Joint Review – Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis

Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: November 6th
How we got this book: NetGalley

After a tragic stint in the National Guards, Adam Connelly returns to Idaho and to Belle Haven, the animal shelter he owns with his brothers. All Adam wants is to be alone. Then he opens the door to the past—the woman whose heart he once broke. Still gorgeous, still tough-as-nails, but this time, unusually vulnerable.

Holly Reid learned the hard way to never depend on a man for anything. Now, of all men, it’s the last one she wants to see, and the only one she needs. Her father has gone missing in the Bitterroot Mountains and she could use someone with tracking skills to help find him.

For Holly and Adam, each with their ghosts, a trek this desperate, this unpredictable, and this intimate, will have its share of risks—including opening their hearts one more time.

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

Lou: MinnChica and I are big fans of Jill Shalvis’ books, and the Animal series is my favourite series by Shalvis. Rescue my Heart is Adam’s book, and Adam is a lot more damaged emotionally and mentally than the other heroes. Adam has issues from when he was in the army, where he lost half of his unit in an attack. It’s left Adam with a deep-seated fear of dark caves, and since Adam is a mountain dog rescuer, that leaves him vulnerable. A blast from the past comes back into his life, and this messes up Adam even more. Holly and Adam had a ‘thing’ as teens, but he let her go and joined the army, thinking he was no good for Holly. Holly never forgive Adam for breaking her heart, but when her father goes missing, Holly doesn’t hesitate in going to Adam.

I really enjoyed this installment in the Animal series. Lilah and Brady’s story is still my favourite, but I fell a little in love with Adam who was a total softie with animals. Holly was great in being forceful whilst Adam was hesitant in the romance department.

MinnChica: I’m such a huge fan of this series, mainly because Shalvis incorporated two of my favorite things in the whole world: romance and animals. With Adam and Holly, we also get a second chance love story, another favorite of mine. So while Shalvis hit all the rights points here, this wasn’t my favorite installment of the series so far. Like Lou said, Adam was very, VERY, slow in the romance department. He was timid and scared to move forward, despite the fact that he was still obviously head over heels for Holly. I liked that Holly was able to pull him out of his shell a little, but I felt as if their romance didn’t live up to what I’ve come to expect from a Shalvis contemporary.

Lou: Adam was the hero that needed a knock or two against the head to get going in the romance department. With Shalvis, all of her heroes and heroines are starting to become the same archetype character, and it’s getting hard to differentiate them. So the tension of this novel is Adam’s hesitancy in getting involved because of the issues he has, especially from his past when his Mother abandoned him and his brother, Del. I would like to see different personalities in characters to freshen things up again. I like Holly and Adam, but again, there was nothing new about the romance or the characters themselves.

MinnChica: I can agree with that to an extent, although I think Adam’s past issues with PTSD also gave his character a bit of a difference. I liked seeing that he had problems not only with getting involved in a relationship, but also with getting back on the mountain and involved with the rescues. I liked that Shalvis didn’t sugar coat his experiences, and that Adam had to go through some pretty traumatic experiences, and rely on Holly to get him through it all. I loved that trust they began building so early on in their relationship while on the mountain. Given their past history and their own desires to stay “unattached,” they both quickly trusted each other and relied on each other to find Holly’s father.

Lou: The scene with the cave and Adam was emotional, and it showed Holly a side to Adam she never saw before. What I did like was that Holly and Adam didn’t have a lot of fighting between each other. Despite Adam saying he wasn’t going to get in deep with Holly, the actions between them were completely the opposite. I loved the scenes with Milo and Gertie. I love animals, so seeing a big hero act all soppy with them was so cute. I liked Holly, and I get why she didn’t tell her father and brother about her divorce. I enjoyed Griffin’s character and I can’t wait to see his book with Kate, who I found adorable. Once again, Shalvis manages to create fantastic banter and interaction between Adam, Del and Brady.

MinnChica: Yes, I love the way that Shalvis builds the relationship between the heroes in this series. And the way they are all big suckers around little bitty animals… *sigh* So sexy. I really liked Holly as well. I was a little worried at first that she would get on my nerves, but instead I found her to be sweet and lovable, kind and caring. And I am with you in being excited about Griffin!!

Lou: I sometimes get hesitant when there are romances with big town heroines arrive back to small towns. They usually hate the small town for whatever reason. Holly actually liked (name of town is blanking on me) like the town, and it was refreshing to see a heroine not run away or try and make excuses for why small town living isn’t for her. Holly was sweet and I loved that she never gave up on Adam. I only thought the ending was a tad overdone with the car crash and I would have liked to have seen something different. On the whole, Rescue my Heart is a fun Shalvis read with sexy and sweet romance. I give it a B.

MinnChica: All in all I really enjoyed this installment of the Animal Magnetism series. I loved getting to see Adam finally get his HEA, and also start to really deal with the issues from his past. I loved that Holly, once she committed, refused to give on up Adam and their relationship. I can’t wait to read the next installment, and can only hope that the previous heroes and vet clinic will continue to play a big role in the series overall.
I give Rescue My Heart a B

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