Series: Wildstone #7
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC, Publisher/PR
Also by this author: My Kind of Wonderful, Nobody But You, Accidentally on Purpose, About That Kiss, Hot Winter Nights, Playing for Keeps, Wrapped Up in You, Twist of Fate
A Paperback Original—Also Available as a Hardcover Library Edition
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis continues her Wildstone series with the moving story of a young woman who has to start her life—and her love life—over again.
When Emma Harris wakes up from a coma, she learns that her fiancé and her BFF have fallen in love, she’s lost her job, and the life she knew is gone. Overwhelmed but grateful to be alive, she decides to start over from scratch. Not as easy as it sounds, of course. But she’s never been a quitter, even if she wishes she could quit rehab, where her hot but evil physical therapist, Simon, puts her through the wringer.
Desperate for a new start, Emma opens a doggy day care. Unfortunately, the only space she can afford is owned by her childhood nemesis Ali Pratt. But hey, she’s been through worse, right? She tries to roll with the punches, but a friend drops his grandpa off at the doggy day care because he can’t find senior care. On top of that, she and Ali bring the term “frenemies” to a whole new level. And then another grandparent shows up. And another.
In the midst of all that, Emma realizes she’s accidentally fallen for her Evil PT. But the most horrifying thing of all is that Ali just might have turned into the best friend she’s ever had. And as Emma grows from the pain of her past and takes on her new path, she comes to learn that life isn’t what you’re given, it’s what you make of it.
Love for Beginners has “beach read” written all over it! It does start off with a tragic story: woman wakes from coma to find her fiancee has left her for her BFF and everything in her life is different now. She is, quite literally, starting over.
Love for Beginners allows readers to sort of imagine “what if”. What if you had a chance to do things differently? What if you could have a do over? Through Emma, readers get to explore redefining happy. She has to learn to trust again, and that is a challenge everyone faces. But, the story isn’t just about her. During her journey she deals a female enemy who turns out to be not so nefarious. Getting to explore two women coming to good terms and raising each other up needs to be in more books.
There is a romance of course! Emma and Simon, her physical therapist, do have feelings but they also have a LOT going on in their lives. And if that isn’t enough, there is another romance: Ali (Alison) and Ryan! So, the story is full of angsty romance for sure. Honestly, there is a LOT going on in the story between Emma’s journey, the relationship with Simon, Simon’s struggles with his family, and the second chance romance of Ali and Ryan. With all that going on, I did think the ending was just a little too simple. It wraps up quickly and after all the reader has been through, seemed just too “neat”.
If emotional, heartfelt reads are your thing, Love for Beginners needs to be in your beach/pool bag this summer for sure. There will be tears (of sadness and joy) because the characters become like friends and their pain is palpable.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: yes
- Trope: second chances (life, romance, etc)
- Triggers: View Spoiler »Emma has a traumatic accident « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: standalone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler