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Lucky Harbor #2

The Sweetest Thing

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Two Men Are One Too Many . . .
Tara has a thousand good reasons not to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Yet with her life doing a major crash-and-burn, anywhere away from her unfulfilled dreams and sexy ex-husband will do. As Tara helps her two sisters get their newly renovated inn up and running, she finally has a chance to get things under control and come up with a new plan for her life.
But a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor has his own ideas, such as keeping Tara hot, bothered . . . and in his bed. And when her ex wants Tara back, three is a crowd she can't control-especially when her deepest secret reappears out of the blue. Now Tara must confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she's lucky, she might just find that everything her heart desires is right here in Lucky Harbor.

348 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published April 1, 2011

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About the author

Jill Shalvis

431 books12.7k followers
Multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is … mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning heartwarming and full of humor novels wherever books are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures. Her newest Sunrise Cove novel, THE BACKUP PLAN, is out now, and THE SWEETHEART LIST comes out in June!

Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning novels wherever books are sold. Visit http://www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and fun blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Connect with Jill:

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Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,350 reviews24.7k followers
July 13, 2017
The Sweetest Thing is book two in the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis. I was lucky enough to get this book as a Christmas gift from my dear friend and am just now getting to it. But it was oh so worth the wait. I couldn’t have loved this book more.

three women

Tara Daniels is the oldest of the three sisters. All three have returned to Lucky Harbor after their mother’s death, a mother Tara had barely known. Tara’s plan is to help her sisters get the Inn their mother left them up and running and to make sure that they were all set up and then to leave. But she doesn’t have much to go back to. Her marriage ended two years ago. And the truth is, she isn’t really hating it all that much in Lucky Harbor. She is enjoying the relationship, though still a rocky one, that is developing with her sisters.

On the outside, Tara is always put together with her pencil skirts and silk blouses, perfect hair and southern charm. But on the inside, she’s a mess. It doesn’t help that the boy that she fell in love with back when she was seventeen year old, and who is nothing like a boy at all now, is still here and seems to find a way into her path every single day. In the six months that Tara has been back, she has done all that is in her power to keep her distance. But it’s getting harder and harder.

Tara also finds herself face to face with another part of her past she never imagined would happen. It’s both a dream and the scariest thing she has ever dealt with.

On top of everything else, including the increasing attraction she is feeling towards her old teenage love, Ford, her ex-husband has shown up in town, claiming that after all this time, he has seen the error of his ways and wants her back. But Tara isn’t that same woman she was when her marriage broke up. She’s been working on herself and liking what she is finding more and more. She’s a mess, yes, but not the same mess she used to be.

“Wasn’t life supposed to get simpler the older you got? She’d been really looking forward to “simple.”

Ford Walker is a very successful boat racer, which is where he has accumulated most of his money. He is also co-owner of the town bar. He loves being there, talking to the people of the town he has known all his life. The summer he spent with Tara Daniels when they were seventeen years old was like a dream. He fell in love, as much as he could at that age. But, it ended badly. And she left. Well, he let her go. But now she’s back. The worst thing he could do is open up that whole can of worms again. But he can’t seem to stay away. He can’t stop thinking about her. He’s never really gotten her out of his system.

I what Tara?
You remember me.


Tara is trying so hard to resist Ford. But he is most definitely persistent. And let me tell you, he has a gift for words. The things this man says. I might have swooned. Yes, I’ll admit I did. But it’s not as simple as just attraction. They have a history, some of it complicated. And Tara is trying to work on herself. And then there is always that pesky ex-husband to contend with.

“How could he drive her so insane and make her want him with equal intensity? She didn’t understand, she really didn’t.”

slow dancing by the water

How could I not love this book. I loved the first book in the series so much and was rewarded with plenty of snippets of Maddie and Jax in this one. These three sisters are flawed and funny and sweet and I am loving watching their relationship develop and deepen. Ford and Tara couldn’t have been more perfect together. It just took them awhile to finally figure that out. That they could take the best of what they had seventeen years ago and make it even better now that they are adults. I also loved the little hints of chemistry hinted at between Chloe and Sawyer. I can’t wait to continue on with this series with the next book, Head Over Heels, and find out what happens with them. This is such an amazing series and I am so thankful to Jill Shalvis for making our days just a little bit brighter when she takes us to visit Lucky Harbor.

“I feel like I’m home.”

Profile Image for Kristen.
832 reviews4,734 followers
October 16, 2012
Charming 4 1/2 to 5 stars

The Sweetest Thing was such a treat to read and I can easily say I ended up falling in love this book.

I honestly didn't believe I'd like this story as much as I did the first book in the series, Simply Irresistible. I wasn't Tara's biggest fan, and I was on the fence regarding Ford.

How wrong I was!

Not only did I end up loving Tara and Ford individually, but as I mentioned before, I found myself liking this book a tad bit more than the first. The deeply enriched characters, the emotional subject matter, the playful and flirty banter, and the added bonus of quirky and colorful secondary characters made this book stand out as a fantastic and unforgettable read.

