ALWAYS ON MY MIND: You Don’t Have to be Perfect



Cover of Always on my mind Lucky Harbor #8 (Jack’s Story)
by Jill Shalvis
Hachette/Grand Central September 24, 2013
E-Book/Mass Market Paperback/Audio  352 Pages

Audio Book borrowed via and my local library using the OverDrive Media Console. No remuneration was exchanged, and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.



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There’s nothing like the real thing.

After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack’s ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib – that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle…

No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine – perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their “just friends” rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?


square "my take"I enjoy reading Jill’s romances. They occur in small towns. Lucky Harbor seems to be a town where people are open minded, and the older folks have a very healthy attitude towards sex and romance.

Jill writes sexy, but not graphic sex between romantic couples. She talks about “players” but I haven’t read anything by her where the couples are running around having sex willy nilly. I like that and oddly it makes for a pretty wholesome book when a couple is respectful and there’s an HEA.

In this story, people are trying to grow beyond the traumatic events in childhood.  For Jack it’s about his father’s death and following in his footsteps. For Leah it’s about getting beyond her ass hat father’s nasty words in her head. I found a lot of resonance in that.  And I think that is one thing about Jill’s writing – it strikes a chord with everyone and at the same time isn’t obvious or trite. In this case we get a good message about perfection.  Sometimes we are prevented from doing something because we can’t be perfect, the absolute best. I learned that with painting: my stuff was never going to be in the Louvre, but I could paint anyway.

There’s a lot here about white lies and best intentions too. It’s a means to an end and while it wreaks havoc on their lives, it also helps someone they both love.  The story includes a mystery-ish variable too which results in some danger!

There’s not going to be much in the way of kinky here, but it is a very romantic, amusing, sexy story with mostly likeable characters.

As far as  the recording goes I had a lot of problems with my file, via the OverDrive/ system cutting out mid-sentence at the end of a chapter — Pretty frustrating. But I have to hand it to the tech support, I heard back from them almost immediately and we finally discovered there was something wrong with the file and not me!  They are working with the publisher on a new copy.

As for the narration, I must say I like Annie Greene’s enthusiasm and that it feels as if she is engrossed in the story, reading as excitedly as I would. But, I found her phrasing odd and I did not like her voices.  All the older women sound somewhat the same and as if they’re from the southern U.S. and the guys all sound alike and just gruff.

Again, this audio book took me through hours of yard work and helped me to enjoy that time pulling weeds and mowing the lawn. I think I would enjoy reading it as well. And, I love Jill Shalvis for her “feel good” reads!



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