Author: Jill Shalvis
Published: June 2012 (Forever)
Disclosure: Received for review from Netgalley. (Thanks!)
Summary: Amy Michaels loves her new life in Lucky Harbor. A waitress in the local diner, she's looking forward to her first weekend hike through the mountains. But when a wrong turn takes her off the trail, she finds herself up close and personal with forest ranger Matt Bowers. And even though she's tempted to kiss that sexy smile right off his face, she won't make the mistake of getting involved with the town heartthrob. A former cop whose life went south, Matt doesn't let anyone get too close. But something about the feisty beauty caught his eye the moment he first saw her in the diner. After a hot night under a starry sky, Matt can't deny their attraction-or the fact that for the first time in a long time, he feels the stirrings of something more. Now it's up to Matt to help Amy see that, no matter what is in their past, together they can build a future in Lucky Harbor.
My Review: Oh, Lucky Harbor. I truly think I could regularly read books from this series/in this setting for the next twenty years and never, ever get tired of it. Shalvis has created such a beautiful, enchanting place that I never want to leave! The fifth in the Lucky Harbor series was, of course, no exception. After getting to know Amy a little bit in Lucky in Love, I really wanted to know her story. I wanted to know her better as a character, and I especially wanted to see how her story with Matt (otherwise known, much to my snort-inducing laughter, around Lucky Harbor as "Ranger Hot Buns" - thanks, Lucille!) played out! There was a bit of hinting about them in Lucky in Love, and I, of course, was hooked on them merely from this. There was a mystery surrounding them that I could not wait to solve.
The chemistry in At Last was absolutely incredible! I was ready for the screen of my Nook to start melting, or something equally melodramatic. Holy cow! I loved the progression of Amy and Matt's whole relationship. The whole "don't-WANT-to-want-you (but totally do anyway)" device is absolutely one of my favorites. They definitely had that going on at first, but deeper things came into play in the conflict that kept them from their HEA for a wile.
Amy was a fascinating character. She had a particularly rough past, and it was an issue that had to be faced over the course of At Last. It was a factor in the possibility of things developing seriously with Matt, and it also came into play in her interactions with Riley, a teenage runaway who appeared in Lucky Harbor in the book. And really, it was necessary for Amy herself to come to terms with some things.
One thing I really enjoyed about At Last was the continuity with the rest of the series. Shalvis did a great job with this. At Last could be read as a standalone, and nothing would seem amiss. But there were plenty of little references and offhand comments here and there for fans of Lucky Harbor to pick up. And maybe I'm only speaking for myself here, but I love spotting something that's an obscure (or even not-so-obscure) reference to something that happened in a previous book. It makes me want to take off my glasses and spiffily polish them on my shirt before replacing them in a haughty fashion. That is, if I wore glasses. In reality, I just make this open-mouthed, crinkled-nose grin that I've never actually seen myself make, but I imagine it looks something like an imitation of a crazed pig. You can see why I'd prefer the glasses scenario.
Oh, and I have a question. It's not specific to At Last because it comes up ALL the time, but I just final made a note about it. HOW, exactly, does every secondary character in romances have the I Can Totally Tell You Had Sex Superpower? I mean, really. I know some people are perceptive, but sheesh. But anyway. All things - even totally unrealistic superpowers - considered, At Last was absolutely a solid addition to the Lucky Harbor world! I recommend it to new and old Shalvis readers.
❝Life’s short. Dessert first.❞
❝When in doubt, eat chocolate. When stressed, eat chocolate. When in doubt and stressed, eat chocolate. Especially when that doubt and stress were related to a man and her feelings for said man.❞
❝And good Lord, the way he looks at you is contributing to global warming.❞
❝The calories in chocolate don’t count because chocolate comes from the cocoa bean, and everyone knows that beans are good for you.❞
❝I have panty x-ray vision. God-given talent.❞
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