Love is a dare in this Animal Magnetism romance by the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Lucky Harbor series...
Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.
AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?
Shalvis's sixth Animal Magnetism contemporary (after Then Came You) suffers from a weak plot and unsympathetic characters. Fiercely independent Darcy Stone, who trains service dogs for veterans, is 100% self-reliant except when she's around the sexy, confounding AJ Colten, her old friend and physical therapist. After a terrible car accident, Darcy struggled to regain what walking skills she could under the watchful eye of AJ, who pushed her hard despite his strong romantic feelings for her feelings he tried to deny because she's his best friend's little sister. A particularly humiliating incident led Darcy to vow that she would never let AJ into her heart. But when they head to a conference together and are forced into the charade of an engagement, a snowstorm locks them in and leads to a weekend of improbable passion. AJ and Darcy stumble through various misunderstandings, a lack of communication, and flimsy conflicts in the form of other love interests, while figuring out whether they are really meant for each another. Though AJ is reasonably heroic, hard-headed Darcy is difficult to appreciate, and the plot never gels.
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No cliffs, no teases. Can stand alone. Score: 4.1
STILL THE ONE (Animal Magnetism, # 6)
by Jill Shalvis
April 7, 2015
approx 312 pages
** Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an HONEST Review **
-- MY THOUGHTS --
Exterior: Cover design has a different feel/vibe than the others of the series. Not as fond of this look as I am of the previous installments. Cover blurb is well-rounded and accurately describes the story.
Story is written in the third-person POV. AJ is former Navy and runs the Sunshine Wellness Clinic. He's also Darcy's boss and her siblings' best friend. His goal is to continue to be able to provide therapy to his patients when their insurance cut them off. Darcy's still recovering from a life-threatening car accident eleven months ago. Currently, she's working at the Wellness Center and she rescues therapy dogs that are displaced ("thrown away") for various reasons and repurposes them into emotional support dogs. With the opportunity for funding presenting itself, AJ needs to take one of his patients to a fancy dinner party and showcase his work. His original prospect backs out. It's then that Darcy learns of all the pro bono work AJ had done on her to get her walking again and feels that it's the least she can do, to go to this dinner party thing for him. Their attraction for one another becomes a full-on blaze by this point.
I really like these characters. He's strong, loyal, and caring. But he is still an intense Alpha. She's independent, determined and compassionate. The secondary characters are a blend of both new and old. The dialogue is mostly natural and believable. The plot flows smoothly and progresses at a steady pace. There is some minor dynamics & conflicts to keep it from feeling one-dimensional, the conflicts are resolved in a timely manner, in human ways; not always perfectly. There was only a little bit of predictability, but nothing major. The conclusions wraps up all the loose ends and the epilogue was a nice bonus. No cliffhangers. No teasers to an upcoming installment. Can stand alone, but is more beneficial to the reader when read in order of the series.
Heat Level: 3.75
Tina J / Happily Ever Chapter
Smut Book Junkie
Still the One
Try to always give JS five stars. She never disappoints! A must read as always! 👌
The one and only...
Darcy Stone and A.J. Colten have known one another a long time. He is her brother's best friend and they usually never get along. A.J. is typically friendly or flirty until one night when she kisses him. Then all bets are off and the fighting really begins.
Darcy thinks when he turns her away after that kiss it is a rejection of her personally. Hard not to take that in a personal way. A.J. actually did not want to play games with her or use her in any way. Not just from the friendship perspective, but because he really cares for her.
After a tragedy stuck last year, he helped take care of her. Now, A.J. needs her help in return. Darcy is finally willing to go with him to help court the man who can help A.J. get money for those in need. While away in Boise, Darcy and A.J. spend some time really talking. There is a storm and the time stuck together helps improve their friendship and maybe something more.
A.J. really does love Darcy. He has no idea how to show her or tell her and they first need to get along. There should be trust. He is best friends with her brother and does not want to spoil that either. They are like oil and water most times but there is no denying the attraction that burns hotter each time they are in the room together.
These are really strong characters, and for those of use who have read the Animal Magnetism series we have seen this coming. This is Book # 6 in the series. Such honesty and strength and serious character development make this book a magical ride they enjoyed very much.