One in a Million (Lucky Harbor #12)
by Jill Shalvis
As the brains behind wedding site TyingTheKnot.com, Callie sees it all: from the ring to the dress, the smiles . . . to the tears. It's that last part that keeps her single and not looking. Getting left at the altar will do that to a girl. But when Callie returns to her old hometown, she finds that her sweet high school crush is sexier than ever. And he makes it hard to remember why she's sworn off love . . .
Tanner is a deep-sea diver with a wild, adrenaline-junkie past—and now his teenage son is back in his life. How can Tanner be a role model when he's still paying for his own mistakes? It's hard enough that gorgeous Callie has appeared in town like a beautiful dream, challenging his best-laid plans to keep his heart on lockdown. Though there's something about being around her again that makes him feel like he can be the man she—and his son—deserve. Little Lucky Harbor holds their past; can it hold a beautiful new future?
Rating: 4.25 stars
The saga of Lucky Harbor is coming to an end, and much like the title of the final full-length novel this experience has been one in a million. I have read many similar series, some even by Jill, but Lucky Harbor has become a favorite place to visit and one that I will revisit often by rereading in the future. Jill is an author that infuses each story within each series with a depth of feeling and level of wit that is unmatched by many authors of the genre. I have enjoyed every moment of this series and will hold out hope for a future return, maybe even an introduction to the second generation of these families. While I am sad to see it end, Tanner and Callie’s story is the perfect way for this series to end and brings a wonderful roundness to the series.
Tanner and Callie’s story is heavy on the emotions that can often leave a person broken and in desperate need of a second chance to find happiness. Callie has been badly burned and her cynicism about love, though admittedly ironic considering her profession, leaves her pushing away any chance at love, but lust is something that she is unable to deny, especially when it come to Tanner. Tanner has his own issues with his past relationships, but Callie pulls at him like no woman ever has, making him want to take another leap of faith. As their emotions are deepened they see that being together is not as simple as they thought. The entanglements of their lives and hearts are unpreventable, especially when there is a very important third person in the mix—Troy, Tanner’s teenage son. When push comes to shove, can they each get past the traumas of their pasts so they might have a chance for a long and happy life, filled with love and family? Or will they forever remain at odds and alone?
Tanner has drawn me from the beginning of this final trilogy, definitely my favorite of the three Boat Boys, but getting to see him come into his own as a man and father was a very fulfilling experience. He has always been the type of guy that gives himself to all those around him, often to the detriment of his own desires, and he’s gotten the short end of the stick a lot of his life. He is finally getting the chance to be a father to his son, even if Troy is a quintessential broody and troublemaking teenager. Tanner is determined to understand Troy and find a way to be a true father to him, but even more important he is finding a way to integrate Troy fully into his life, even including Troy in his relationship with Callie. Callie on the other hand is resisting his attempts to deepen their relationship at every turn, though she is more than willing to have him in her bed. But digging past her walls while he deals with his own issues leave Tanner understanding that he has to finally grow up if he is going to find his happiness and have a full life with his family and love.
Callie is seriously screwed up! Not only has she dealt with all the drama and angst of the brides she plans for in her bridal business, but she was also once left at the altar by her fiancé. Callie has since decided that no man will ever have her heart again, even if her body is stirred to the brink of insanity by the sexy and enigmatic Tanner. When she decides to embrace the lust they are both feeling, Callie lays her ground rules to protect her heart, but there is no way she can really keep up her walls against a man like Tanner, especially as she begins to fall in love with Troy too. She thinks that there might just be a chance for her to overcome her fears, but truly opening up to the chance her heart could be broken leaves her unwilling to give Tanner that second—or third—chance to prove he is the man for her. I was sad to see just how closed off Callie kept herself through most of the story, but I knew there was no chance she could keep herself from falling for Tanner in the end.
Well the end has finally come, the Lucky Harbor bachelors have all met their matches and the women that have found escape traveling to this town through Jill’s novels will have to find another group of sexy, sweet and sinful men to fill their hearts. Tanner is the type of guy that any woman would want chasing after her and trying to get into her heart, a man that is devoted to his family to even the detriment of his own desires, but when he meets Callie there is a shift in his life that makes him readjust his priorities. Callie has been disappointed by so many people in her past, her parents, her lovers, and even her friends, forcing her to wall off her heart against any chance to find love. Callie and Tanner are two people that have lost their ability to trust in love, but together they can indulge in their passions and find a way to find their happiness and make a family and watching them find their way together was the most enjoyable part of this laughter and tear-filled story. Not to spoil anything but there is another unexpected love match that is uncovered in this story, bringing the series full circle and allowing a truly heartwarming ending. I laughed a lot in this story but cried just as much, leaving me emotionally wrung out and trying to prevent tears as I closed the page on the final full length novel in the world of Lucky Harbor. While I’m sad to see the end, even knowing there is a sweet short story soon to come that will serve much like a series epilogue, One in a Million lives up to its name and more, proving Jill’s greatness once again.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.