From the New York Times bestselling author of the Lost and Found Sisters comes a heart-warming and funny story about family, friendship, and love.
Two Men Are One Too Many . . .
Tara has a thousand good reasons not to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Yet with her life doing a major crash-and-burn, anywhere away from her unfulfilled dreams and sexy ex-husband will do. As Tara helps her two sisters get their newly renovated inn up and running, she finally has a chance to get things under control and come up with a new plan for her life.
But a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor has his own ideas, such as keeping Tara hot, bothered . . . and in his bed. And when her ex wants Tara back, three is a crowd she can't control-especially when her deepest secret reappears out of the blue. Now Tara must confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she's lucky, she might just find that everything her heart desires is right here in Lucky Harbor.
About the Author
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 for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
You can learn more at:
Read an Excerpt
The Sweetest Thing
By Shalvis, Jill
ForeverCopyright © 2011 Shalvis, Jill
All right reserved.
“There is no snooze button on life.”
Muffin?” Tara asked as she walked along the long line of people waiting on the pier to enter Lucky Harbor’s summer festival. “Have a free Life’s-a-Peach Muffin?”
The large basket was heavier than she’d anticipated, and the late afternoon June sun beat down on her head in tune to the Pacific’s thrashing waves beating the shore. Perspiration beaded on her skin, which really chapped her hide. It was the steel magnolia in her. Perspiring wasn’t just undignified, it contradicted her never let ’em see you sweat motto.
Telling herself that she was merely glistening, and hopefully looking luminous while she was at it, Tara amped up her smile and kept going. At least her sundress was lightweight, the material gauzy and playful against her skin. She’d bought it to look sophisticated and elegant. And to boost her confidence.
This was a tall order for a dress.
“Muffin?” she asked the next woman in line.
Mrs. Taylor, the owner of the local craft and supply shop, looked the basket over carefully. “Are they low-fat?”
Before coming to Washington state, Tara had spent most of her life just outside of Houston on her grandparents’ ranch, where holding back the use of butter and lard was considered sacrilegious. Low-fat? Not exactly. She gave a brief thought to lying, but she didn’t want to be struck dead by lightning—it would ruin her good hair day. “Definitely not, sorry.”
“Do you know the calorie count?”
Tara looked down at her beautiful muffins, fat and soft and gently browned, each perfectly baked and undoubtedly overflowing with calories. “A gazillion,” she said. “Per bite.”
“I’m surprised at you,” Mrs. Taylor said disappointedly, “promoting cholesterol consumption like this.”
Tara had read somewhere that it took less effort to be nice than bitchy. And since she was all for energy conservation, she let her mouth curve into a smile. “Actually, what I’m promoting is the renovation of the inn my sisters and I are opening in two weeks—” She broke off when Mrs. Taylor held up a polite finger and pulled out her vibrating phone.
Tara had a finger of her own to hold up, but since it wasn’t a polite one, she refrained. She moved on, assuring herself that the continuous swallowing of her pride since coming to Lucky Harbor only felt like it was going to kill her, but surely it wouldn’t.
“Muffin?” Tara asked a new section of the line, handing them out as people expressed interest. “Y’all want a free Life’s-a-Peach muffin?”
Each had been painstakingly wrapped in cellophane with a folded flyer for the Lucky Harbor Beach Inn tucked into a ribbon. It was part of Tara’s mission, and that mission was different than it’d been last year. Last year, she’d wanted peace on earth and a manicure that lasted a full two weeks. This year, things were more basic. She wanted to be able to pay her bills at the end of the month without robbing Peter to pay Paul, and maybe to feel like she was in control of her own life.
That was all.
Just a single month in which her ends met her means. Thirty days during which she wasn’t constantly in angst over the arrival of a paycheck.
Or lack thereof.
The sun continued to beat down on Tara as she walked the length of the pier. Behind her, the sharp, craggy cliffs were cast in shadow. Out in front, the surf continued to pound the beach, shuddering the pier beneath her feet. She passed the beauty shop, the Eat Me Diner where she worked four nights a week, and then the arcade, ice cream parlor, and the five-story-high Ferris wheel.
The crowd grew around her, seeming to surge in closer. It was as if the entire state of Washington had showed up for the Summer Arts and Musical Fest, but that wasn’t a surprise to Tara. The only thing the people of Lucky Harbor liked more than their gossip was a social gathering, and there would be plenty of both to be had tonight. A warm night, good music, dancing, drinking… a recipe for a good time, no doubt.
