Friday, September 3, 2010

Re-Reading Books: Re-visiting Old Friends--Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis

I am the Queen of the Re-Read!! I love my books and I find that certain of them tend to become like cherished friends. Now don't get me wrong: I read new books all the time and as a speed-reader, I get lots of books read. But in the middle of the night, when the "post-menopausal female" part of my physique starts shouting at me, then I get out my eReader and visit old friends. I keep some already-read books on there just for that purpose.

Instant Attraction is just such a novel. It one of those breezy, sizzling, scenic and engaging love stories for which Jill Shalvis is so well known. It is the novel in a trilogy about the Wilder brothers, three men who now run Wilder Adventures in the High Sierras of Northern California. The youngest, Cameron, is an injured and now out-of-the-running former snowboarding champion--the Olympics, World Champion, etc--and who has really not known how to order his life around anything except this sport which has been the center of his life for as long as he can remember. No glory, no more big money from sponsors, no more groupies--he is now back home after a year of wandering, being completely out of touch with his brothers.
The other main character is Katie Kramer, a survivor of the collapse of the Santa Monica Bridge--the only survivor, and as a response to that trauma she has left Los Angeles in search of adventure. Guess where she ends up? That's right--at Wilder Adventures and ultimately in Cameron's bed. Both are running away--he from his grief over the loss of his sporting career; she over the survivor's guilt that brings the nightmare to her sleep every night since the tragedy.

The setting is beautiful--as one who has often vacationed in the High Sierras, both in the summer and the winter, it is one of my favorite places. The plot is interesting--lots of conflict to move the story along. Of course, there is the initial conflict between Cameron and Katie--both are "temporary" in some respects. The brothers are not sure Cam will stay and it is for sure that Katie is there only to relieve the regular accountant who is on paternity leave. There is conflict between Cameron and his brothers because of his long, silent absence. There is conflict between their Aunt Annie and her estranged husband. The story line moves along nicely and the dialogue is sparkling and witty. The love that slowly begins to manifest itself between Cam and Katie is challenged by their own reluctance to face themselves, let go of the past, and be willing to risk the future. Don't forget the ex-lover, Serena. Wishful, California is a small town and she is a friend of Annie's. You can bet that she knows well that Cam is no longer available to her and she is not a happy camper. She is all set to be the stick in the spokes of Katies wheels.

This is a fun love story and is a very nice example of Shalvis' writing talent and experience. She tells the story well, doesn't over-complicate the plot, and makes the characters unique and interesting. The interplay between the brothers is raw and caring in its own way. This book was written several years ago so some new fans of romance fiction may have missed it. I recommend that if you have not read it, that you consider doing so. If you like Shalvis' writing, I think you will find this a good read. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.


Tracy said...

I really liked this series - the first book being my of the two I've read. I just need to get that third one now. :)

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Hey DJ!!!! How are you?? I hope all is well my friend!
I have this series and I am trying to get my hands on the third one. You did a great job at re-reading it, lol!!! Gotta love those books that you can just re read! Hugs to you!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

This is a good series. Love the setting.