Book Review: Jill Shalvis’ He’s So Fine

Posted October 2, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jill Shalvis’ He’s So FineHe's So Fine by Jill Shalvis
This contemporary romance was published by Grand Central Publishing on September 30, 2014 and has 368 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

four-stars

Other books by this author include Instant Attraction, Instant Gratification, Instant Temptation, The Night Before Christmas, "Under the Mistletoe", Animal Magnetism, It Had to Be You, Simply Irresistible, The Sweetest Thing, Animal Attraction, Rumor Has It, Rescue My Heart, It’s in His Kiss, Head Over Heels, Lucky in Love, At Last, One in a Million, Forever and a Day, Second Chance Summer, My Kind of Wonderful, "Wrapped in You", Get A Clue, The Trouble with Mistletoe

Eleventh in the Lucky Harbor romance series and revolving around key hotties in town. The couple focus in He’s So Fine is on Olivia Bentley and Cole Donovan.

This ARC was provided by NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

My Take

In He’s So Fine, it’s an unexpected battle for Cole. He’s never experienced a woman so determined to keep him at arm’s length. As for Olivia, she’s determined to not succumb because her entire life has been one of expectation, obligation, and abandonment. She’s not gonna go there anymore. That’s not the only battle Cole has, though. He still hasn’t dealt with the death of his friend nor the death of his dreams with his fiancée.

These two are so alike, and yet so different. Cole knows what family is; Olivia only knows about the concept.

I love Cole’s family. Yeah, they can be poke at ya pretty good, but it’s done with love and affection, never the greed and demanding attitude that Olivia experiences. What is with her mother and sister anyway? They need money? Well, just go to the family cash cow and whine, just do this show, so we can take your money, whine, we deserve it, whine…screw your hopes, dreams, and wishes, just make ours come true, whine… I’d kick them to the curb and suggest they get jobs.

I mean, what the heck? Olivia bought her mother a hair salon. One that if “managed properly, she doesn’t have to work a day”, and Jolyn claims that her job is coping with their mother…so why isn’t she running the hair salon to earn the money her mother needs for her next boob job? If I’d been Olivia, I’d’a slugged Jolyn, pushed her out the door, and then locked it. Her family interactions sure can’t get any worse.

I like the analogy of Olivia and the old stuff she likes to suss out: neglected and discarded with a new lease on life. And I do love the sound of Olivia’s shop. My kind of place as I adore old things, they have such a history to them.

Ohhh, I love the idea of Drama Day. What a clever marketing ploy for a vintage shop and a great way to interact with the community.

Olivia is trying to put Cole off balance with the selection of Halloween costumes available: Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz or Miley Cyrus. And Cole reckons, “I could rock either.”

My niggles include the start of this story. Oh, it’s dramatic enough, but with the close eye that Olivia keeps on the three hunks of Lucky Harbor Charters, wouldn’t she know this was Cole? And jumping in to save him when she can’t swim? I’ve always thought she had more sense, and wouldn’t it make more sense to throw a life preserver in after him? I’ve never been to a dock where they don’t have preservers around.

Of course, it does make for a funny start to the story, if you can keep that suspension of belief going. Once they get inside the boat, things heat up, not quite believably, and Shalvis gets back on course with a touch of the Keystone Kops in Cole and Olivia’s exchanges. I am a bit confused about Olivia not wanting to strip and then insisting that Cole does. She’s not a stupid woman, so why she’s being stupid is a question.

It’s not all fun and games for Cole either — although he did have some fun with Olivia’s phone, lol. Seems he’s learned something about his best friend that makes him question everything in his life. Trust has always been a big thing for Cole. Finding out about his friends shakes his world, so when he finds out about Olivia…oh, boy…

Oh, crack me up with this comment from Callie:
“‘Because I haven’t been out on a date in a long time,’ Callie said. ‘I’m living vicariously through you. I need this date, Olivia.'”

There are fun and games coming up in Tanner’s life, oops, I mean, for everyone around Tanner, when Elisa shows up to drop their kid off on Tanner. Seems he’s a chip off the old block…

So it’ll be more fun and games in the heartfelt and cozy Lucky Harbor where the guys are great: hot, loyal, caring, snarky, and sometimes clueless while the girls are damaged, beautiful, and defensive, and we get to enjoy the ride of supportive, funny, and loving people.

The Story

Her mother and sister are all over Olivia to do the retro show, Not Again, Hailey!, a job she is NOT interested in. She’s had her fill of Hollywood and wants nothing to do with it. Only her mama wants another breast surgery and isn’t shy about jamming guilt down Olivia’s throat while her sister wants… God forbid any of them actually go to work for a living.

Cole is known as the local McGyver, able to fix anything, and he capitalizes on this to make the moves on Olivia.

The Characters

Olivia Bentley, a.k.a., former child star Sharlyn Peterson, runs the thrift shop, Unique Boutique, in town and is best friends with Becca Thorpe, Sam’s fiancée. She’s also on the run from her previous life. One filled with paparazzi and greedy family members. Jolyn is Olivia’s older sister, the jealous one who had wanted a Hollywood career. Tamilyn is, I think, Olivia’s victim of a mother. A role she plays to the hilt. Mrs. Henderson had been her on-set tutor; she’d come from Lucky Harbor and had filled Olivia’s head with tales.

The rigid, unbending, incredibly loyal Cole Donovan is one of three partners in Lucky Harbor Charters, a boat chartering operation that provides deep-sea fishing, whale watching, scuba diving…anything that involves the water, and he’s the captain, chief navigator, mechanic, and face of the operations. Hey, he’s the only one who can handle meeting new people! Amelia is his mother. The coven (his three sisters) include Clare (she’s married to Mitch with a son, Jonathan), Cindy (she’s married to Garrett, and they have a son, Kyle), and Cara (of the historical romances; she eloped with Ward). Their father, an attorney, died over a year ago.

Sam Brody is their financial guy and a custom boatbuilder who’s hooked up with Becca in It’s in His Kiss, 10. Tanner is their scuba diving instructor and communications expert. Elisa and Troy are Tanner’s ex-wife and fifteen-year-old son. Gil was to have been the fourth partner, but he died back in the rig. Susan had been Cole’s fiancée, and it took Gil’s funeral for the truth to come out. Sierra is Susan’s baby girl. Cole hasn’t dated in the two years since. Mark is Sam’s dad and working for the guys along with Becca (see It’s in His Kiss).

Callie Sharpe is a new tenant in the warehouse building where Olivia and Becca live and runs an online one-stop wedding website. She’s also Lucille’s granddaughter, here on a mission for her parents. Dr. Josh Scott is an old friend of the boys, and he agrees with the others: no work for at least a week.

Lucille heads up the Merry Pranksters, er, Eldsters, in this series, and she doesn’t hold back now. She knows everything that goes on in Lucky Harbor, invents some of it, and keeps it all posted on Facebook, oops, I mean Tumblr since she got banned from Facebook. Mary and Mrs. Betty Dettinger come with Lucille to the Unique Boutique.

Lance is dying from cystic fibrosis and runs an ice cream stand on the pier with his brother, Tucker. Tiny, the six-foot-nine biker, owns the Ferris wheel and arcade. Pink and Kendra are twins (we met them in It’s in His Kiss) who love Drama Day. Jax Cullen (Simply Irresistible, 1) owns the Love Shack along with Ford Walker (see The Sweetest Thing, 2).

The Cover and Title

The cover is fine with Olivia perching on the boy bar as Cole pedals their way down a leaf-covered lane. It’s Halloween in Lucky Harbor and the cover shows it.

It’s a title that could be applied to every book in this series, He’s So Fine, is every male so far, and Cole holds up his end of things, being a jack of so many trades and good at them all.

four-stars

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