My only hiccup with this book–and reason for the slight drop in rating–was due to the agreed upon "no strings attached" sexual relationship between Tara and Ford (though they never quite managed the "no strings attached" part!). I found this particular subplot hard to believe considering the painful history these two had with each other. For me, it didn't fit the context of the overall plot when you consider what a difficult time they both had with the choice made years ago. Other than that, I loved everything about this emotional, humorous, and feel-good story.

Jill Shelvis is easily becoming one of my favorite authors. Her imagery is amazing and captivating. She makes me wish I lived in Luck Harbor and had my name mentioned on their Facebook page.
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,598 followers
December 7, 2011

The Sweetest Thing is the second book in the Lucky Harbor series, and once again I’m sitting here with a silly grin on my face, unable to stop thinking about Ford and Tara, and the other crazy friends and family who made this story so fun! And let me just tell you, this is one incredibly romantic and sexy story that had me fanning myself, laughing out loud and sighing often. With honest, believable characters that I couldn't help but care about and cheer for, it’s a tale of first love, lost love, and love renewed – and a story you definitely do not want to miss!
Profile Image for  Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*.
118 reviews385 followers
June 2, 2012
(FINALLY wrote my review for this!)

5 of 5 Stars - Also reviewed at: Lady Jayne's Reading Den

Jill Shalvis’ first book in the Lucky Harbor series was certainly Simply Irresistible and was my first introduction to her work. This one was only my second “date” with Ms Shalvis but it was The Sweetest Thing , and she better be careful, or very soon, I’ll be Head Over Heels . Ooookay…enough with the puns! Haha!

In the first installment of the series, I loved meeting Maddie “The Mouse”, and her two sisters, Tara and Chloe. In fact, I really adored Maddie and Jax together! Jax Cullen is just SMOKIN' in his sexy tool belt!

In The Sweetest Thing , Tara Daniels, the Southern Belle and “The Steel Magnolia”, is settling into helping her half-sisters get started with their newly renovated inn, which they inherited from their free-spirited, eccentric mother. Tara has found a new love for cooking and her adorably named muffin range had me smiling. A "Life's-a-Peach Muffin", anyone? ^_^

Tara Daniels, The Steel Magnolia

She’s a talent in the kitchen

In Simply Irresistible , the normally cool and collected Tara is flustered when she runs into Jax’s best friend and co-owner of the local bar, The Love Shack. He’s the sexy, green-eyed, world class sailor, Ford Walker. Clearly, the two have some history together. Some pretty deep history together. Tara is determined not to let Ford bother her.

Ford Walker, yummy green-eyed sailor

But Ford is just soooo….YUMMY. Almost as yummy as Jax in his tool belt! So how could Tara NOT get all hot and bothered by him, right?

One scene that’s etched in my mind was the following one where Ford drops by at the inn, all hot and sweaty, in search of a cool drink, after working on a boat docked in the marina next to the inn. Tara was a wee bit bothered by Ford’s unexpected drop-in… in a state of undress. He was just wearing shorts. Sweaty, glistening…no shirt…. And, of course, being his usual teasing, laid-back, antagonistic self, seeking to rile Tara up.
‘ “We are not doing this now, Ford.”

“Fine. Later then.”


“Never is a long time,” he said evenly, calmly, and since she couldn’t find her
even or her calm to save her life, it pissed her off. That he could be so relaxed through this conversation made her fingers itch to pour the tea right over his damn sexy head. Two things stopped her. One, he’d be half-naked and wet, and watching the iced tea drip down that bronze chest, with its barely there spattering of sun-kissed hair and six-pack abs, might just be too much for her to bear. And that was just his upper half. Lord almighty, if his basketball shorts got wet, they’d cling to all his glory.

And there was a lot of glory.’


It’s clear that these two can’t help but want each other, but do they really want to dredge up the past? How will they move forward from such a past, when the reminder of it is there in front of them?

I loved going on this journey with Tara and Ford. I love Jill Shalvis’ writing and her humour. She makes me grin and laugh-out-loud, makes me tingle with her brand of sizzling chemistry, makes me ache, and root for Tara and Ford to work it all out… to have their happily-ever-after. Tara and Ford aren’t only incredibly HOT together, they are meant-to-be-together. Ford’s fun approach to Life is just what Tara needs.

And if you aren’t into “love triangles”, don’t let the book blurb about Tara’s ex-husband (Logan Perrish) showing up turn you off. It’s never really an issue, except to add to some humorous moments. Tara knows who she wants. She just doesn’t WANT to want Ford.

I’m looking forward to reading Logan’s story in Kissing Santa Claus in the anthology A Small Town Christmas which came out on 1 November 2011 in e-book format.

If you haven’t read anything by Jill Shalvis before, well...YOU. SHOULD. After only a of couple books, Jill Shalvis has become one of my favourite humorous Contemporary Romance authors.

The 3rd book in the series, Head Over Heels , about the youngest sister, Chloe “The Wild One”, was just recently released in November 2011. And my book just arrived in the mail…. TODAY!!! *SQUEEE!!!* Sorry, The Night Circus, I’ll have to enter your world now AFTER I spend some quality time at Lucky Harbor again!!!

I leave you with this lovely scene with Chloe in it from The Sweetest Thing
‘“Yeah,” Chloe said. “Stop sidetracking, or I’ll ask you about Ford and his amazing ass again. By the way, were you going to stir him up and fry him next?

“Oh my God, please stop talking about flour, tonsils, and especially Ford’s amazing ass!” Tara said – okay, yelled – just as Ford – naturally – walked back into the kitchen.”’

Ford has an AMAZING ass…Not sure about these jeans though. LOL

And WOW… Jill Shalvis is BUSY! She has THREE more Lucky Harbor stories with expected release dates next year *YEAH!* Thank you, Ms Shalvis!!! - See list of Lucky Harbor books below ^_^:

The Lucky Harbor Series:

1.Simply Irresistible – My Review Here
2. The Sweetest Thing
3. Head Over Heels – Can’t wait!!! *bounces*
ETA: My Review Here
4. Lucky in Love – Release May 22, 2012
5. At Last - Release July 2012
6. Forever and a Day – Release August 2012

Anthology: “Kissing Santa Claus” in the anthology A Small Town Christmas (Logan, Tara’s ex-husband’s story)
Heating Up the Kitchen: Recipes With Love from Lucky Harbor (Recipes by Tara)

My Tara - Ashley Judd
My Ford - Josh Kloss

DISCLAIMER: I do not hold the copyright to any of the images used in this review. They are posted to add visuals to the review and for fun. If any of these images are yours and you would like me to remove them, please let me know, and I will do so as soon as possible. If I can identify the copyright, I will do so.

Profile Image for Gio Listmaker .
294 reviews90 followers
May 20, 2020
Low Angst
Laid-Back Hero
Hilarious Snarky Heroine
Sister Banter
No Tragic Drama
Easy Fun Read
Read the First to Understand the Sisters
Profile Image for Katrina Passick Lumsden.
1,779 reviews12.8k followers
June 29, 2012
I had higher hopes for these books. I've been debating what to write for reviews for the three I've read so far, and honestly, I think I can probably use the same review for each one. Because here's the story in a nutshell:

Girl inherits dilapidated inn, is reunited with her two half-sisters, meets a guy, can't control her raging hormones, has copious amounts of sex with said guy, resists a relationship because she's an infuriatingly simple-minded moron with the emotional maturity of a toilet brush, has an epiphany, finally admits that her "fling" has a decent foundation, gets over herself.

And they lived happily ever after.

Yup, that's it. Well, except for the use of the word "sabotagers". Nope, not kidding.

[image error]Photobucket

Click here for my review of Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor #1)

Click here for my review of Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor #3)
Profile Image for Jae.
694 reviews164 followers
December 22, 2011
Ford was such a HOT wicked mess!!! Bless his heart. And the secrets were totally out. I've had my suspicions regarding Tara and Ford thing and I am glad that it was all true.

Tara the ever Steel Magnolia was very uptight and proper and pretty much clashed with Ford. I didn't like Ford's loose and easy attitude at first. I just thought that he was too laid back for Tara. But apparently a hot body and even wetter kisses was what Tara wanted after all. Aww.....

And I can't wait for Chloe and Sawyer's story. That girl will definitely rock his world and he wouldn't even know what hit him. I just hope that their huge age gap wouldn't be an issue for them. Cause, I am having a bit of a problem with it.
Profile Image for WhatIReallyRead.
685 reviews494 followers
July 1, 2018
I was so looking forward to the book about the "Steel Magnolia" sister. When cameoed in her sister's books, Tara seemed like such a bad-ass female character, a grown-up older sister who has her shit together. But she disappointed me.

Turns out, Tara's bad-assness was just a facade. Beneath it, she turned out to be much weaker and whinier than her sisters. Not only did she give an "I'm just a little girl who wants to feel protected in his strong arms" vibe (completely at odds with the Steel Magnolia she was supposed to be), but she's also such a terrified little girl she needed much convincing that his "strong arms" won't bite. And she does the whole "I'm not crying you're crying!" routine, very pitifully denying emotions and keep up shitty pretenses. UGH.

As to the story itself, it was not a particularly good one either. Tara is supposedly a middle-aged average-looking woman with no career, no money, no skills or interests other than cooking, working in a diner for minimum wages, all in all really not much to say for herself. But somehow she has two world-class athletes, handsome and rich battling for her favor. And making spectacles of themselves to the whole small town, while they're at it. Um. WHY?

So it's a pretty boring love triangle where you know from the start who's going to win. For no reason whatsoever it was dragged out. Tara and Ford obviously love each other but pretend they can't be together for reasons even they can't name.

All of Tara's advertised bad-assness apparently consists of:
- wearing office clothes no matter how inappropriate they are for the occasion
- trying to pretend everything is fine even if there's a pile of shit right on her head and she knows everyone else can see it and smell it.
So this annoyed me. Pretending you're all high and mighty when you're knee deep in the garbage is about the worst thing you can do.

