Forever and a Day
by Jill Shalvis
Book #6 in the Lucky Harbor series
Grace never thought she'd be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh's lovable mutt to caring for his rambunctious son. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad . . .
With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family-until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "good bedside manner." Josh and Grace don't know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day . . .
Grace Brooks is the last of the "Chocoholics" to figure out a direction for herself. She left her investment banking job back east for another in Seattle but it fell through and she landed in Lucky Harbor. Her money is running out and she still hasn't found a sustainable job. Meanwhile, she's become very close to her two friends, Mallory Quinn and Amy Michaels, and doesn't like the prospect of having to leave this town. She gets an offer from Josh Scott, the local stressed out doctor, to walk his new puppy and Grace jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know that she was walking into a life changing situation.
Josh is one over extended guy, what with his private practice, ER duty at the local hospital and helping out at the clinic. On top of all this, he's a single father of a five-year old son and takes care of his 21-year old sister who is a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair. I got exhausted just listening to a typical day for this man.
What makes this story work is how likable and appealing Josh and Grace are individually and as a couple. Even though they both try to minimize whatever it is they have going on between them, they are also pretty honest with themselves and each other. While they keep stepping into denial, that doesn't stop them from giving into their feelings and engaging in some pretty sizzling interludes. Of course, the dog and the child account for some pretty hilarious moments and haphazardly bring Josh and Grace even closer. There's nothing more tiresome in a romance than a lot of "should we or shouldn't we" angst that keeps a couple apart again and again and thankfully this story didn't go down that road. These two have these private reflections but time and again go with their feelings and decide to deal with repercussions later.
This is a story about two people who followed paths designed by others for them, are pretty miserable but successful and find themselves wanting something more. With Josh, he assumed his father's practice after he died in an accident. With Grace, she sought to please her adoptive parents in an effort to measure up to their achievements. It was lovely to watch them figure it out, see themselves in each other and create something new. As with the other books in this series, the residents of the town will have you cracking up as they interfere and try to move this relationship along.
I've loved this series and hope it doesn't end here. If it does, I'm glad this couple was saved for last as theirs was a pretty satisfying ending.