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Always on my mind

Always on My Mind
A Lucky Harbor Novel
By Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing
Published: Sept. 24, 2013
352 pages
$6.80 kindle
Mass market paperback $7.20
Setting: Pacific Northwest

Leah Sullivan’s life has been far from perfect or even acceptable. Her father’s verbal abuse made her leave Lucky Harbor when she was seventeen. She left everything and everyone behind including her best friend, Jack Harper. Jack had comforted Leah when her father continued telling her she’d never amount to anything. He offered her a shoulder to lean on.

But she left him and her grandmother behind to attend French culinary school. She had her “15 minutes of fame” on a reality TV show called “Sweet Wars.” Afterwards, she heads home to be greeted by her friends Aubrey and Ali. Ali’s uncle owns the building that Leah’s grandmother’s bakery is in and Ali’s floral shop. With her grandmother temporarily out of commission recovering from knee surgery, Leah is whipping up the sweet stuff to help her out.

Eventually it had to happen and it did. Leah runs into Jack, now Lieutenant Jack Harper, at the annual Firefighter’s Charity Breakfast. He wouldn’t admit it, that he thought of her as more than a friend, after all she left him and Lucky Harbor behind. But there’s Leah and now he can’t deny that she’s sexy and beautiful. The problem is he isn’t willing to end his bachelor days.

When Leah sees how depressed Jack’s mother is because he hasn’t settled down, she tells Dee that they are secretly dating. Soon the whole town knows and Jack’s bachelor days take a dive. The positive thing in Leah’s little “fib” is that Dee’s recovery from cancer treatment began moving along at a better pace.

Always on My Mind is another second chance novel. Besides resolving relationship issues, it’s about believing in yourself. You have to love yourself and have confidence before you can love another person. I believe that’s what the author was trying to relate.

The supportive relationship of Jack and Leah, when they were younger, was a plus for the storyline. I felt the characters were real and that I could relate to their challenges. Some of the secondary characters were just as interesting. The plot develops nicely and keeps you interested. Lots of attraction and a responsible ending.

Five fire dogs out of five
Denise Fleischer
November 1, 2013