What I liked:
- the small-town vibe I adored in other Lucky Harbor books
- the relationship between the three sisters makes my heart melt still

So what I liked really was more about the series rather than this particular installment. It was as cute and fluffy as other Lucky Harbor books, but for some reason not as funny.
Profile Image for Chan.
694 reviews37 followers
July 14, 2017
Another Fun Read by Jill Shalvis

Writing: I enjoy Jill’s writing. I’m not a fan of 3rd person narration, but Jill does it well in this book.

Characters: Tara, The Steele Magnolia and Ford. Tara was my favorite in Book 1. So, I was eager for her story. Tara is a runner and Ford is a ‘let it go’ person. Those personalities make for a difficult relationship.

There was something missing between Tara and Ford. I should have felt a deeper connection between them because of their deep history. Oh and I wanted more Deep South accents from Tara.

Storyline: The beginning was slow, but around 30% it picked up. It may have been that my expectations were too high, but I was a little disappointed. It was a good read, but it could have been more.

Book 1 set up some really interesting twist and turns book 2 could have taken, but Jill down played many scenes. However, the daughter that was mentioned in book 1 shows up, but I didn’t like her. She wasn’t written well.

I think the real issue for me was that I was expecting a deeper connection between Tara and Ford and it wasn’t there. Jax and Maddie had a deeper connection and they were total strangers.

Intimacy Scenes: Kinda hot, but not as steamy as book 1

Overall: It was a good read and I will continue with the Wild Child’s story.
Profile Image for Elle.
578 reviews13 followers
September 20, 2012
Will I read this book again? Yes. Will I buy a hard copy so I can mark my favourite part for quick access? Probably and that's a rare feat, precious few books are given that honour. I only reread books that suck me into a happy place. I feel like I can't fully express the extent to which this book completely sucked me into the setting. I have such a clear mental picture of Lucky Harbor. I feel like I just came back from vacation having read this book. What an amazing experience it is to read a book that resonates so well and completely pulls me out of my surroundings (especially so close to thesis defense time).

Frankly, I didn't think I would like this book. Book 1 and I didn't agree (I am just indifferent towards Maddie) and I didn't see Tara's potential in Book 1. But wow. She was great in this story. Holy Cow! I can hardly believe it. I think that Tara is one of those people you really have to get to know in order to understand. As a reader, I actually experienced those biases rather than being a reader who knows she's misunderstood but totally understands her from the get go. Nope. When I read Book 1 I didn't understand Tara and I didn't like her, she very nearly offended me by simply being. As the book started, I wasn't expecting her to grow on me, in fact I was expecting to get fed up with her, word search "Chleo" and just read the bits of the story that included her (yes I do that sometimes). But now I'm wondering whether Chleo's story can stand up to this one and I've been waiting for Chleo's book since I first encountered her on the pages of Book 1.

The synopsis for this story reads as if the story revolves around a competition between two potential lovers for Tara. Shalvis put a great spin on this theme. I love that from the outside (and two the towns people) it seems like a competition but to Tara it never was. I didn't expect that. I didn't expect Tara to be dealing with seperate issues and for most of the other accessory characters to get the wrong idea completely in a way that added to the story. That was great. And hilarious.

I also didn't expect Mia to turn up so soon in the story. Although I didn't agree with how the reunion with Mia was written in some aspects (would her parents really not have a problem? would she so quickly become a part of their lives? I don't know) Mia added a great complexity to the story. I liked that Tara and Ford had to deal with hypocrisy and that Mia acted like a normal teen (I appreciated her lying so easily and convincingly about certain things because that's one of those normal behaviours that you rarely see in stories or tv shows).

What a pleasant surprise this story turned out to be. I like Jill Shalvis. She has a great online presence and I think she should be commended for that. She's so easy to find and get info on (as in her website is always up to date) but more than that she is always posting interesting little blurbs about her life, really staying in contact with her fans. However, as much as I like Jill Shalvis, I don't find that I've overwhelmingly liked the majority of the books I've read. Which is strange, being a fan but not rating the books particularly high.

In this book I discovered that I really like Shalvis' writing style and because her writing style has such deep imagery for the setting and really good characterization. In the past when I haven't been as excited about some of her books I think it's because I haven't related to the characters or setting in some way - and since Shalvis literally brings the characters and settings to life for me (there is no distance) if I don't resonate I take it more personally: like not relating to a person you know rather than not relating to a book character but reading on anyway.

I find I am having trouble holding my shit together in anticipation of Chleo's book. What cruel torture it is that book 3 isn't released until next winter. I find when I have to wait a long period of time for an addition to a series I am almost always let down by it when it does come out. Hopefully that won't happen with this book because there has been such a sweet build up. I can't wait to get to know Chleo better. I think I would literally cry (with joy) if this book gets and earlier release (does that ever happen) or if I happen upon a arc. I just cannot wait!

