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It Had to Be You  - Jill Shalvis

Review posted on Kindles & Wine

Plus a Behind-the-Scenes Look & Excerpt posted on Kindles & Wine here

Jill Shalvis continues to delight me (and probably you too) with the seventh book in the Lucky Harbor series, It Had to Be You. It seems like she’s got writing great books down to a science at this point. Great characters, fun story lines, and a quirky town come together again to create another great installment in this series.

Ali and Luke are a perfect couple. On one hand, they are both having a tough time in their lives right now: Ali was just dumped by her boyfriend via text, and then she’s accused of a major theft; Luke has come back to Lucky Harbor after a case he was working on fell apart and an innocent woman died. But on the other hand, they are opposites: Luke wants to go into seclusion so he can recover his equilibrium; Ali wants to go out and still be part of the community and wants to clear her name and help solve the case while she also wants to tell her ex-boyfriend to take a long walk off of a short pier!

Ali is so cute! While I wish she would have been able to punch her ex in the face or something (trust me, after you read this book, you’ll agree), I have to admit she behaved in a way that was better than I would have! Also, the way that Ali and Luke first meet is awesome! Ali is trying to calm herself down, and she’s sort of leaning against the fridge, looking like she’s hugging it, and she’s saying to herself, “It’s just one bad day…” and I thought that was SO hilarious all on its own. Then Luke walks in, and she thinks he’s an intruder. She starts throwing things at him, and the confusion is so silly and funny.

Luke is so taciturn that he almost feels like the straight man to Ali’s comedy, even though Ali isn’t really trying to be funny. It was so much fun to watch Ali sort of coax Luke out of himself, and that’s a great thing, because it was a little hard to get to know Luke. Eventually, you can see that he is loyal and dedicated. Luke really cares about people—not just the people in his inner circle, but people in general. I felt like the author was able to show his love for people and for his community without shoving it in your face and without Luke losing any of his tough-guy persona.

One of the things I didn’t love about this book was that the side characters from earlier in the series didn’t have much presence in It Had to Be You. I love Lucille and the heroes and heroines from all the previous novels, but we don’t see very much of them in this book. Now I can’t really complain TOO much, because first of all, hello, they’re secondary characters for a reason! Also, since this is the start of a new trilogy set in Lucky Harbor, we’re being introduced to a whole new cast of primary and secondary characters. Really, there probably wouldn’t be any room in this book for all of our series favorites to have a big part unless the author made the book 500+ pages…not that we would mind, right? Hmmm, now that I’m thinking of it… {makes note to self: write a letter to Jill Shalvis requesting that all future Lucky Harbor books contain 500+ pages} :)

I also never really understood why Luke blamed himself for his case falling apart. I get that the case really affected him, but I didn’t think he needed to blame himself for all of that. On the other hand, I think that it was a great way for us to immediately warm up to Luke, because he clearly DID feel so bad about what happened.

Bottom Line 
It Had to Be You is a great book and a fun read! Since it starts a new trilogy within the Lucky Harbor universe, if you’re new to the series, this would be the perfect book to pick up so you can start falling in love with Lucky Harbor like the rest of us! You can always expect a good mix of laughter and heartfelt moments from the folks in this small Washington town, and this one will not disappoint. Like all of the books in this series, you can read this one on its own without having read any others. But I think that once you read It Had to Be You, you’ll be going back for more (I know I did!).

Rating: A-

Giveaway copy from the publisher at RT13