Publish Date: May 28th
How I got this book: NetGalley
Ali Winters is not having a good day. Her boyfriend left her, everyone in town thinks she’s a thief, and now she’s about to be kicked out of her home. Her only shot at keeping a roof over her head and clearing her name is to beg for help from a police detective who’s as sexy as he is stern….
After a high-profile case goes wrong, Luke Hanover returns to his hometown for some peace and quiet. Instead he finds a bombshell brunette in a heap of trouble. As he helps Ali put her world back together, the pieces of Luke’s own life finally seem to fall into place. Is this the start of a sizzling fling? Or are Luke and Ali on the brink of something big in a little town called Lucky Harbor?
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I am a longtime fan of the Lucky Harbor books and Jill Shalvis. With the next trilogy kicking off, I was anxious to see what kind of trouble the Lucky Harbor folks were going to get into this time around. I have to say, while this wasn’t my favorite in the series, it was still a fun and enjoyable read.
Ali is not having a good day. Anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong, and Ali is left in the cold. Luckily for her, her new roommate is a detective on vacation who can help her clear her name. Too bad for Ali he is as smoking hot as he is moody.
Luke has fond memories of his time in Lucky Harbor, and when his life crumbles in the city, he retreats to lick his wounds. The last thing Luke wants hanging around in Ali, especially when he realizes that she needs his help in more ways than one. But as Luke helps Ali clear her name and find out who really stole the town cash, he falls for her in ways he never thought possible.
I thought the setup for this story was cute, but for me the execution wasn’t at the level I expected for Shalvis. The spark that I’ve come to expect with these books wasn’t there for me, and I really just can’t put my finger on why. I liked both Ali and Luke, and while their relationship didn’t progress as quickly as some of the other couples, it was filled with sexual tension. I was a little bummed that we didn’t get a clear idea of whose stories are next in the series, other than Jack and Leah. It felt as if some of the supporting characters and sense of family that we’ve seen in previous books was missing with this one.
Poor Ali was kicked until she was down, and then kicked some more. And yet, she was determined to keep her head up, clear her good name, and find the best in life. She was the kind of inspirational heroine that I enjoy reading about. I felt bad for her though, because although she was friends with Leah, there wasn’t much page time for the two of them, so it seemed as if Ali didn’t have any friends, or anyone to stand up for her when she needed them most. I would have liked to see Shalvis spend more time with the “girlfriends.”
I really liked Luke. Poor guy was dealing with the crazy fall out of a high profile death while he was the leading investigator, and with it a lot of guilt. I liked that Luke’s character was so hard on himself, that he held himself to such a high standard. I liked that although he didn’t seem all that interested in Ali at times, he was willing to do just about anything to help her clear her name.
Their relationship is probably where I struggled with the most in this book. I felt like things moved at a molasses pace, and that the sexual tension wasn’t fully explored. I would have liked to see them either move a little bit quicker, or develop a deeper connection. Compared to the previous Shalvis books I’ve read, this seemed to be the weakest in the romance department, and that was a bit of a disappointment, because I absolutely love her humor.
Although we didn’t get a ton of page time with Jack and Leah, I am very excited to read about them, especially since they are friends who become more. As it’s one of my favorite tropes, I can’t wait to see what kind of fun and fresh take Shalvis will bring.
All in all this wasn’t my favorite Lucky Harbor book. I thought the romance didn’t develop as well as it could have, and although the main characters were wonderful, I would have liked to see them get together as a couple a bit sooner than they did. However, Shalvis fans will be glad to be back in Lucky Harbor and seeing all the usual suspects.
I give It Had To Be You a B-
Thanks to Grand Central Publishing, we have one copy of It Had To Be You to giveaway. To be entered, just let us know which Lucky Harbor book is your favorite so far. Giveaway is open to US only and ends May 31st. Good Luck!
30 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway – It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis”
Even though it wasn’t your favorite you are right I am a fan of the series and am excited to visit Lucky Harbor again! I love Jill’s books!
I always enjoy this series, though individual books can be a bit hit and miss for me. My favorite remains the first one — Simply Irresistible. But Lucky in Love is a close second. Really enjoyed Mallory and Ty.
I think Head Over Heels is my favorite, although I really like Simply Irresistible as well.
Head over Heels is my favorite. 🙂 Thanks for the review and contest.
Can’t wait for its release. “Forever and a Day” is my favorite. Really loved Toby and his dog Tank.
Haven’t read any in the series yet but interested in reading this book. Thanks for a chance to win.
Haven’t read the series
Head Over Heels. If I had to pick. Good luck all.
Always On My Mind is my favorite.
I enjoyed Always On My Mind so I guess it is my favorite.
I liked Simply Irrestible. Looks like I am behind on this series. Need to visit bookstore. What a great giveaway.
As I’ve only read the 1st, I would have to go with… The 1st *Wink* But really, I loved it. It was super fun and sweet.
I havent read the series yet but I would like to. Sounds very good. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.
I haven’t read this author yet. The books sound and look amazing. I’ve also heard lots of good things about them. I’ve added some of them to my reading pile.
lorih824 at yahoo dot com
Haven’t read this series yet ;( But I really, really want too! I know my friend has them and I’m about to pull the “you have to lend me these books if you’re my friend” card. Thanks for the giveaway!
Ever since I read the Lucky in Love, I have been hook to the Lucky Harbor series. I love this series and the other books that Jill Shalvis has written. All of her books are so very good.
I haven’t read any of the series yet but I think my wife would really enjoy this one. Please enter my name in the draw for the chance to win her a copy. Thanks.
I love Jill’s books and this series.
I haven’t read any of Jill’s book yet!! would love to win one!
lovesimply irrestible was great
I have not read this author. Sounds like I need to give her a try.
I love them all….but my top 3 favorites are probably Simply Irresistible, The Sweetest Thing and Head over Heels
Whoops, So hard to pick a favorite, but lucky In Love is one of them.
I haven’t read any of the Lucky Harbor books yet!
I will always love Maddie and Jax in Simply Irresistable, but Chloe and Sawyer in head Over Heels comes in a very close second! I love the whole series, thanks for the giveaway!
Simply Irresistable was the first Jill Shalvis’s book I read and it’s still my favorite of the series.
I love Jill’s books and have read most of this series. Lucky in Love is my favorite.
Head Over Heels, probably followed by either At Last or Lucky In Love. I’ve enjoyed all of them besides Forever And a Day- it pissed me off that Josh was spending so much time at work, with his buddies, and with Grace, when I thought he should have cut back on all of those to work on his family life.
Head Over Heels is a favorite in the series.
This would be the first time for me to read Jill’s book. Hope I win!!