If you have yet to go to Lucky Harbour and meet some of its residents (particularly the new half sisters) I suggest you move your rump over to your nearest bookstore and get a copy. I doubt you'll regret it.
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,204 reviews919 followers
July 8, 2012
Tara Daniels, the oldest of the Traeger sisters, was the most reluctant to return to the town of Lucky Harbor. She left when she was 17 and pregnant and now at 34, returning to the scene of so much pain and failure isn't part of her life's plan. Known as the Steel Magnolia because of her Southern ways and tough, bossy nature, she's going to do her part to get the inn ready for sale and then move on with her life. However, the man who caused her so much pain as a teenager is determined to rekindle that old flame and keep things heated, but for how long?

I knew Tara's story would be complicated, tangled and oh so interesting and it certainly delivers that and much more. I had a suspicion as to who her former lover was and we weren't kept guessing very long. Their reconnection was a three-alarm fire and both were still skittish but Tara moreso. And, there was a hugh surprise in store for the both of them that added another layer of complication and intrigue. Lastly, Tara's ex-husband shows up, determined to throw his hat in the ring. Sisters Chloe and Maddie get a real kick out of seeing the buttoned up and stoic Tara thrown for a loop. Chloe in particular cannot resist taking digs at Tara, not in a mean-spirited way as the three of them have begun to bond as sisters. When the town gets involved in this little triangle, the story becomes absolutely hilarious. It's small town living at its finest, or low point, depending on your perspective.

I loved this story and read it in one day because I wanted to know what was around the next corner. This was a winner and I'm deliberately leaving out details because it will be important for you to discover them on your own, as I did. Settle back and just enjoy it.
Profile Image for vale pao.
644 reviews358 followers
July 7, 2011

Oh wow, what an amazing read. I just can't believe I enjoyed a book in this genre this much, I mean, it has happened to me before but it has been so long that I had started to believe I may have rated some of my previous cont-romance books too high. But then a book like this one ended up on my hands and it got way too easy to understand how I could have a book in this genre as a fav of mine. Sigh, I remember it too clear now ... for a book in this genre to end up on my fav shelf I have to FEEL so much that I don't know what to do with all those feelings, because that's what's so nice about books, they trap you and make you forget about everything else. You know a book is amazing when you have been reading for more than 10 hours straight and you never realized all that time went by.

What's not to love about a heroine who calls people 'Sugar', LOL, or can't help saying bless your heart all the time? This heroine was amazing. I specially loved that time when she was surprised and said: "Sweet baby Jesus",LMAO.

Well with this book I laugh so hard my eyes started to water and my checks went numb. SEVERAL TIMES. Also I kept feeling this strong pressure on my heart, LOL, I know cheesy as hell but I really felt like that. That's how good this book was. I loved the characters so much that I couldn't help laughing when they were happy and crying like a baby when they got all emotional.

This was a great read and I'll be waiting for next book with huge expectations because I know I'll adore it. You guys just HAVE TO read this book.

Profile Image for Ana.
344 reviews168 followers
April 12, 2011
Better than the first book.

Tara, the Steel Magnolia, decided to change her life for the better, she divorced her husband, moved to Lucky Harbor, and found a job as a cook, the one thing she really likes. But she couldn't escape her past, In this case it was her summer love from when she was 17, Ford. Of course everything gets even more complicated when her ex shows up, and when the residents of Lucky Harbor decide to meddle.

Ford wants Tara back. He is patiently trying to seduce her into loving him, and he's not above using their teenage love to do so.

I tend to see reunion stories as bittersweet filled with what ifs. What if we stayed together? What if we fought for our love? This is not the case here. They both acknowledge that they weren't ready for a serious relationship.

Back to present. Tara did avoid Ford for the past six months, and she does it now from time to time, but she doesn't use Logan, her ex, a big plus.

I like Tara's sisters and all the townspeople. We now know who Chloe's hero is (her book is Head Over Heels and it's out in December).


5 stars.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,937 reviews1,549 followers
February 17, 2017
Ignore the tag ("Two Men Are One Too Many . . ."), there aren't really two men. Yeah, Tara's ex shows up but he's a complete non-factor in the book. And that's a good thing. Ford is very yummy as the lead and I'm just as glad that the book is completely about him and Tara working out a relationship that could last.

This is the second in a series, and I highly recommend that you read the first before this one. This book leaves much of the relationships between the sisters unexplained and I'm just as glad not to have to rehash all the details of their complexity. Being the second in the series makes this review much easier to write than if it were a standalone. Suffice it to say that if you liked the first, you'll likely enjoy this one as well. It's a touch better written, the characters are as engaging, and if Ford isn't quite as delectable as Jax I think Tara's character arc is slightly more relatable. In all, I'd give this book a slight edge because it gets to skip the weakness of the first of having to pull the sisters together.

A note about Steamy: This is on the high side of my steam tolerance. There are a handful (more than two, less than six--I think) of explicit sex scenes and they are delightfully steamy without being overlong.
Profile Image for SamJ ★Needs a HEA★.
609 reviews861 followers
February 7, 2021
The second book in the Lucky Harbour series!

Again an excellent 5 star read!

As with book 1, I just read it with a smile on my face.

It is warm, funny, light and so touching in places!

There is not a character here you cannot fall in love with and fall in love with their story!

