Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor #9)


After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniels tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he’s back in his hometown and face-to-face with Aubrey Wellington, the hot-as-hell woman who is trouble with a capital T. Family and friends insist she’s not the one to ease his pain, but Aubrey sparks an intense desire that gives Ben hope for the future.

Determined to right the wrongs of her past, Aubrey is working hard to make amends. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is sexy, brooding Ben …even though he has absolutely no idea what she’s done…

Can this unlikely couple defy the odds and win over the little town of Lucky Harbor?

Source: egalley through Grand Central Publishing for review purposesCharacters:

Ben has recently returned from working as an Civil Engineer all over the world, helping people in developing countries have a better quality of life.  He was also trying to drown himself in work to dull the pain of the death of his wife & high-school sweetheart, Hannah.  But now he’s back in the bosom of his hometown, Lucky Harbor, with his cousin Jack and Aunt Dee, who raised him as her own, and close friend Luke.  He’s also become intrigued by a certain ice blonde who he cannot help but feel an attraction to.

Aubrey was always the pretty one. She was in beauty pageants when she was younger and was a little bit of a mean girl, but she’s trying to be a better person.  She had a big crush on Ben as a teenager, but he was in love with Hannah and Aubrey was not on his radar.  Aubrey decides to make amends and clear her karma by apologizing to those she’s hurt.  Ben is on her list, but she doesn’t have the guts to tell him just yet.


Aubrey’s uncle pays Ben to renovate the bookstore that her aunt left her, which puts them in close proximity to each other and their attraction simmers.  Ben becomes curious about Aubrey’s projects and inserts himself into her life trying to figure out what she’s doing.

Overall Thoughts:

I really liked this one. Aubrey & Ben had so much chemistry and I really appreciated Aubrey’s attempts to become a better person.  From where I was standing, though, she really put up with a lot from the nice people of Lucky Harbor, who did not shy away from telling Ben he was too good for her.  This may be a part of why I loved her so much, out of sympathy and anger on her behalf.  Aubrey is a woman who has made mistakes and is taking pains to correct them or at least show that she’s not the same teen that they all knew…or even the same woman who slept with her corrupt boss just a couple months ago.  I like when people can admit their mistakes and do not shy away from paying for them.  Aubrey was pretty bad ass & I loved her.  Ben, the golden boy, saw something in her that very few others did and that commends him to me.  It also helps that he was pretty fine & 100% alpha male, my fave. 🙂



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