REVIEW: JILL SHALVIS ✭ RAINY DAY FRIENDS

REVIEW: JILL SHALVIS ✭ RAINY DAY FRIENDSRainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis
Also by this author: About That Kiss, The Good Luck Sister
Also in this series: The Good Luck Sister, The Lemon Sisters
Series: Wildstone #2
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks, HarperCollins on June 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, William Morrow Paperbacks
Goodreads
five-stars

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife.

Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person? Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan.

Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Brown changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.

RAINY DAY FRIENDS

by Jill Shalvis

I swear, everytime I’m done with a Jill Shalvis book I cry. Not because it’s sad. Not even because my emotions are all over the place. No, the fact that I’m done always gets to me. Every single time. If I had my way, I would live in a Jill Shalvis book so that it would never end, that’s how beautiful her stories are. Ever since discovering this author I’ve had a huge fan-girlish crush on her. In Rainy Days Friends we are back in Wildstone.

The Capriottis are a loud bunch of people. A big Italian family who runs a winery, has family lunches with all their employees every day. They collect strays along the way and welcome them to their family without blinking. They are a rambunctious, crazy, lively clan with a disregard of personal space and every member has their nose in everybody’s business. Sounds wonderful, right? They totally sound like my kind of people.

When Lanie was offered a temporary job to re-design the Capriotti’s brand she accepted to get her life back in order. After finding out that her late husband was a polygamist, married to four other women, she needs space and time to regroup. The winery, away from her home, promises to be a new start. She has every intention to make the best of these two months. A fairly reasonable young woman and sometimes a little stand-offish, she is determined to stay detached but the Capriottis, especially the two twin heathens and their father to Mark Capriotti, charm her. And while she falls for Mark and his girls, she falls in love with the whole family.

Lanie is a complex character who has been deeply hurt by what her husband had done to her. Their relationship was already dying a slow death nevertheless the betrayal of her trust has made her suspicious and closed off. What’s more is that her parents never made her feel wanted or loved. I hurt for her because this was a woman trapped in her past, feeling unwanted and so incredibly fragile, despite her immense strength. Her feelings for Mark become obvious very soon and her instinct is to run away from him and run to him at the same time. Lanie’s wit and intelligence really spoke to me. As did her hurt – I could really understand why she was so scared of love.

And now he had her in his arms, this amazing, prickly, suspicious, hardheaded woman that he was falling for in spite of himself because she was also sweet and kind and had the biggest heart of anyone he’d ever met. Falling hard. It was going to take a lot to convince her that he was a good idea, although he was pretty sure her body might’ve already made its decision. He had no idea what it would take to persuade the rest of her.

Mark! Oh my. He is a single dad who adores his kids. I loved how he was with them – even when they needed a firm hand he gave it with a kindness that was so natural to him. He is such a charmer, sweet, understanding and so level-headed. Mark and his girls stole my heart from the first moment and didn’t let go until the very end. I was so enchanted by this trio. He didn’t intend to fall in love after being burned by his ex but he recognized a good thing when he saw it.

“I’ve learned that life is a crapshoot, and at any moment someone can walk into it and change it forever.” – Mark

Mark was just wonderful with Lanie but it was the joint effort of the whole family that actually helped bring down her walls. Learning acceptance from a family who didn’t have a reason to welcome her into their fold other than liking her and feeling her need for love made her feel her mother’s distance even more. Cora, the matriarch, united smartness and kindness, her wisdom and a keen understanding of people.

Courage doesn’t always roar, you know. Sometimes it’s just a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, “You can try again tomorrow.”

And don’t get me started on the two heathens – they were just adorable with their antics. So, so sweet. The family’s witty banter had me in stitches. I also loved River, who totally upsets Lanie’s life again, and Holden. Their love story was woven into the story so effortlessly – I wish we’d have had more of them.

Jill Shalvis writes toe-curling romance and although it’s not as explicit as I’m used to it still packs a lot of sexy chemistry and steam. I love her stories, from the small-town setting to the good people with the huge hearts, to the humor, to the romance that grabs your heart and squeezes tightly. Although this is labeled as women’s fiction I’d actually call it contemporary romance. Now I’ll start waiting for the next Jill Shalvis book. They are like a breeze of fresh air and I just can’t get enough.

“Started to go to the gym,” she said. “You know, to work off some of the baby fat. Only I couldn’t find my membership card and a new one was ten bucks. And since a doughnut and coffee was only three bucks, guess who saved seven bucks this morning?” – Alyssa

About Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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