It's in His Kiss - Jill Shalvis

Series: Lucky Harbor (Book 10)

ONE KISS CAN LAST FOREVER

 

Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now's her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam's eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

 

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can't resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca's heart?

 

This is the first book in the final trilogy of Lucky Harbor books, and I am going to miss the whole crew. In this book, Becca is a newcomer to Lucky Harbor. In need of a change in her life, she packed up everything and drove until she stopped in Lucky Harbor. She'd always wanted to see the Pacific Ocean, and finally doing so soothes her soul. Something that isn't so soothing, but is equally intriguing, is the sexy surfer she meets on the beach. Between the two she decides to stay in Lucky Harbor for awhile and see where it takes her.

 

Sam is co-owner of Lucky Harbor Charters, a business he owns with his two best friends. He's the money guy in the business, with a knack for increasing their income. The cute and sexy brunette he meets on the beach is a complication he doesn't need in his life, but he can't seem to stay away from her.

 

I loved Becca. She's smart and feisty and determined to get her life back. She grew up as part of a very musical family and is talented on the piano. She also suffers from terrible stage fright, and after years of fighting it in order to help her younger brother and meet parental expectations, she's had enough. She quit touring with him and took a job writing jingles for an ad agency. That went well until she lost her "muse" and now she's struggling, and hopes that a fresh start will help her. I loved her upbeat personality that has her making the best of her crappy living quarters, and her attempt at waitressing was great. She finally finds the perfect job as the office manager for Sam's company, a job that creates some trouble for the relationship that is growing between them. 

 

Sam is a man who keeps his emotions locked up pretty tight. His childhood was rocky with no mother and a father who was irresponsible. Sam grew up quickly, learned how to manage what money his dad did bring home, but still ended up in foster care on a regular basis. Fortunately for him, the foster mother he ended up with was wonderful, and her son became like a brother to him. But his father's easy use of "love ya" without any action to back it up gave Sam a distrust of the words, preferring to judge people by their actions. 

 

Sam and Becca are attracted to each other from the moment they meet. The chemistry between them is hot. Becca is ready to seize the moment with him, but Sam is a little more wary. He senses that she could get past his walls and is soon proved right. I loved the way that their relationship develops. There's a great deal of teasing between them, with his nickname of "Peeper" for her because of the way he catches her watching him, and her calling him "sexy grumpy surfer" because he is. Sam is protective of Becca (loved the spider scene!) and wants to help her get past the things that have been dragging her down. I loved the way that he sees that she hasn't had much fun in her life and is determined to bring it to her now. At the same time Becca is drawn to Sam's confidence, but also sees the neglected boy underneath. In spite of the issues she has with her own parents, she tries to help Sam deal with his own father issues. The feelings they have for each other deepen and grow, but their ways of expressing those feelings are so different that it nearly drives them apart. I loved Sam's big moment at the Summer Bash, when he comes through for Becca in so many ways. I look forward to seeing more of them in the next books.

 

I also loved the secondary characters. Sam's two friends and partners are terrific. They know Sam and all his foibles and love him anyway. I also liked the way they had no trouble giving him a hard time about anything from Becca to answering the phones. They are also always ready to support him, and are there when he needs help with Becca or his father or anything else. I enjoyed the stories they told from when they were all kids, and also their time on the rigs and when they started their business. It gave a good insight into what made them all the way they were. Sam's dad was an interesting guy, and though I didn't like him much at the beginning, by the end I could see that he really was trying to change. Becca's family members were harder to like. Her brother Jase was selfish and immature and made me very glad that Becca had gotten away from his life. It said a lot about her that she didn't give up on him, but she also developed the strength to stand up to him, thanks to Sam. I didn't like her parents at all. Their appearance at the end, all contrite about the way they had treated her, didn't feel real. I had the feeling that they were just playing her a different way. Her new friend and neighbor Olivia seems really nice, and I liked seeing the friendship that developed between them, something that Becca hadn't ever had before. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her in the next book.