“I’ll most definitely take a muffin,” Chloe said, appearing at Tara’s side.
At twenty-four, Tara’s sister was the baby of the family, and as such had inherited all the free-spiritedness—aka wildness—of their mother, Phoebe Traeger. Chloe wore snug hip-hugging cargo shorts and a sunshine yellow tank top that required sunglasses to look at. Her glossy dark red hair was streaked with twin hot-pink highlights, one down each temple, the rest cascading down her back in a perfect disarray of waves to give her a just-out-of-bed look.
She could have been a cover model.
Well, except for the fact that she was five foot three in her high-tops and had absolutely no discipline nor inclination to follow instructions. Chloe was freshly back from a two-month trip traveling through Miami Beach’s high-end hotel spas, where she’d put her aesthetician license to good use while fine-tuning her own natural skincare line. And probably also finding trouble, as was Chloe’s habit.
Tara was just glad to have her back in Lucky Harbor. She’d worried the entire time Chloe had been gone. It was a lifelong thing for Tara, worrying about her troubled baby sister.
Chloe, looking tan and happy and sporting a new Chinese symbol tat on the inside of her wrist that she’d refused to translate, bit into a muffin and let out a heartfelt moan. “Damn, Tara, these rock. Can you tell me something?”
“If you’re going to ask me if the muffins are low fat,” Tara said, “you should know I’m running out of places to hide all the dead bodies.”
Chloe laughed. “No, I can feel my arteries clogging even as I swallow, and I’m good with that.” She licked the crumbs off her fingers. “Just wanted to know if you noticed Ford making his way toward you.”
Tara turned to follow Chloe’s gaze and felt her breath catch. Ford Walker was indeed headed her way, moving sure and easy, his long-legged stride in no hurry. Which was a good thing, as he was stopped by nearly everyone that he passed. He didn’t appear to mind, which made it damn hard to dislike him—although Tara still gave it her all.
“You ever going to tell me what’s the deal with you two?” Chloe was digging into a second muffin as if she hadn’t eaten in a week. And maybe she hadn’t. The perpetually broke Chloe never seemed to worry about her next meal.
“There’s no deal with me and Ford.”
Chloe’s low laugh rang in Tara’s ears, calling her out for the liar she was. “You know what you need?”
Tara slid her a look. “A trip to some South Pacific island with no sisters named Chloe?”
“Hmm. Maybe for Christmas. For now, you need to relax. More yoga, less stress.”
“I’m plenty relaxed.” Or she had been until she’d looked at Ford. He’d gotten stopped again and was talking to someone in the line behind her, but as if he felt her appraisal, he turned his head and met her gaze. An odd tension hummed through her veins. Her pulse kicked up as well, not quite into heart-attack territory, but close enough. “Totally, completely relaxed,” she murmured.
“Uh-huh,” Chloe said, sounding amused. “Is that why you’re hugging the basket so tight you’re squishing the muffins? Or why you compulsively cleaned the cottage from top to bottom last night?”
“Hey,” Tara said in her own defense. “There was a lot of dust, which would have aggravated your asthma. And, if you remember, it’s only been two weeks since you’ve landed in the hospital unable to breathe thanks to nothing more than a pollen storm. So you’re welcome.”
Chloe rolled her eyes and turned to the woman behind her in line. Lucille owned an art gallery in town and was somewhere between seventy and two hundred years old. She wore white-on-white Nikes and her favorite track suit in hot, Day-Glo pink. She took a muffin, bit into it, and sighed in pleasure. “Tara, darling, you’re as amazing as you are uptight.”
“I’m not—” Oh, forget it.
Lucille looked her over from eyes lined thickly with blue eye shadow. “Pretty dress. You always dress so nice. Ross? Wal-Mart?”
Actually, Nordstrom’s, Tara thought, back from her old life when she’d had a viable credit card. “It’s several years old, so—”
“We have a question,” Chloe said to Lucille, interrupting. “Tell me, does my sister look relaxed to you?”
“Relaxed?” Taking the question very seriously, Lucille studied Tara closely. “Actually, she looks a little constipated.” She turned to the person who came up behind her, but Tara didn’t have to look to see who it was because her nipples got hard.
At six-feet-three inches, Ford was pure testosterone and sinew. His build suggested one of those lean extreme fighters but Ford was too laid-back to ever bother being a fighter of any kind.
He wore low-slung, button-fly Levi’s and a white button-down shoved up to his elbows, yet somehow he managed to look as dressed up as Tara. His brown hair was sun-kissed, his green eyes sharp, his smile ready. Everything about him said ready, from his tough build to the air of confidence he wore like other men wore cologne. Half the people in Lucky Harbor were in love with him.
The other half were men and didn’t count.
Tara was the odd person out, of course. Not only was she not in love with him, he tended to step on her last nerve.
There was a very good reason for that.
Several, in fact. But she’d long ago given herself permission to pretend that the thing that had happened between them hadn’t happened.
“We’re trying to figure out what’s wrong with Tara, dear,” Lucille told him, having to tilt her blue-haired head way up to meet his eyes. “I’m thinking constipation.”
Ford looked as if he wanted to laugh.
Tara ground her teeth. “I’m not—”
“It’s okay,” Lucille said. “It happens to the best of us. All you need are some plums and a blender, and you—”
“I’m not constipated!” Great. Now everyone within a thirty-foot radius was privy to the knowledge.
“Well, good,” Lucille said. “Because tonight’s Bingo Night at the Rec Center.”
Extremely aware of Ford standing way too close, Tara shifted on her wedged sandals. “Bingo’s not really my thing.”
“Well, mine either, honey,” Lucille said. “But there are men there and lots of ’em. A man could unwind you real nice. Isn’t that right, Ford?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Ford said with an utterly straight face. “Real nice.”
“See?” Lucille said to Tara. “Sure, you’re a little young for our crowd, but you could probably snag a real live wire, maybe two.”
Tara had seen the Bingo Crowd. The “live wires” were the mobile ones, and using a walker qualified as mobile. “I don’t really need a live wire.” Much less two.
“Oh my dear,” Lucille said. “Every woman needs a man. Why even your momma—God rest her soul—used to say it was a shame you couldn’t buy sex on eBay.”
Beside her, Ford laughed softly. Tara very carefully didn’t look at him, the man she’d once needed with her whole being. These days she didn’t do “need.”
Chloe wisely and gently slipped her arm in Lucille’s. “I have friends in high places and can get around this line,” she told the older woman. “Come tell me all about all these live wires.” She shot Tara a you-owe-me smile over her shoulder as she led Lucille away.
Not that Tara could think about that because now she was alone with Ford. Or as alone as one could be while surrounded by hundreds of people. This was not how she’d envisioned the day going when she got up this morning and made that bargain with God, the one where she promised to be a better person if he gave her a whole day where she didn’t have to face anything from her past. But God had just reneged on the deal. Which meant she didn’t have to be a better person…
Ford was looking at her. She could feel the weight of his gaze. She kept hers resolutely out on the water. Maybe she should take up knitting like her other sister, Maddie. Knitting was supposedly very cathartic, and Tara could use cathartic. The late afternoon sun sank lower on the ocean as if it was just dipping its toes in to cool off. She stared at it until long fingers brushed hers.
That was it, just her name from Ford’s lips, and just like that she… softened. She had no other word for what happened inside her body whenever he spoke to her. She softened, and her entire being went on full alert for him.
Just like old times.
Ford stood there, patient and steady, all day-old scruff and straight white teeth and sparkling gorgeous eyes, bringing out feelings she wasn’t prepared for.
“Aren’t you going to offer me a muffin?” he asked.
Since a part of her wanted to offer far more, she held her tongue and silently offered the basket. Ford perused his choices as if he was contemplating his life’s path.
“They’re all the same,” Tara finally said.
At that he flashed a grin, and her knees wobbled. Sweet baby Jesus, that smile should come with a label: WARNING: Prolonged exposure will cause yearning, lust, and stupidity. “Don’t you have a bar to run?” she asked.
“Jax is there, handling things for now.”
Ford was a world-class sailing expert. When he wasn’t on the water competing, or listed in Cosmo as one of the year’s “Fun Fearless Males,” of all things, he lived here in Lucky Harbor. Here, with his best friend, Jax, he co-owned and ran The Love Shack, the town’s most popular watering hole. He did so mostly because, near as Tara could tell, he’d majored in shooting the breeze—which he did plenty of when he was behind the bar mixing drinks and enjoying life.
She enjoyed life, too. Or enjoyed the idea of life.
Okay, so she was working on the enjoying part. The problem was that her enjoyment kept getting held up by her reality. “Are you going to take a muffin or what?”
Ford cocked his head and ran his gaze over her like a caress. “I’ll take whatever crumb you’re offering.”
