Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Choose the one guy you can’t have . . .
As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas—the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody But Her.
Fall for him—hard . . .
Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hard-working hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast.
And then tell him the truth.
Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story—because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything. . . .
Shalvis is an author I've seen around, and heard about, for years. I read a short story by her several years ago that didn't wow me but writing short stories is a different skill than writing a novel so I figured I'd try a book. I actually have several in my personal TBR pile. When the opportunity to review this one came up, I thought, "Why not?" I'm sorry to say that Shalvis' writing still didn't wow me but I did like the story. I really like the cast of secondary characters who make Finn's circle of friends and will be featured in future books. The excerpt at the back for book two had me so engrossed that when it ended, I was startled and disappointed. I'll be reading that one. :)
This one, I liked the characters, for the most part. I felt that the romance, and the conflict resolution, happened too quickly. I had a hard time buying into them. The romance also has A Big Secret. We learn what it is early on so that was tolerable and I knew before I started the book that there was the Big Secret trope so it wasn't an unpleasant surprise. While I thought Pru's actions were unlikely, overall Shalvis handled it well.
Other than those issues, Finn and Pru's romance is both sweet and sexy, and they're both quite likable. Pru is compassionate, giving, kind, a little naive, and a hard worker. Finn is also a hard worker, a workaholic really, testy, loyal, flirty, and short-tempered but able to recognize and admit when he's wrong. Though his younger brother sure knows how to push his buttons! Eh, it's what we younger siblings do. :D
Although the story is set in a large city, San Francisco, most of it occurs in one neighborhood and thus had something of a small town feel. I liked how Shalvis pulled that off while still giving us a taste of SF and managed to do so while avoiding the surface tourist gloss.
Overall, a good story with interesting characters and a delightful setting. The romance was iffy, but in the end I believed in it. I'll read more in the series.