The Sweetest Thing Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1 2011
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"A Perfect Ten! Tara and Ford have some seriously hot chemistry going on and they make the most of it in THE SWEETEST THING. Trust me; you'll need an ice-cold drink nearby."―RomanceReviewsToday.com
"4 Stars! This second in Shalvis's Lucky Harbor series shows that moving on sometimes means staying put. A wonderful romance of reunited lovers in a small town. A lot of hot sex, some delightful humor and plenty of heartwarming emotion makes this a book readers will love."―RT Book Reviews
"Hot, sweet, fun and romantic. Pure pleasure!"―Robyn Carr, New York Times bestselling author on Simply Irresistible
"The title says it all! Fans of Shalvis will recognize her trademark humor and sensuality."―TheRomanceStudio.com on Simply Irresistible
"Jill Shalvis has the incredible talent of creating characters who are intelligent, quick-witted, and gorgeously sexy, all the while giving them just the right amount of weakness to keep them from being unrealistically perfect."―RomanceJunkies.com
"Jill Shalvis is a total original! It doesn't get any better."―Suzanne Forster, New York Times bestselling author
"Ms. Shalvis' characters leap off the page"―RT Book Reviews
"Shalvis writes with humor, heart, and sizzling heat!"―Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author
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Top Customer Reviews
Middle sister and control freak Tara Daniels aka The Southern Belle aka The Steel Magnolia gets center stage in The Sweetest Thing. She never planned on staying in Lucky Harbor yet can't seem to leave her sisters and the oh so delicious Ford - even if she has been giving him the cold shoulder the last six months.
And well if Ford isn't just The Sweetest Thang than I don't know what is!
At six-feet-three-inches, Ford was pure testosterone and sinew. He wore low-slung, button-fly Levi`s and a white button-down shoved up to his elbows. His brown hair was sun-kissed, his green eyes sharp, his smile ready. Everything about him said ready, from his tough build to the air of confidence he wore like other men wore cologne.!
Tara and Ford have a lot of history, teenage lovers who had no chance of making a go of it when they were 17 years old, an unplanned pregnancy and a daughter they put up for adoption and now 17 years later - they both get a second chance at love between themselves and their daughter who suddenly shows up to spend the summer in Lucky Harbor in the hopes of getting to know her biological parents.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Tara is the controlling, bossy and very ordered life. She had a teenage fling with a local boy at 17 and the result of that was a child they had given up for adoption. But now that Tara is back in Lucky Harbor and Ford Walker is standing right there all handsome and enticing can she walk away from him twice in one lifetime and still retain any part of her heart that is still beating. Ford never forgot her and while he did not chase her down to keep her the love he felt for her and the regret at having to release the baby they created still haunts him. Tara made the adult decision but now that she is seeing her life as it was and how it can be again standing in front of her what will she do?
Ford made a career of being a world class, winning sailor who has the time, money and talent to do anything but still wants to be in Lucky Harbor doing everything but sail competitively again. The heat between him and Tara is alive and running through every fiber of his body and his yearning for her is real and over powering. But convincing Tara of this being fact not fiction is easier said than done since she believes he talks a good game and runs when the game is over.
But when Tara's ex-husband shows up in town claiming he wants her back and a ghost from the past also knocks on the door Tara is not sure which one is going to rattle her more. The ex-husband she has long since gotten over or the daughter she gave up that that she wants in her life more than her next breath.
Bringing pieces of your life to a relationship is enough to make it sustain but not thrive. When Tara starts to see that the missing parts are coming together does she have room for one man and one daughter or will she run away again and not make any choice at all? Careful is good but it is not fun, it is not relaxing and some days it makes no sense at all. Taking chances is risky but there are times when rolling the dice and running with the results may just work out and Tara finds Ford to be the winning hand she is hoping for.
Tara is a difficult character to like because I unfortunately see way too much of myself in her. She is bossy, controlling, and a tad pushy and wants everything to be in order. Ford is messy and tends to embrace the day and see how it plays out. But Tara is also like me in that she knows the love is there in her heart she is just afraid to let it go because getting hurt is not easy and Ford has broken her heart once before. But truth be told you have to run the risk of giving everything you can to the relationship, see how it plays out and not blame anyone for the good or bad parts. Ms. Shalvis knows how to write characters that are human which means imperfect and just like the rest of us going with the flow of life and seeing where it takes us.
Tara had no intention of staying in Lucky Harbor long. But 6 months later, she's still there, helping her sister Maddie remodel and open The Lucky Harbor Inn. The sisters have gotten closer, thanks to Maddie's insistence and their relationship has blossomed. They still bicker, argue and push each other's buttons but it's done with sisterly love. Tara is known as the Steel Magnolia. She's uptight, bossy and controlling. She doesn't let go easily and it is a bone of contention with her sisters. Nothing ruffles the feathers of the Steel Magnolia except for one thing - person: Ford. Ford and Tara had a steamy summer affair when they were teenagers; an affair that changed both of their lives forever. Ford wants to pick up where they left off 17 years ago. Tara doesn't want to go down that road again even though her attraction to Ford is more intense than ever.