That brought a genuine smile from her. “Like you’d settle for a crumb.”
“I did once.” He was still smiling, but his eyes were serious now, and something pinged low in her belly.
Memories. Unwelcome ones. “Ford—”
“Ah,” he said very softly. “So you do remember my name. That’s a start.”
She gave a push to his solid chest. Not that she could move him if she tried, the big, sexy lout.
And she’d forgotten nothing about him—nothing. “What do you want?”
“I thought after all this time,” he said lightly, “we could be friends.”
“Friends,” she repeated.
“Yes. Make polite conversation, occasionally see each other socially. Maybe even go out on a date.”
She stared at him. “That would make us more than friends.”
“You always were smart as hell.”
Her stomach tightened again. He wanted to sleep with her. Or not sleep, as the case might be. Her body reacted hopefully to the mere thought. “We don’t—” She closed her eyes to hide the lie. “We don’t like each other like that anymore.”
“No?” In the next beat, she felt the air shift as he moved closer. She opened her eyes just as he lifted his hand and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear, making her shiver.
He noticed—of course he did; he noticed everything—and his mouth curved. But his eyes remained serious, so very serious as he leaned in.
To anyone watching, it would look as if he was whispering something in her ear.
But he wasn’t.
No, he was up to something far more devastatingly sneaky. His lips brushed against her throat, and then her jaw, and while she fought with a moan and lost, he whispered, “I like you just fine.”
Her body quivered, assuring herself she returned the favor whether she liked it or not.
“Think about it, Tara.”
And then he was gone, leaving her unable to do anything but think of it.
Excerpted from The Sweetest Thing by Shalvis, Jill Copyright © 2011 by Shalvis, Jill. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very great story line. enjoyed it and would recommend!
Very entertaining read. One of the few books this month that I enjoyed reading.
This was really good, I enjoyed the first book but this was great.... roll on December until Book Three.
I read all 6 books. Enjoyed the series.
The two things in her life that Tara Daniels never expected was 1.She'd come back to Lucky Harbor and 2.That 1st love Ford Walker would show up in her life all over again. I loved reading the 2nd installment of Lucky Harbor Series I liked the whole idea of 2nd chance at love thing and this book truely shows a thing or 2 of that. I love how once the very daughter both Tara and Ford gave up at birth shows up again and that really sparks something between Tara and Ford again. I loved reading this book and will over and over again can't get enough!
Five +++ stars!!!!! Love a book that i can laugh out loud and bawl my eyes out all on one page.
Awesome book, could not put it down.love love love
I love this series! Shalvis does not disappoint and I enjoyed Tara and Ford's story even more so than Maddie and Jax.
USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis has penned more than three dozen romance novels. She is a three-time RITA nominee and three-time Readers Choice winner. Other titles include: The Trouble With Paradise, Smart and Sexy, Kissing Santa Claus, Instant Temptation, Slow Heat, Storm Watch, Jinxed, Out of This World, Just Try Me, and Get a Clue. She resides in Lake Tahoe. This is book two in the Lucky Harbor series, with Simply Irresistible coming before it, and the third book, Head over Heels, coming in December 2011. Though these books are part of a series, they can be stand alone reads. Anything needed to know about the plot in previous books is explained for new readers to catch up. Two men are one too many... After her life majorly crashes and burns, Tara Daniels has no choice but to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington, where she once spent a wild, hot, and heartbreaking summer visiting her mother. Now running a restored Bed and Breakfast with her two half-sisters in the house her mother once owned, she finally feels like she has a plan for her new life and is regaining some of her control back. Except a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor from her past has other plans. Plans that involve the two of them rekindling the passion they once shared so long ago. But Ford isn't her only problem. Oh no. Her very sexy ex-husband has shown up in the small town to win her back. These men are two things she can't control, and three is a crowd. And when her deepest secret reappears, Tara is forced to confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she looks close enough, she just might find it right where she is. I had the pleasure in reviewing the first book in this series, and though I loved it, it would appear these books only get stronger and more intense as the series goes on. I cannot wait for Sawyer and Chloe's story in the last book. This is an author who knows her conflict, knows how to produce heat, and knows how to invoke powerful emotions-- all while having you gasping with laughter. Not an easy task. The setting in a small resort town was perfect, filled with an array of secondary characters you can't help but love. I love the bantering between the three sisters, very unique and very diverse in their personalities, clashing at every turn. Most of all, this book in particular displays just how haunting the past can be, and just how difficult it can be to overcome it. Highly recommended! Kelly Moran, Bookpleasures
Another great story by Jill Shalvis. Can't wait to read Mia's story this winter!
