Love For Beginners by Jill Shalvis
It felt incredible to be back in the world of Wildstone. First and foremost, my first read from this series was Almost Just Friends and the books that have released after it; I’ve yet to read the books in the beginning half of the series (though I have them all) but just wanted to throw that out there in case you’re new to Jill Shalvis and are unsure about reading the series in order or not. Now that we have that out of way the way, let’s talk Love For Beginners.
In Love For Beginners, our main character is Emma who was recently released from the hospital after having spent two months in a coma followed by almost a year in recovery where she had to learn how to walk and use her arm. When Emma wakes up, she is hit with the news that her best friend and her fiancé are now in a relationship. Emma has no job and no money coming in, so her physical therapist, Simon assists her in getting a place in the same building that he lives in. Enter in Emma’s high school enemy, Ali and through crazy events that only Jill Shalvis can pull off, these two wind up going into business together!
Like I said, my first book in this series was Almost Just Friend which is one of my favorite books of all time, but this series as it progresses only gets better and better. Jill Shalvis masterfully tackles some pretty tough topics with her signature wit and sense of humor while also maintaining a stronghold on her romance writing roots. We talk a lot about romance authors blurring the lines between women’s fiction and romance and Jill is always my go to author I point people who are new to that world because she knows how to perfectly balance both; neither overshadows the other. I think Emma’s story was a fantastic addition to the Wildstone series. We could all at some point be Emma; awakening to find our world completely changed and in the position where we now have to start from scratch-and not only having to start over, but doing so heartbroken.
I loved Simon so much. He was great as Emma’s physical therapist but I loved how he encouraged her to chase after what she wanted. He wasn’t perfect though; in true Jill Shalvis fashion, she created him with his own things he needed to deal with. Her characters are always unforgettable. She creates these characters who feel like real people; you will take something away from each of them. Every time you look at the cover of a previously read book, you’ll think of something that stuck with you about a particular character.
I have loved following and getting to know her career and she continues to outdo herself. We see that with Emma and Simon’s story. Loved it!