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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Same As It Ever Was

It Had to Be You  - Jill Shalvis

Jill Shalvis's Lucky Harbor series is a consistently good bet for light, fun, contemporary romance. That very consistency, though, is what left me feeling a little let down by this book. All the the Lucky Harbor characters are cut from the same cloth: the women are sweet, funny, loyal, and stronger-than-they-knew even when down on their luck (and they are always down on their luck). The men are always the strong, silent type, pathologically commitment-phobic but unable to resist love when it comes calling.

 

Ali is having a rough week. She learns her boyfriend is cheating on her, and the he dumps her (via text) before she has a chance to dump him. In that same text, he tells her the lease has expired on their apartment, so she's homeless, too. Plus she's about to lose her job. And then, as if all that were not enough, she's suddenly the prime suspect in a major theft.

 

Luke is a detective from San Francisco who has returned to his childhood home to decompress after a very high profile murder case goes very wrong. He carries a lot of guilt: guilt for the botched case, guilt for not being there when his grandmother died, guilt over a life altering mistake he and his sister (mostly the sister) made as teenagers.

 

Together, Ali and Luke make each other happy. That's one thing Shalvis does well: her couples take care of each other in equal partnerships. Even where the damsel in distress is rescued by the knight in shining armor, she patches the chinks, polishes the armor, and rolls up her sleeves and stitches up the war wounds, so the relationship is not so one sided.