Sunday, August 5, 2012

At Last - A Lucky Harbor Novel by Jill Shalvis

At Last - A Lucky Harbor Novel. Jill Shalvis. Grand Central Publishing - a Hachette Group Book. June 2012.  352 pages. ISBN #: 9781455503742.

Amy Michaels is a waitress in the small town of Lucky Harbor in Washington Street.  It's a terrific small town surrounded by rugged beautifully scenic sites which draws many hikers and others with different motives.  Amy is a waitress and is off for a long walk or hike, a time to be free of all the burdensome thoughts that so trouble and exhaust her.

For Amy has a troubled past that she's not proud of but which have made her the strong, compassionate person she is.  While on one of her first hikes, she gets lost and needs help but her past won't allow her to beg for it.  And wow is she annoyed when the local forest ranger and former cop Matt Bowers shows up and knows she is lost.  But Amy is stubborn and comically gets herself in deeper trouble before grudgingly admitting she needs help from this sexy-looking, fit, more than capable guy who wants to give her some helping presence but not the kind she's thinking about in her shameful loss of face caused by her getting lost.

Matt is not just amused by Amy, however, but also willing to give her enough slack to save face, not to mention he's doing anything to avoid what looking at her body is doing to his own.  They meet several times and little by little they begin opening up to each other, physically at least for sure, but it takes a longer time for the trust to develop.

Ironically, it's the presence of another troubled teen, Riley, whom Amy meets and then both are desirous of being helpful without appearing obvious.  Amy "knows" what this gal has been through, but things turn notoriously dangerous as someone is after Riley and this tough gal is determined not to reveal any secrets about the matter.  Sooner or later, they will figure it out but what happens in the interval keeps the reader flipping the pages and tensely wondering if Riley will escape her pursuer and how Matt and Amy fit into this fragile situation.

At Last is a terrific story with at least some meat added to the passionate scenario in most of the book to provide an engaging, fascinating novel about "letting go" and showing others it is not only okay but necessary to do so to become totally who one can freely be!

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