A great book!! Love the series!!
The Sweetest Thing By Jill Shalvis is another heart warming fun and sexy read. Tara Daniels has returned to Lucky Harbor, Washington. She intends to only stay long enough to help her two sisters get the Inn they inherited up and on its feet. Tara needs to get her life back in some type of order after her divorce. She needs to form some type of life plan but a man from her past keeps getting in her way. Ford Walker has always lived his life in the fast lane. Racing boats for a living has taken him all over the world. He had returned to Lucky Harbor to simplify his life. But there is nothing simple about his long buried feelings for Tara Daniels. They fell in love as teens but reality soon had them apart. Now that Tara's back Ford will stop at nothing to get Tara to realize how good they could be together. Tara's secret makes a surprise appearance along with her ex-husband causing all kinds of inner turmoil for them both. Will these two former lovers be able to make a go of it as adults? The Sweetest Thing is another delightful read. The interactions between Tara and Ford are just sensational. Their emotions run the gamut of past insecurities to present day issues. You find yourself routing for this couple to find a way to their happy ending. Jill Shalvis books are must reads for me, they deliver every time. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I finished the first book in the Lucky Harbor series titled "Simply Irresistible" and I must say this book was definitely worth the wait. The author pulled me right back into the town of Lucky Harbor with such ease that I literally read this book in one sitting. This series of books revolve around three half sisters Maddie aka the mouse, Tara the steel magnolia, and Chloe the wild child, who are brought together in Lucky Harbor after the death of their mother Phoebe. In Phoebe's will she leaves a run down inn to the girls and they decide to stick around and turn it into what they hope will be a successful B&B. In this installment Tara is getting a second chance at love with an old flame from her past. When she was seventeen she spent the summer in Lucky Harbor and had a relationship with Ford Walker, but the relationship ended when she wound up pregnant and gave her baby up for adoption. Fast forward seventeen years Tara is back in Lucky Harbor after a failed marriage ,she is trying to help her sisters get the B&B up and running.She thought she was over Ford, but now that she is back those old feelings are being stirred up all over again, and if that's not enough her ex-husband shows up wanting a second chance. Who will she choose? I love the relationship that the sisters share. The banter that goes on between them often had me laughing out loud. Because each of the sisters were raised so differently they each have different outlooks on life.While they are still getting to know each other, that bond that only sisters share is certainly there. Tara's character is very uptight, it was nice to see Ford was able to get under her skin. I loved this story which is funny but also has enough twists to keep you flipping the pages to see how things will turn out. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in this fantastic series that's simply irresistible.
I was going into the hospital for surgery and needed something to pass the time during recuperation. I was scanning Nook books and just happened to run up on this series and the cute comments and reviews by the readers. Needless to say, I'm HOOKED. I believe we all need a little extra "legal" romance in our lives and Jill gives that. I have read all 6 of the books and they are wonderful.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that likes a well written romance novel and the group of people that make up Lucky Harbor. My only complaint about this book is that it ends to soon and I wanted it to last longer.
Right here. Lets go.
The whole series hits the spot. Best series of books that takes you there and is relateable. Every emotion is felt by the reader and the humor is spot on with just the right steaminess to mix it up. Reminds me of some of the home towns I grew up in. GREAT READ!
Im only 11 but i love these book jill ur my FAV
The Sweetest Thing This part of the book is about Tara, the one who cooks at the local cafe: Eat Me Diner. The town is always having a festival, this time it's the Summer Arts and Musical Fest where the whole town comes out to participate in. The inn is almost ready to open and she's giving away peach muffins with the inn's flyer on them to all who are on the pier. Tara had been married to a NASCAR driver but had gotten a divorce before moving back to Lucky Harbor. Ford owned the bar with Jax and was also a world class sailing expert, gone for many weeks/months at a time. He also took care of the boats moored at the inn's dock, where his boat was kept. Even though this book is mainly about Tara the other sisters are mixed in with everything as well. Great we can keep up with the whole family and new neighbors and townspeople. Tara's ex husband is back, injured from racing and going to spend the whole summer there trying to win her back. Things are just moving along and out of left field: Someone else is back in Tara and Ford's lives also and she's only got 7 weeks with them. Lot of heartwarming truths come to the surface. Competition to win her over, accidents, ER visits to name a few things that make this a 'never a dull moment' at the Inn. Can't wait for the next one head over heels as we get to check out Chloe's story along with keeping up to date with her 2 sisters and townspeople and other family members.
