REVIEW: Jill Shalvis’s ALWAYS ON MY MIND, But Never In the Same Room

Always On My MindJill Shalvis gives readers what they want and expect.  Her style, content, and way of perceiving and presenting the world are signature, which translates to predictable after reading a few of her books. They’re also good in the same way every time, pithily written, with wit and energy; they are humourous.  Her hero is big and tough and sexy.  Her heroine is independent, giddily messed up, and gives as good as she gets.  People change for the better and HEAs are worked out and made possible because her hero and heroine alter their ways of thinking and relating.  Families, especially how parents’ mistakes bear on the adult lives of the hero and heroine, figure prominently.  Always On My Mind, Lucky Harbor #8, runs to type and delivers what the reader seeks in a small-town Shalvis romance.  Miss Bates has enjoyed, if not loved or been enthralled by, every Shalvis romance she’s read and Always On My Mind did not fail her overall; however, it foundered where no Shalvis romance ever has, at least in Miss Bates’s experience.  There is also something in the sameness of it all that disappoints.  There is a blandness to the recent Lucky Harbor books that left Miss Bates restless through the first half of book eight … BUT, in typical Shalvis fashion, like her impossible-not-to-love animal characters, it picked up in the second half.  Miss Bates has damned Always On My Mind with faint praise, yes, but she’d still like to wax loquacious about it. Continue reading for Miss Bates’s further discussion of Shalvis’s novel