Book Review: Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis

Once in a Lifetime is the ninth book in the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis. You do not need to read this series in order, as each book does stand on its own. Ben McDaniel has suffered a horrible loss and has tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he's back in his hometown and keeps being thrown together with Aubrey Wellington. Family and friends insist she's not the one to ease his pain, and in theory he agrees, but Aubrey sparks something in him that he has not felt in a long time. Aubrey is trying to be a good person and is working hard to make amends and mitigate the effects of her past mistakes. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is making amends with Ben, even though he has absolutely no idea what she did. Can this unlikely pair defy the all odds?

The small town of Lucky Harbor has seen a lot of wonderful romance and unexpected pairings with a feeling of fun and the warmth of good friends.Once in a Lifetime is no exception. Fans of Shalvis will get just what they want, well developed characters with an inexplicable attraction to each other and problems that need to be faced. Ben needs to decide if he is going to stay in Lucky Harbor, and if he can deal with the memories of his late wife. Aubrey has to deal with her less than stellar reputation and the impression those that have never gotten to know her carry in their minds about her. She wants to make amends for the mistakes of her past, mend family relations, and make her late aunt's bookstore a success. She has high expectations for herself, and plans to rise above her past and keep a brave face regardless of what others think of her. The pair make a highly charged and heart warming pair as they work through their issues and find their places in the town.

Once in a Lifetime holds the charm of a well done small town romance, and meets the expectations of Shalvis fans. The characters are well defined, are relatable and likeable, with some hot moments tossed in to keep readers on their toes. I love a good romance about characters that are much more than they seem, and this book fits the bill.

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