I am not dreading turning a page, wondering what misunderstanding the H/h are going to have, or what drama is next to unfold! I don't have a headache at the end due to too much angst or drama or stupid misunderstandings! Or from quite frankly too much going on!

I feel refreshed, and happy and relaxed after reading. It is like a long hot bubble bath, with wine and candles and silence, but in book form!

I cannot recommend this series enough! Perfection!
Profile Image for MBR.
1,200 reviews379 followers
April 2, 2011
4.5 Stars Addition to the Lucky Harbor Series

I have been waiting eagerly for the release of the 2nd installment of The Lucky Harbor series, book 1 of which I enjoyed immensely. The Lucky Harbor series centers around 3 sisters, the death of whose mother Phoebe Traeger brings them together. The 3 sisters Maddie known as the Mouse, Tara as the Steel Magnolia and Chloe as the Wild One definitely make the stories come alive with the unique characteristics that each of them lend to the story.

Book 2 is the story of how the Steel Magnolia aka Tara Daniels gets a second chance with her first love Ford Walker whom she left behind 17 years back in Lucky Harbor. It had been when both of them were 17 years old that Tara had been sent to Lucky Harbor to spend summer with her mother, a relationship on tenuous grounds at best. Both Ford and Tara who come from broken families find something in each other that they are irresistibly drawn towards, making Tara give her heart, body and soul to the deliciously sinful and sexy as hell Ford. Their affair ends tragically when Tara finds out that she is not at all ready to deal with the consequences of a grown up relationship and sacrifices a big chunk of her heart by leaving Ford and giving up a vital piece of her to go back to life as she knew it.

17 years later, Tara comes back because of Phoebe's will and stays far longer than she ever expected to when she finds herself making up one excuse after another to stay back. Ford, now a world class sailing expert who co-owns The Love Shack, the local bar with his best friend Jax seems to be as alluring as ever, a more lethal combination of charm that he so effortlessly wields together with his good looks that has women all over town fawning over him. Ford might be laid back and take the easy way out in life but that doesn't mean that he is not affected when the woman who has haunted his dreams for far longer than he cares to count comes back to Lucky Harbor and starts stirring up feelings that Ford has long since thought dormant in him.

The one thing that has rankled Tara who is as uptight and anal retentive as they come is the fact that Ford had never deemed her important enough to stop her from walking away or to come after her when she had left him all those years ago. But even Tara's backbone of steel is not enough to make her say no to the way Ford plays havoc with all her emotions - all in a deliciously good way. Things get interesting when Tara's ex-husband comes back, looking for a second chance and to win back Tara's affections making Ford seethe with the utter feelings of possessiveness that storms through him.

The Sweetest Thing, though it did not wow me as much as Simply Irresistible did, I still loved it to pieces. Ford Walker is the type of hero I can happily dream about for eons with his wickedly sinful nature that comes out to play and ruffle the feathers of the tightly buttoned up Tara. Ford is exactly what Tara needs in her life to loosen up, to find herself once again and take a second chance on falling in love and being loved. The wickedly sensual positions these two constantly find themselves in adds to the magic that Ms. Shalvis weaves with her stories in the Lucky Harbor series making this a well rounded addition to the series.

Jill Shalvis has a remarkable talent for writing stories that one minute has me laughing until my sides hurt and the next making me feel as if someone has sucker punched me quite well. The constant roller coaster of emotions that I have come to identify and revel in when it comes to this series was present in this story as well making it an utter delight to sink into the characters that make up the Lucky Harbor series. Ms. Shalvis has a way of making my toes curl completely inward and hum in delight a time or two with the very well done love scenes in the book.

Now I am completely focused on reading the 3rd book in the series, Head Over Heels which is to come out in December 2011. I think Chloe and Sawyer may yet come to be my favorite couple in the series with their totally opposite natures which is going to make for a very explosive addition to the series - hopefully!

I finish off my review with a glimpse into the sizzling hot attraction between Ford and Tara that just makes the pages come alive every single time!

Profile Image for Saly.
3,433 reviews512 followers
April 10, 2011
The Sweetest Thing is Tara's story. Tara is the eldest sister and she's been in Lucky Harbor for 6 months now. Their inn is just about to open and Tara's intention is to make it successful for Maddie(her sister) and leave. We know that Tara has a lot of issues, she is a control freak and stubborn. She was raised by her grandparents and was wild as a teenager when she was sent to Lucky Harbor at the age of 17 to a mother she hardly knew. She met Ford then and they had a whirlwind love-affair, that ended up with Tara pregnant. Both of them decided to give the baby up for adoption but Tara still feels a lot of guilt over it(Ford wanted to raise it together). So, Tara has been pretty much ignoring Ford for the past 6 months, when they get hot and heavy, Tara's ex-husband walks in, wanting her back and to add it to it, her daughter also shows up. So, Tara's life is one big soap opera, there are some hilarious moments between Logan the ex and Ford(the drinking in the bar, crowding Tara etc).
Tara though is confused, she want to find herself, she lost a huge part of herself when she was with Ford(she felt he didn't fight for her) and with Logan she became someone she didn't recognize but despite her efforts Tara cannot ignore Ford, there is too much of history between them and a strong bond which becomes stronger because of the arrival of their daughter Mia. Tara wants a strong relationship with her. During all of this the town-people are also making facebook polls on the Tara, Ford and Logan situation. Ford had a tough life, he was poor and things like sailing came easy to him. In the entire book you could see that Tara and Ford loved each other even though the 3 words came later. They reflect back on the past as well, how Tara was not strong enough at 17 to deal with a child and why Ford let her go(he felt she deserved better from life). It was very good to find out that despite being apart for so many years, they never really forgot each other, Tara stealing Ford's shirt and then going to get chips in the middle of the night was sweet and hilarious.
Seeing Maddi, Jax, Chloe and Sawyer was good. Ford was such a wonderful hero, he got Tara, what she was feeling, going through. In the book you could feel the love, how they now had more maturity to deal with things than they had years ago.
And the last scene was so awwwwwww!!