Great Read!!! Great author...can't wait for the next book.
The second book of Jill Shalvis¿ Lucky Harbor Series continues where the first one ended. This second book focuses on older sister Tara Daniels, The Steel Magnolia. Once you understand Tara and her life, I think the description ¿Steel Magnolia¿ is a little harsh. She¿s a magnolia, because she¿s from the south and she¿s ¿steel¿, because she tries to protect herself the best way she knows how. Which is by not really showing what she¿s thinking or feeling. Tara had one magical summer, when she was seventeen. That summer will continue to live with her for the rest of her life. In some aspect, it will haunt her. If you read the first book, then you know that Tara can be what seems to be a cold person. Especially to one bar owner, named Ford Walker. I¿m not the type of reviewer who likes to tell you what happens in the book. I think it kinda of spoils it for the reader. I will say that Tara and Ford end up having a pleasant surprise that neither of them expected. This book also introduces you to Logan Perrish, the sexy Nascar driver ex-husband. You can find more of his story in ¿Small Town Christmas¿. I can¿t wait to read the next book in the Lucky Harbor series. Trust me, neither can you.
Very good book. I can not wait for the next one to come out.
I really enjoyed reading this book, Tara and Ford had great chemistry. And I liked seeing Maddie and Jax from the first book as well. There were parts of the book that would squeeze your heart but not to the point that is was depressing. I love the setting of these books, and the 3 sister's all getting to know each other and how they all bring something special to how they run the B&B. Great series, can't wait for Chloe and Sawyer. (Who seems really hot, by the way)
The Sweetest Thing is book two in the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis. I was lucky enough to get this book as a Christmas gift from my dear friend and am just now getting to it. But it was oh so worth the wait. I couldn’t have loved this book more. Tara Daniels is the oldest of the three sisters. All three have returned to Lucky Harbor after their mother’s death, a mother Tara had barely known. Tara’s plan is to help her sisters get the Inn their mother left them up and running and to make sure that they were all set up and then to leave. But she doesn’t have much to go back to. Her marriage ended two years ago. And the truth is, she isn’t really hating it all that much in Lucky Harbor. She is enjoying the relationship, though still a rocky one, that is developing with her sisters. On the outside, Tara is always put together with her pencil skirts and silk blouses, perfect hair and southern charm. But on the inside, she’s a mess. It doesn’t help that the boy that she fell in love with back when she was seventeen year old, and who is nothing like a boy at all now, is still here and seems to find a way into her path every single day. In the six months that Tara has been back, she has done all that is in her power to keep her distance. But it’s getting harder and harder. Tara also finds herself face to face with another part of her past she never imagined would happen. It’s both a dream and the scariest thing she has ever dealt with. On top of everything else, including the increasing attraction she is feeling towards her old teenage love, Ford, her ex-husband has shown up in town, claiming that after all this time, he has seen the error of his ways and wants her back. But Tara isn’t that same woman she was when her marriage broke up. She’s been working on herself and liking what she is finding more and more. She’s a mess, yes, but not the same mess she used to be. “Wasn’t life supposed to get simpler the older you got? She’d been really looking forward to “simple.” Ford Walker is a very successful boat racer, which is where he has accumulated most of his money. He is also co-owner of the town bar. He loves being there, talking to the people of the town he has known all his life. The summer he spent with Tara Daniels when they were seventeen years old was like a dream. He fell in love, as much as he could at that age. But, it ended badly. And she left. Well, he let her go. But now she’s back. The worst thing he could do is open up that whole can of worms again. But he can’t seem to stay away. He can’t stop thinking about her. He’s never really gotten her out of his system. “You. I what Tara? You remember me. Vividly.” Tara is trying so hard to resist Ford. But he is most definitely persistent. And let me tell you, he has a gift for words. The things this man says. I might have swooned. Yes, I’ll admit I did. But it’s not as simple as just attraction. They have a history, some of it complicated. And Tara is trying to work on herself. And then there is always that pesky ex-husband to contend with. “How could he drive her so insane and make her want him with equal intensity? She didn’t understand, she really didn’t.” How could I not love this book. I loved the first book in the series so much and was rewarded with plenty of snippets of Maddie and Jax in this one. These three sisters are flawed and funny and sweet and I am loving watching their relationship develop and deepen.