I wasn't sure if I was going to like Tara. She is a type-A personality. She's not as warm and open and fun as her sisters. I liked Tara from beginning to end. It's hard not to like her. Tara is used to being in control; of living her life a certain way. Her sisters and now Ford, have completely turned her world upside down and she's trying to deal with it the best way she knows how. Add in her ex-husband Logan coming to town to win her back and what's a girl to do?
Ford is a man on a mission. His pursuit of Tara is sexy, single-minded and purposeful. When Logan comes to town, it's game on and may the best man win. Ford doesn't appreciate Logan arriving and throwing a wrench in his plans. It becomes a true competition when the townsfolk get involved and there's a Facebook page where you can vote on which guy you want Tara to end up with.
Like Simply Irresistible, The Sweetest Thing is filled with humor, romance and sexual chemistry that is through the rough. Jill Shalvis knows how to write characters that you fall in love with and root for. Logan, Tara's ex, could have easily been portrayed as the bad guy. But he wasn't. I loved Logan, felt sorry for him at times and hope that he'll eventually find his HEA. Baby sister Chloe almost stole the show with her snarky comments and great one-liners. I can't wait for her book; she's going to give Sawyer a run for his money!
The Sweetest Thing did not disappoint. You know a book is good when you have a big, cheesy grin on your face the entire time while reading it. I finished Ford and Tara's story feeling satisfied and happy. A definite read for any romance lover. Every woman should have a Ford in their life. He's just so.....dreamy. *sigh*
Ford has worked hard for the easy, uncomplicated life he leads. He owns a bar with his best friend, races his boat when he feels like it, and never wants for female companionship. Ever since Tara breezed back into town, though, and set about patently ignoring him and their painful past, Ford has been uncharacteristically unsettled and suddenly yearning for things that are completely foreign to him. He let her go seventeen years ago because they were just children when she got pregnant, and giving up their baby, giving him up and running away, had been what she needed to do. He was no good for her then. He isn't any better for her now.
But his mind and his heart disagree on that one. Vehemently.
Getting her back in his arms may not be the right thing, but for Ford, it's the only thing that matters, and when Tara's ex-husband shows up intent on reclaiming his wife, things in his noisy little town take a turn towards the absurd. Soon there are Facebook updates, Tweets, and pictures posted, and everyone in town is voting in a poll to see which man Tara chooses. He's betting on himself, but unless he's betting for forever, Ford could very well lose the only woman who ever mattered.
Almost as charming as its predecessor, Simply Irresistible, Shalvis has brought her readers back to the quirky seaside town of Lucky Harbor and reaquainted us with the three sisters who have come to put their mark on the place and make lives for themselves...even if it is against their initial intentions. In the first book, we got to see Maddie, also known as the mouse, find her roar, and in this one it's up to Steel Magnolia Tara to let go of some of her world-class control issues and embrace her vulnerabilities if she's going to find happiness and peace in her life.
I've got to hand it to Shalvis, she has a gift for creating contemporary romances that are light, flirty, and sassy, that have some humor and a dash of absurdity, that heat up the sheets and redden the cheeks...but that also touch upon serious and significant issues along the way. The emotional damage and detritus from teen pregnancy and ramifications of giving up a child for adoption were handled deftly and as realistically as could be given the tone of the book. Like with Maddie's past abusive relationship, the issue added depth and complexity to the plot and the definition of the main characters without dragging the book into maudlin territory.
I didn't feel Tara was as likable a character as Maddie, though. Normally I'm a huge supporter of the strong, intelligent female lead - which Tara was, but she also stomped over the line into hypocrisy a couple of times and that's a big turnoff for me. You don't get to be the one who tells the guy to get out after explaining why any sort of relationship won't work, then be disappointed when he leaves. You don't get to be the one who left and blame the guy for not chasing after you. That kind of stuff is just not cool for me. Snaps me out of the story like a slap upside the head every time.
She and Ford had great chemistry, though. Great chemistry. I liked Ford a lot, and he was satisfactorily burdened by his own commitment issues and too-laid-back lifestyle. That added depth to his character and kept him from being too perfect. And some of the most poignant, the most heart-clenching moments of the whole book were when he was interacting with Mia. For personal reasons, I'm a total sucker for those sorts of scenes.
I do wish there had been more time allotted to the sisters together. I would have given up a sex scene or two for that - there certainly were enough of them. There didn't seem to be as much of the sisters working together, being together, spending time with each other, as there was in the first book, and the absence, of Maddie in particular (though I sure don't begrudge her time with Jax), was keenly felt. I did, however, like the strengthening and evolving bonds between Tara and Chloe.
And about Chloe, who has fascinated me since her introduction... I'm dying to see Shalvis pit the Wild Child against the bulwark that is Sheriff Sawyer. There were several little gems of character evolution and burgeoning conflict between Chloe and Sawyer in this book and they offered some really great moments. I have great expectations for when they go toe-to-toe in their own book.
