Title: Still the One
Author: Jill Shalvis
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Animal Magnetism #6
Main Characters: Darcy and AJ
Release Date: April 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
A.J. 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?
Darcy...she's hard and bitter and crabby...and we met that side of her in the last book in the series. But in this book we got to see behind all that and it broke my heart. This girl...whoa, she is awesome and such a perfect heroine. She's the way she is because her parents constantly abandoned her to boarding houses. She never learned how to love because she never had it. She only had abandonment. And then to top off everything, she was in a horrific accident so she had to then rely on other people. That's about the worst thing that could happen to her. She has learned to only rely on herself.
AJ isn't quite as messed up as Darcy, but he's certainly not without his scars too. He was in love with a woman who couldn't handle not being perfect and she broke both their hearts. He doesn't ever plan to go to that vulnerable place again. AJ is Darcy's physical therapist and he knows how tough she is. He's seen her at her most vulnerable and knows pretty much everything about her...that's why he has such a hard time staying away from her. He knows what an amazing person she is below the crusty exterior. But she's convinced no one can love her for her for the long term. That's been proven to her over and over and over again...and it's heartbreaking.
This book was wonderful. Jill Shalvis writes just the perfect contemporary romance. It was hot and sexy, but at the same time heartbreakingly angsty and sweet. This book had the incredible bonus of two amazing characters who give of themselves every day. AJ does pro-bono PT when the insurance runs out. Darcy buys trained service dogs who have been abandoned for one reason or another and gives them to people who need them but can't afford their own service dog. Every page was wonderful and I highly recommend this book.
There are a few side characters that seriously caught my eye in this one...Xander, the tattoo artist, who I wanted to hurt in a big way for a bit. Tyson/Tyler (I can't remember his exact name)...the wounded paraplegic...PLEASE Jill, tell his story!!! Ariana...who works with AJ at the Wellness Center...she's so perfect, you know that covers up a ball of emotional mess because she's one of Jill Shalvis' characters. I want stories for all three of them because they were all so wonderful in their own ways.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.