interaction between the H/H. I am sad to see this series ending, but know that the characters of Lucky Harbor will always be there when I’m ready to return to a visit.
Olivia and Cole's story begins with her sweet but extremely misguided attempt to save him from drowning. Cole is working on the boat early one morning, when a shock sends him sailing into the water. Just as he recovers and resurfaces, he finds himself forced under again but the sexy woman that jumps in to “save” him. A stooges-esque series of events follows leading up to Olivia and Cole finding themselves naked and freezing on his boat, and suddenly they are much closer in contact with one another than either is really comfortable with. But the impact of having her in his arms is too much for Cole to resist even though he know very little about his mysterious neighbor. After she escapes, Olivia finds herself thinking more and more about Cole, but knows she can’t form a relationship with him because of the craziness of the past she is hiding from. But when the past comes back to haunt her in a big way, can she count on Cole to be on her side, or will she forever be left wondering what could have been?
Cole is a very sweet guy, with a bit of a savior complex in that he is always looking out for the others around him and everyone depends on his steady nature. As he finds himself faced with the flighty but sweet Olivia there is no denying he wants her physically, but the emotional pull is something he never expected and is ill prepared to fight against. It was great watching him try to sneak around, tunnel under, and finally just knock down the walls she had wrapped around herself so he would have a chance with her. Cole's relationships with his friends and family were obviously big reasons he became such a good man, while maintaining the sexy edge that we’d expect from a man that spent years on oil rigs and then working his butt off to become a successful business men. Stubborn, imaginative, and fast thinking, he is able to get most any situation turned around to his advantage. Once he understands that having unrealistic expectations of others is just setting yourself up for disappointment, thankfully he is able to forgive others their transgressions and find a way to love, learning that not everyone is perfect.
Olivia has led an interesting and, in many ways, sad life. She began her life in the spotlight, which is never a good place for a child, but she has escaped that world and never wants to go back there. She has landed in Lucky Harbor, a place that she visited and loved as a kid, and hopes to be able to live her life in peace and solitude, and is succeeding pretty well. Until she feels the need to rescue Cole when she sees him get shocked and land in the ocean early one fall morning. She has watched and lusted after him from afar, but never planned to get involved. The pull between them, especially when they are pressed naked together, is just too strong to deny or resist. She’s willing to indulge in a fantastic fling, but quickly she realizes that she can’t have a fling with a man like Cole. Pulled deeper into a relationship she can’t handle, Olivia scrambles to push back, but when her family takes their demands for her time to a new level, causing a riff between her and Cole, Olivia sees just what she will be losing if she can’t get Cole back. I loved seeing her take on life and interactions with the town’s people, particularly the kids. I will say that I wished she would have come clean with Cole earlier, having been warned that dishonesty was a major no-no for him, but I can see that he fear may have prevented that decision.
Being the second to last book in a long running series, I had very high expectations for He’s So Fine, and wasn’t let down, though I wished it had been a bit longer for some extra scenes. There was plenty of the expected laughter, tears, sweetness and sadness running through the love story and the lust that fueled the chemistry between these two. Cole was a bit rigid in some ways, but goodhearted for the most part, even though he needed a butt kicking from his sister to prevent him making a big mistake. He was a lovable character, flawed, sweet, caring, and able to laugh at himself while still being strong, determined and steady. Olivia is one of those women that can get anything she sets her mind to, mainly because she is willing to work her butt off to find solutions to problems and get what she really wants. It was sad at times to see how her family continues to take advantage of her sweet and giving nature, but I can see that with Cole in her life now, there will be no more of that. Olivia and Cole made a great team, had off the charts chemistry, and will obviously be a beautiful couple for decades to come. With the End on its ways, He’s So Fine, hits just the right notes and gives us enough info to understand just what might be coming for the last of the boat boys (as I call Cole and his 2 best friends) in the next story. I can already tell that this series will end on a high note, and though it pains me to say goodbye, I imagine that whatever wonderful story takes its place on Shalvis’s Release Schedule will be equally or even more entertaining.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.