I loved this book. Jill Shalvis writes excellent contemporaries. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Karen.
805 reviews1,011 followers
April 26, 2017
Loved this one. LOVED Ford's character. This was a sweet story.
Profile Image for Geo Marcovici.
1,239 reviews297 followers
July 9, 2021
Tara Daniels și Ford Walker au un trecut comun, dureros, care a provocat răni adânci. După o iubire de-o vară și o sarcină neașteptată, cei doi se despart și nu se mai întâlnesc timp de 17 ani, până când tânăra revine în Lucky Harbor.
Acum, tânăra este hotărâtă să nu mai pună suflet în relația cu el. I-a fost foarte greu să accepte că în tinerețe, deși Ford a dorit să-și asume responsabilitatea când a aflat c�� este însărcinată, a lăsat-o să plece când ea a decis să o facă. Acum, întoarsă acasă, Tara este o femeie care trebuie să descopere ce își dorește cu adevărat, mai ales că în fostul ei mariaj s-a simțit abandonată.
Împreună cu surorile ei Maddie și Chloe, Tara se ocupă de han, ușor ușor se adaptează vieții în Lucky Harbor și își găsește casa. Treptat relația cu Ford se reia, iar tânăra este conștientă că poate suferi din nou dacă se reindrăgosteste de el.
Avem parte de surprize, mai ales când în peisaj apare tânăra Mia — fiica ei și a lui Ford, o tânără aflată în căutarea răspunsurilor.
Observăm cum atât Mia, cât și Tara și Ford învață să facă față trecutului, să lase în urmă ce a fost și să savureze prezentul privind cu încredere spre viitor. Fiecare se maturizează, au parte de revelații și își găsesc liniștea.
O situație ciudată, cu multe piedici, care pune la încercare sentimente și emoții.
“Dorința inimii” este un volum captivant, o lecție despre a doua șansă, despre speranță și fericire.
Jill Shalvis a oferit o poveste de viață cititorilor, o lectură savuroasă și plină de optimism.
Profile Image for Karla.
986 reviews1,094 followers
April 9, 2011
This Lucky Harbor series is so enjoyable. I love the sisters, and their distinctive, quirky personalities. This was Tara and Ford's book, but the other characters were very involved, which really added to the whole appeal of the story for me.

When I started reading this one, I felt like I needed a refresher, so I put it aside, picked up Simply Irresistible and read it all over again. Loved it even more than the first time and I think it made me appreciate The Sweetest Thing that much more.

This is a book about finding something that was always there, staring you in the face, but sometimes you are too scared and stubborn to see if for what it really is. In this case love. Tara and Ford are given a second chance, they still crave each other, and the chemistry is undeniable. It takes a town, the wisdom of someone very special and much younger, to show them what they can’t see for themselves.

As always Jill Shalvis interjects lots of humor, terrific dialogue, and leaves you satisfied. With Chloe and Sawyer’s opposing personalities, their book should prove to be explosive, and I am really looking forward to it. I would love to see a book about Carlos and Mia, or even a short story.
Profile Image for ~Megan~.
525 reviews69 followers
April 27, 2011
Gosh I love this series! After finishing the epic Game of Thrones yesterday, I just needed something sweet and funny, and this book hit the spot.

Before this series, my previous Jill Shalvis experience was sorta blah, but I am really loving her style here. I like that she can make me cry and smile through my tears. I like that she can make me fall in love with the hero and the heroine. Mostly, I like that she can make me want to be the fourth sister and help them run the inn.

I really wasn't the biggest Tara fan after the last book, but she made some big self-discoveries here and came out so much better. Ford was a total dreamboat...when he showed up to the Garden Society meeting shirtless, I was swooning along with the old ladies!

Can't wait for Chloe and Sawyer's book, which I know is going to have some mad tension! Yay!
Profile Image for Lyndy Ann ♫.
670 reviews
December 14, 2015
The Sweetest Thing continues Tara and Ford's story that started in Simply Irresistible.

We find out the secret (even though we know it) as Tara and Ford start up their relationship again, I found the love triangle on fb funny and how their relationship with Mia progresses.