Though personally I slightly favor Simply Irresistible, I enjoyed the second chance romance of Tara and Ford in The Sweetest Thing. Shalvis remains a preferred author of mine, her books offering a wealth of entertainment. I've come to trust her for the sort of breezy, sexy, light contemporary romance - with a bit of bite - that I most prefer.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
Book was funny, dialogue and bantering between the sisters and all the other characters will make you smile. Book is filled with lots of secondary characters, and all the happenings of a very, very small town. I love that the characters in the book were flawed, they were able to recognize it and grow as a person. I liked how the story carries on from the first book, so you get to see Maddie & Jax (first book) and what they have been up to. Issues addressed in this book are so real, problems are those many people, especially couples and parents go through. Story is about second chances and seizing the opportunity to make things right. All these elements made this book a very enjoyable read. I cannot wait to read about Chloe's (third sister) story!
LOL, it's not insta-love...these two fell in love years ago, and Tara is forcibly trying to back away from her attraction. It's so sweet and sad all at once.
I'm not sure how I landed in the midst of all these stories in which the man is in love and wanting a woman who doesn't seem to want him. But it is a treat to find the shoe on the other foot for a change. I do wonder if it's a subconscious reaction of women to women's lib and not wanting to fall for the pretty face, to be an independent woman. For sure Tara is working on finding herself, and with the two different points-of-view—Tara's and Ford's—it's a story of past angst and current self-examination.
The underlying theme of the series is the sisters getting to know each other. Yeah, who'd'a thunk? Tara and Maddie were each raised by their fathers, for the most part, while Chloe traveled with their mother, and they rarely crossed paths. Now that they've inherited the inn, Maddie is determined that they'll stay together, work the B&B, and get to know each other, yep, it's Team Building Wednesdays for these ladies.
Man, these boys have history: Ford and his broke grandma, Jax and his jerk of a father, and Sawyer's stint in juvie! Now, at least one of these past bad boys is finding out what it's like to be the worried daddy.
"The reason I'm so short is that she's in heels." Uh-huh...
No, no, I ain't buyin' it. Tara wants Ford to fight for her? When she keeps kickin' him to the curb? And she's so dang stubborn that no one can ever change her mind? I did enjoy all the macho posturing going on between Ford and Logan. That Facebook poll was a crack-up!
As for the big moment that forces these two together? Whoa! I do love that Shalvis doesn't drag this out over several stories!
Oh, crack me up...I love that scene between Carlos and Ford when Carlos confronts him over the hurt he's doling out to Tara, and Ford shocks himself with his comment!
"'Huh. I didn't see that one coming.'
It's a sweet and homey read that will make you chuckle and cry over Tara and Ford's encounters and warm your heart. And hopefully take a page from Ford's book, to not let the past eat at you, to turn the page, and start that new chapter.
The girls are about to open their new bed-&-breakfast, Lucky Harbor Beach Inn, and Maddie is working hard to keep the three of them together.
It takes a surprise visit from the past with its love and angst repeating all over again to make these two realize the truth.
The uptight Tara Daniels is shocked that she's still in Lucky Harbor six months later, and still working as a cook at the Eat Me Diner. Her dad was a government scientist. Logan Perrish is Tara's ex, a nationally known NASCAR race car driver, and he's back. Chloe is the carefree sister raised by their mama, and she's an aesthetician with a beauty line she's promoting. Maddie Moore is the middle sister who's taken up knitting and Jax ( Simply Irresistible , 1). Her dad is a Hollywood set designer. Phoebe Traeger was the free-spirited hippie mama who left them the place.
Ford Walker is the successful, laidback young man with whom Tara had a passionate summer when they were seventeen. She was too angry for words while he was the town bad boy and good-time guy. A world-class sailing expert with a variety of wins and magazine covers under his belt, he kicks back with the bar, The Love Shack, he co-owns with one of his best friends, Jax Cullen. Sawyer Thompson, Lucky Harbor's sheriff, is the other best friend, who is always be rescuing Chloe. Ciera is Ford's sister, and she works at a senior center.
Carlos Rodrigeuz is the local high school kid the ladies have hired to work at the B&B. He's supporting his younger siblings and grandma. Mia Hutchinson, whose parents are splitting up, is a surprise from the past. Both welcome and unwelcome and the needed goad.
Mrs. Taylor owns the local craft and supply store. Lucille is older than dirt, runs an art gallery in town, and keeps the town's Facebook page updated. Rani is the town librarian. Ethel runs the rec center. Sandy is the town clerk and city manager for Lucky Harbor. And they're all pulling for Ford.
Jan is the witch who owns the Eat Me diner; Amy is the waitress. Lance has the ice cream shop on the pier. He also has cystic fibrosis and is on a mission to pack a lotta life into a short span of time. His brother, Tucker, and Chloe are helping him out. Todd Fitzgerald is one of the rock climbers.
Boyd is Ethel's grandson whom she sets up on a blind date with Tara. And hoo-boy...I can see why he has such problems with his dates *shakes my head mournfully*.
The cover has a white background with a couple hugging each other out on a pier as calm, turquoise waters ripple behind them. It's a lot of pastel color from the pink in the author's name and the umbrella they're cozying up under to the purple in the title and his shirt to the green of the series name and her dress.
I'm not sure if the title is about Tara's cooking or events, but I can tell you that the story itself is definitely The Sweetest Thing.