Skip to main content

Review of "My Kind of Wonderful" by Jill Shalvis

My Kind of WonderfulI am a notoriously slow reader, stemming from the fact that I hated books as a kid.  The closest I came to reading was watching Wishbone on PBS.  I figured if a story wasn't good enough to be on television or made into a movie, then it wasn't worth the time it took me to read it.  It was a long time before I realized that I had it all wrong--that good books aren't the ones you want made into a movie because whoever is making it never quite captures the book's essence; the Harry Potter movies came close, but even those weren't perfect (don't even talk to me about the ending of the last movie).  If you don't know what I'm talking about, read any one of the Nora Roberts books that were turned into movies and then watch the movie.  Carnal Innocence still pisses me off--Gabrielle Anwar??  Really?  She was much too old to play that character.  Sigh.

The reason for this mini-rant is that I read My Kind of Wonderful in less than 24 hours.  I started it about 8:30 last night and read straight to 2:30 when I looked at the time on my phone and was shocked to realize how late it was.  At that point, I was at about 50%.  I read the rest of it this afternoon.  That's rare for me.    One of Jill Shalvis's strengths is writing a book in such a way that the reader isn't aware of the pages turning.  One minute you're at 10% and the next, 85% (one of the reasons why I was so happy to see this book available on Netgalley).  Then, you realize you've forgotten to eat or sleep--or in extreme situations, you've forgotten to go to work or school.  (I actually did that once.  I was sitting in the QC Dining Hall, half eaten egg sandwich in front of me, and I got so lost in the book I was reading that when I looked up, I realized I missed my entire Political Science class and was about to miss my Clinical Psych class.  The book was great, but missing class was not a good idea.)

Back to My Kind of Wonderful.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.


NO, REALLY.


I MEAN IT.


Hudson Kincaid does a little bit of everything: he's a cop, an EMT, and the head of Ski Patrol for his family's resort.  He simply does not have the time to deal with love.  Of course, that's when Cupid's Arrow hits him right smack dab in the ass.  The moment he first sees Bailey Moore, sitting in her parked car and singing along to an Ed Sheeran song, he's intrigued by the pure happiness on her face.

Bailey Moore is free for the first time in her adult life, spending the last 10 years fighting off a disease that should have killed her.  Now, she has plans.  Big ones.  The first thing on her list is painting a mural, and she gets the chance to do that when she gets a call from Hud's mother, asking her to paint a mural on the wall of the resort.  If only the gorgeous man would stop being so stubborn and let her paint it...

The biggest thing that surprised me about this book was the fact that Bailey was a cancer survivor.  Yes, there have been other cancer survivor heroines, but none were quite like this one.  Bailey was visibly a survivor.  She's still bald when the book starts and in the first sex scene she's nervous about the fact that she has a scar from her port.  Then, there's the fact that she wasn't even sure if she could want sex again.  She is at the point where she is learning how to be alive because she was half dead for most of her life.

I like that her cancer wasn't just a sad backstory for her to think about and instead was a part of who she was.  She's worried about how people will see her if she shows her bare head.  Her cancer made her a stronger person, someone who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it.  It made her less willing to settle for less than what she wants.  Ms. Shalvis could have used the cancer as a way to make the reader sympathize with Bailey, which is what so many other authors do, but instead she made it a part of Bailey.  Just another thing that made her who she was, but not the one thing that defined who she was.

I also loved that Hud didn't baby her.  He treated her the same way he'd treat any other woman in whom he was interested, but he also understood how what she'd been through influenced who she was.  Of course, he wasn't perfect and screwed up a few times throughout the book.  He wouldn't have been such a compelling character if he was perfect.  Who'd want to read that?

The one thing I have an issue with was the way Hud's mother was used as a deus ex machina.  Carrie had some weird form of dementia that struck her some time in her 30's.  I don't know of any dementia like that, but I'm no expert, so maybe it is possible.  Anyway.  For most of the time, she isn't lucid, her mind somewhere in the past.  One minute she's talking to Hud the child, the next Hud the adult.  Usually, he's an adult when she has some wisdom to impart on him.  She was apparently some sort of savant, sensing when Hud needed something.  It felt like lazy writing and I hate lazy writing.  Why couldn't Hud figure things out for himself?  Why did his mother, who was normally sitting in the corner talking about things that happened twenty years ago, always have to give him the answers?  I didn't get it.

Overall, though, this was a good book.  Shalvis doesn't seem able to write a truly bad book; even her below average books are better than many others out there.  This was no different.

4 Stars

My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis is currently available for pre-order and will be released on December 22nd.


 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.


The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Lord of Chance" by Erica Ridley

Title: Lord of Chance Author: Erica Ridley ISBN: 1943794049 Publisher: Webmotion Series: Rogues to Riches #1 Price: $7.99 (paperback) $3.99 (e-book) $9.97 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 





I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a Blog Tour for the newest Erica Ridley novel, Lord of Chance, and as I've liked her books in the past, I decided to do it.  The publisher quickly provided me with  a whole folder full of goodies, so without further ado:
The Excerpt
'Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?” “Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.” “Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.” “At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war. Now that he couldn’t see her, she let her…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: 🐶🐶🐶🐶1/2


If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …

Review of "On the Surface" by Kate Willoughby

Title: On the Surface
Author: Kate Willoughby
ASIN: B00GKBIQMW
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: In the Zone #1
Price: $4.99 (e-book) | $12.47 (Audible Audio)
Rating: DNF


From the Publisher
NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.
Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.
Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of an…

Review of "The Thing About Love" by Julie James

Title: The Thing About Love
Author: Julie James
ISBN: 0425273776
Publisher: Berkley
Series: FBI/US Attorney Book #7
Price: $10.99 (paperback) $8.99 (e-book) $15.74 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2

From The Publisher
Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.
After spending six years in Los Angeles—and the last six months wondering how her marriage fell apart—FBI Special Agent Jessica Harlow is looking for a fresh start. When she finds out that the Chicago field office has an opening for an undercover agent, returning to her hometown seems like the perfect answer. But her new partner, John Shepherd, is someone she never expected to see again. Six years ago, the cocky Army Ranger was her top competition at the FBI Academy, and the one man who got under her skin like no other. 
Just one assignment away from joining the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team, John isn't g…