What I enjoy about this series is it continues from each book so we get to know how the Inn is coming along and how the three sisters are getting to know each other.

Can't wait to carry on with Lucky Harbor.
Profile Image for Dee.
1,477 reviews157 followers
December 12, 2011
I really liked this but to be honest I didn't think it was as good as the first but it still deserves at least a 4 star rating.

It was funny and had me laughing in places and I had loved the
Phoebe-ism's (few words of wisdom at the beginning of every chapter) in the first one and was quite sad when they were lost in the fire so was really glad to see that Tara had decided to carry on the tradition of leaving her thoughts/words of wisdom for her children.

Profile Image for Bree Hill.
791 reviews572 followers
September 19, 2020
Don’t mind me, I’ve just been making my way through Jill Shalvis’s bibliography..out of order. Very on brand for me. Reading The Sweetest Thing after reading titles like Almost Just Friends and The Summer Deal though, show me that Jill Shalvis has been working at and perfecting her perfectly balanced women’s fiction and romance for a while.
One minute The Sweetest Thing feels very strongly like a women’s fiction novel and within a page or chapter you’re reminded that it’s actually a romance. It works. This is a second chance romance between Tara and Ford. The two were in love at 17..my favorite age..and I get it! When you’re in love at that age it’s the most serious love of your life-all fire and real and then something happens that reminds you that there is still a lot of life ahead of you. Not only do these two find themselves in the same space after years and years but Tara’s ex husband shows up too and both he and Ford begin both vying for Tara’s heart. Being the second book in the series, we are still seeing the sisters learn the dynamics of their relationships with one another and a blast from Tara and Ford’s 17 year old fire comes seeking them out. I think Jill Shalvis makes a lot of really interesting choices as an author in this one and it worked, I really enjoyed it. Into the next I go!
Profile Image for BookLover.
385 reviews80 followers
May 28, 2017
I liked this second chance romance. Tara and Ford experienced a passionate young love, as teens, but it ended badly. After a long absence Tara returned to Lucky Harbor and Ford was determined to rekindle their romance. Added into the mix were an ex-husband who wanted to win Tara back and a surprise visitor that rocked Tara and Ford’s world.

I found the town’s interference and Facebook group created to track the “competition” between Ford and Logan, Tara’s ex, amusing. Even more so, I really liked how great Ford and Tara were together. Despite Tara’s denial, it was obvious from the beginning that they were made for one another. Their chemistry was off the charts!
Profile Image for Kelly22.
417 reviews143 followers
June 28, 2011
4.00 Stars - Contemporary Romance.

I just loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Ford was a superb hero. Everything I read by this amazing author is incredible. I still did not pick up one of her books and not fall in love with it.

The Sweetest Thing, is the second book in the Lucky Harbor Series, which features three estranged half sisters Maddie, the mouse… Tara, the steel magnolia…and Chloe, the wild child - who have been reunited after they inherited an inn located at Lucky Harbor following their mother’s death. Maddie’s story was visited in the first book of the series with the town mayor hottie, Jax, in Simply Irresistible.

Tara is edgy, organized with arrays of principles and rules to live her life. Seventeen years ago she came in Lucky Harbor for a summer vacation and rapidly fell head over hills in love with another carefree teenage Ford Walker who gave her the much required emotional and physical attention. But alas she gets pregnant and gives the baby away for adoption to move on to start a new life in Texas leaving everything behind.

Now the story leaps 17 years in which Tara features as a divorcee and a struggler who fights to gain momentum back in her life and her relationship with her two new half-sisters while running an inn she inherited back at Lucky Harbor. The super hottie Ford comes along yet again and ignites intense memories of past and passion. They feel and share an instant attraction and physical overwhelming and find it thoroughly hard to keep their hands of each other.

Ford is a laid-back successful athlete who always scores quite a mark with the ladies. He is a nice guy with amazing good looks and a well-known commitment phobia. Tara knows these all about Ford and decides to keep a good distance from him since she doesn’t want to make the same mistake of falling in love with him all over again and broke her heart. But Ford has other plans. He understands Tara’s dilemma and agrees with their complicated past and decides to start anew by keeping things physical only while locking the emotional stuff outside the bedroom. They seem to have conflicting interest with each other yet finding themselves in wanting the same fascination.

At one point they are compel to face their past and hence bound to explore their impending present inference when things get a tad out of order. They find themselves in crossroads about choosing a difficult path of giving their relationship a second chance or heading towards opposite direction and get the easy way out.

This is a story of finding true love which could be passionate, romantic and heartbreaking at times. Overall, it is a beautiful love story with two characters sharing AMAZING chemistry. The love scenes depicted in the book are extremely hot, passionate and remarkably romantic. The dialogues, the emotions and the passions shared by the two protagonists in the book make it impossible for you not to fall in love with them.

‘The Sweetest Thing’, which also was funny at times, is once again another remarkable story from a remarkable writer. I highly recommend it.

Just can’t wait to read the next in the series ‘Head Over Hills’.
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