Jill Shalvis’ Forever And A Day will sweep readers off of their feet and back to the author’s fictional small town of Lucky Harbor. When a sunny but directionless heroine, Grace, accepts a job walking the handsome Dr. Josh’s dog, it’s not long before she’s also babysitting Josh’s young son and living in his guesthouse. But as feelings grow between these two adults, will they be able to realize that they are perfect for each other before it’s too late?
Morgan: This story is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E! Absolutely adorable (and I’m not just talking about the young boy and puppy who play important roles).
Whitney: I completely agree. This whole story is a delicious treat from start to finish!
Morgan: It all begins with Grace — a heroine who you really want to spend time with. And it continues with the totally hot doctor hero Josh. He’s to die for.
Whitney: But as attractive as Josh is — and I’d walk Dr. McHottie’s dog any day of the week — unfortunately, his life isn’t in such a good shape.
Morgan: Let’s call it like it is: His life is a straight-up mess. Let’s count the things that aren’t going the good doctor’s way:
Whitney: Up first is the fact that he is a single father. And while Toby is a totally terrific five-year-old, it is definitely challenging to raise a child on your own.
Morgan: Especially because this little guy’s wild imagination has him thinking he is a Jedi warrior. And that is before he decides to communicate only in dog barks.
Whitney: Which brings us to problem number two: The “arf”-ing is all thanks to Toby’s new puppy, Tank. This dog is a mix between pig/dog/alien and although Tank is just a small pug, he destroys anything and everything in sight.
Morgan: This in turn leads to number three — the dog’s bad behavior renders Josh’s house a war zone. And he is none too happy about it.
Whitney: But this makes Josh’s sister, Anna, pretty happy.
Morgan: Ah, yes. Anna, aka problem number four. She’s Josh’s 21-year-old and very angry younger sister who has made it her goal in life to make Josh’s life hell.
Whitney: Although everyone cuts her slack because when she was sixteen, Anna was in a car accident that killed her (and Josh’s) parents. While she survived, she’s been paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair ever since.
Morgan: Anna and Josh just can’t relate to each other anymore. They love each other, but let’s just say that Tank isn’t the only one making the house a war zone.
Whitney: As much as Josh tries to care for Anna, she is mad at the world and takes her emotions out on her brother with bad behavior like a hanging out with a deadbeat boyfriend and buying a puppy who scares off Toby’s previous babysitters.
Morgan: But these things aren’t the only problems keeping Josh up late at night. The last messy subject in Josh’s life is his work habits.
Whitney: This is a doctor who really wants to save the world. He works in the emergency room, which he loves, but he also has a private practice he inherited from his father.
Morgan: But his job as a doctor is taking its toll. Between the practice and the ER work, he doesn’t have a free moment for his family, much less himself.
Whitney: To say that Josh has a lot going on is a giant understatement.
Morgan: So it makes perfect sense that he not become involved with his very temporary dog walker, Grace.
Whitney: Especially because when it comes to dog walking, Grace has absolutely no skills.
Morgan: Well, in her defense, this isn’t her area of expertise. Grace is actually in finance. Or at least she was, before an overly aggressive boss and a bad economy has her between jobs.
Whitney: Grace is stuck in Lucky Harbor, taking whatever small jobs come her way in order to pay the bills.
Morgan: So far, she has been a floral delivery girl, an artist’s model of the not-so-nude variety, an accidental accountant...
Whitney: And because of a misdialed number, a dog walker — and like we said, not a very good one.
Morgan: In fact, Grace (temporarily) loses Josh’s dog on her first day. Needless to say, he doesn’t ask her back.
Whitney: However, the snafu with Tank isn’t only one reason Josh doesn’t want Grace around. He tells himself she is just too bubbly and nice and attractive …
Morgan: All things that are usually considered great assets in a person — things that would be very important if Josh were looking for someone to date ...
Whitney: And he is most definitely not.
Morgan: But when Josh is left with no nanny and out of options, he calls Grace back to the job.
“Look...The truth is that I’m late. I’m overbooked. My sister’s going to give me a heart attack. I need someone to watch the Bean for me today, and you need money. Plus, he’s a good kid, really good, even if he refuses to use utensils or speak English. He will, however, bark at will, and he’s excellent at catching spiders.”
Whitney: And because Josh is being so adorable ...
Morgan: And Grace is so broke ...
Whitney: She agrees to return to his crazy house.
Morgan: And while Grace may have been out of her element (and accidentally let the dog out of her sight on that horrible first day with Tank), this is not the case with Toby. She is a totally natural nanny.
Whitney: Mostly because she fits the most important qualification of all — she truly cares.
Morgan: Which makes Josh all the more attracted to her. As a single father and doctor, he is so used to taking care of everyone that he has a hard time saying no to someone who wants to take care of him.
Whitney: It is like Grace has the magic touch. She gets his son to talk (in actual human words), defuses fights with Anna, bakes cupcakes for Toby’s class …
Morgan: And serves the boy a backwards dinner (because, really, why not start with the best part — dessert?).
Whitney: But there are some hiccups in this new life and it’s certainly not all smooth sailing.
Morgan: And unfortunately every time that Grace makes a misstep — like when she locks herself out of the house with the boy and the dog inside of it — Josh is often on the phone to witness it.
“Where do you hide the key for the stupid people who get locked out?”
“You got locked out?”
“No, I’m just asking for the stupid people.”
Whitney: No matter what happens, Grace keeps her sense of humor, which is an absolute requirement in this household. But the hiccups I was referring to had to deal with Grace and Josh’s relationship. Or should I say their deliberate lack of relationship.
Morgan: With Grace looking for a finance job outside of Lucky Harbor, she has to keep reminding herself that her working for Josh is not permanent.
Whitney: And Josh says over and over again that he just doesn’t need any more balls to juggle — which I totally understand because he’s fighting a losing battle on five other fronts — and the last thing he needs is a complicated love life.
Morgan: But romance readers know that it is better to love and be messy than not to love at all. And what is it they say? Ahh, “the best laid plans of doctors and dog walkers...”
Whitney: These two consenting adults really can’t seem to stay apart from each other — probably because neither really wants to ...
“Maybe I was hasty about the no-going-there thing,” she whispered. “Maybe the not-going-there thing needs to be temporarily revisited.”
His eyes were still dark. Still edgy. “You have my undivided attention.”
Morgan: But Josh’s topsy-turvy life makes sure that this pair has a pretty bad case of Makeoutus Interruptus.
Whitney: There’s Toby problems, Anna problems, doctor problems...
Morgan: And it’s not just Josh’s life that is getting in the way of this couple’s sexy times. Grace begins taking on the financial messes of Lucky Harbor’s citizens as well.
Whitney: Plus, they both know that Grace plans to leave Lucky Harbor as soon as she gets an offer for a “fan-say” job that will satisfy her adopted parents’ expectations …
Morgan: Well, with celebrated scientists for parents, it’s no wonder that Grace is trying to live up to some pretty high standards.
Whitney: Which all boils down to will these two figure out that they’ve accidentally become a couple, despite their best intentions, before life pulls them apart?
Want to find out what happens to Josh, Grace and co.? Then be sure to pre-order your own copy of the newest Jill Shalvis Lucky Harbor book Forever and a Day, online and in stores soon. And make sure to check back next week when Morgan and Shawna will be Dishing about Delilah Marvelle's Forever A Lady.