The Backup Plan
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Sunrise Cove with a heartwarming tale of three people who are brought together when they’re bequeathed an old Wild West inn that has the potential to pull their lives apart, but instead turns into the gift of a lifetime.
When Alice receives a call about an unexpected windfall, she’s stunned to learn the gift is a falling-apart-at-the-seams old Wild West B&B she once considered home—and she’s inherited it along with two strangers. Except they weren’t always strangers. Once upon a time, they were friends. One is her ex-BFF Lauren. The other is Knox, the only guy to ever break her heart, all while never even knowing she existed.
It turns out their lives are unknowingly entangled because they once separately helped the same woman without expecting anything in return. Years later, Alice, Lauren, and Knox are broken in their own way, with their own history—and secrets— causing them to start out on the wrong foot with each other. But according to the will, they must renovate and be partners in the inn for one year or else lose their inheritance.
Stuck together, they make a list of rules to keep the peace—rules that end up doing the opposite, but by some miracle they find what they didn’t even know they were looking for—acceptance, true friendship, and in a case (or two!), true love.
Bestseller Shalvis shines in her endearing third Sunrise Cove series (after The Friendship Pact). Alice Moore; her brother, Will; her best friend (and Will's girlfriend), Lauren Scott; and Alice's crush, Knox Rawlings, grew up together in Sunrise Cove, Calif., looked after by feisty local matriarch and "pseudo-grandmother" Eleanor Graham. Four years before the book starts, Will died, as did Knox's alcoholic mother, and Alice and Knox separately fled town. Lauren, the only one who stays behind, is also the only blood relative to Eleanor, but they were long estranged due to the lies of Lauren's selfish father. All three 20-something former friends are surprised when Eleanor dies and leaves the trio co-ownership of the Wild West Last Chance Inn in Sunrise Cove, with the stipulation that all must come to the inn for the necessary renovations or forfeit their share. As restoring the inn helps to heal old wounds, the friends slowly find their way back to each other—and true love blossoms between both Alice and Knox and Lauren and local widower Ben, whose five-year-old daughter is a scene-stealer. Readers will easily fall for Shalvis's well-shaded characters and heart-filled plot. This is the literary equivalent of comfort food. Agent: Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency.
A read that has good characters and a predictable, but enjoyable plot.
The journey of the main characters leaves feelings of hope
Does Jill Shalvis ever miss? I haven’t read much of her early Harlequin stuff, so I cannot give a definitive answer to that question yet, but I’ve been reading her for Many years, and every one of her books gives me the warm, fuzzy, feel good sensation almost from start to finish. This book is another success. The characters are so real, vibrant, and relatable. Each has experienced loss and run away from it in one way or another. Being the beneficiaries of an elderly woman’s will brings them back together to the hometown that two of them had fled years before. Experiencing the journeys the three main characters of this new novel take leaves the reader with a feeling of hope. If these flawed human beings can grow and find feelings of self-worth, happiness, and fulfillment, then the rest of us flawed humans should be able to do the same. I think this is one of the first can’t miss books of 2023. I am voluntarily submitting this review after reading an advanced complementary copy.
Loved every minute. A laugh out loud fun readL