I probably should ease into this review, give you a teaser here and there, dangle some hints and keep you all guessing until I finally let you know what I thought of Jill Shalvis’s newest book, Rumor Has It. Well, that is not going to happen. It is going to be more of a “sing it from the mountain tops” kind of review where I gush and swoon and beg you all to go buy/read this book. Jill Shalvis has totally surpassed my already high expectations with Griffin and Kate’s story. Read on for the gush!
Release Date: November 5, 2013 Length: 304 pages Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: Animal Magnetism, Book 4 Publisher: Berkley (Penguin) Source & Format: Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley; digital Official Summary Special Ops soldier Griffin Reid doesn’t exactly have happy memories of growing up in Sunshine, Idaho. He’s only come back to recover from a war injury, and while he refuses to admit he’s in a weakened state, he finds comfort in the last person he’d expect. Kate Evans teaches fourth grade science in Sunshine, the place she’s always called home. Dreaming of graduate school and a happily-ever-after, she’s desperate to break out of the monotony of Sunshine. Luckily, a certain sexy man has just come back into her life. To Griffin, Kate as always been his little sister’s friend, but now he’s finding her to be so much more. As both attempt to forge their paths, they must decide if their passionate connection can turn into something lasting…
I have been waiting for Griffin and Kate’s story since their fantastically awkward Skype moment in Rescue My Heart (Book 3). Some of you will remember that was my first Jill Shalvis read, and besides the insane crush I developed over the hero, Adam Connolly, it also triggered a 3-day, 7-book reading extravaganza in which I devoured everything Shalvis I could get my hands on. I loved all the Lucky Harbor series books, and eventually got to meet Adam’s brothers, Dell and Brady, in the earlier Animal Magnetism books. Despite loving all these other books (and all the other super hot alpha males), Adam retained my top spot for super sexy alpha. Not just the top alpha of Jill Shalvis books, mind you, but of all romance books. Of all time. Ever.
That is, until now.
Rumor Has It’s Griffin Reid is my new, absolute favorite hero. He is a silent, stoic, wounded hero that is back in town for his sister and best friend’s, Holly and Adam’s, wedding. We get to be inside Griffin’s head while he navigates a rocky relationship with his dad and tries to find where he belongs and what he wants to do next after an injury ends his military career.
What is even better than finding a new favorite alpha male to drool over? When he is BFFs with your second favorite one. The friendship and interactions between Adam and Griffin are one of my favorite aspects of this book. They manage to harass, tease, and taunt each other in one scene, and then totally look after each other in the next. Read on for a couple excerpts that highlight their witty, sensitive, and dramatic “bro-mantic” banter.
Here is Griffin talking to Adam:
Adam shrugged. “Fix ’em.”
“It’s not that easy.”
Adam slid him a glance. “No shit.”
Here is Adam keeping an eye on Griffin when he is experiencing a severe migraine:
“We’re not,” Adam said.
Griffin swore with impressive skill. “Go home.”
“Make me,” Adam said lightly.
Either Griffin had nothing to say to that or he’d fallen asleep again.
It is not all boys’ club in Rumor Has It. We get the hilarious, competent, and tenacious heroine, Kate Evans. Kate is über responsible and takes care of everyone. She takes care of her widowed father, her angst-filled teenage sister, Ashley, and her 8-year-old brother, Tommy, who dresses as a different superhero each day; she makes her ex-boyfriend (and boss) Ryan coffee each day; and she genuinely seems to love all the kids in her second grade class. Kate is the glue holding her family together after it has been through a lot, and she tends to give up her own opportunities in order to help them whenever she can. Despite this, the Evans’ family dynamics are absolutely hilarious. Here is an excerpt from Kate’s father’s birthday brunch, which occurs the morning after Kate and Griffin share some sexy time:
Kate swiped under her eyes. “Uh…”
Ashley leaned in and sniffed at her. “And what is that scent?”
Kate nudged her away and turned from Ryan’s knowing gaze. “I didn’t have time to take a shower, okay?”
“You smell like a guy,” Ashley said. “A really great smelling guy.” Her sister sniffed again. “Man, that’s good—” She broke off and got an aghast look on her face, eyes wide, mouth open. “Ohmigod!”
“No shower,” Ashley said slowly. “Flushed face. Smudged mascara. Smelling like a guy—”
“You got laid!” Ashley whispered. “Ohemgee, you really did!”
“Did what?” their dad asked as he came to the table.
Kate jumped up and hugged him. “Happy birthday, Dad.”
He looked touched at the flowers. “What are we talking about?”
She began to sweat. “Nothing.”
“Slut,” Ashley whispered in her ear.
Tommy popped up between them. “What’s a slut?”
Ryan choked on his coffee.
Ashley looked quite pleased with herself.
Their dad looked alarmed. “Er, what?”
I had quite a few snort-out-loud moments like this while reading Rumor Has It. The writing overall is funny, real, and honest. It feels like you are reading about people you know and can completely relate to. I found myself thinking more than once “I’m not the only one who thinks crazy thoughts like that” while reading Kate’s thoughts. It both alarmed and relieved me to know I’m not alone.
Kate and Griffin have to both deal with their own issues before they can make something work between them. I found myself rooting for them to do what they each needed to do individually, but then sadly realized that this seemed to wedge them farther apart. Shalvis paced their relationship perfectly so that instead of frustration over this, you feel empathy and understanding. Oh, and you might feel a little warm ’cause there are some HOT scenes as well. Griffin alone is pretty steamy, but he and Kate have a little “chemistry problem” on their hands that they need to deal with together. I loved that their hot, sexy scenes also have laughter and talking intermixed in them.
Have I mentioned that I totally heart Griffin?? You gotta read this book!Bottom Line
Rumor Has It is an absolutely fantastic read! If you are already on the Jill Shalvis bandwagon, I guarantee it will definitely not disappoint! If you haven’t read her yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Rumor Has It is an excellent place to start, so get to it now! And I promise I won’t judge if you decide to spend the next few days in the same jammies, eating peanut butter with a spoon, reading everything Shalvis you can find.
Wine/Beverage Pairing: I chose to pair this book with hot chocolate for two reasons: First, Griffin brings Kate some on a special date, and second, it is just getting cold enough that it is back in “season” around here! Brrr…Preorder Digital: Kindle | Nook Preorder Print: Amazon | B&N
Blog Tour Q&A with Jill Shalvis
As part of her Rumor Has It blog tour, Jill and her publisher have put together this Q&A that we’re thrilled to be able to share with our Kindles & Wine readers.
Q: Can you tell our readers a little bit about the Animal Magnetism (Sunshine, Idaho) series, and where your inspiration came from?
A: I’ve always wanted to write a series where I could incorporate cute animals. Cute animals and sexy heroes together, who can resist that? So I came up with a series about a set of wildly alpha brothers running an animal center in Sunshine, Idaho at the base of the Bitteroot Mountains.
Q: What is your favorite thing about writing this series? The sexy men, the heroines, or the animals?
A: All of the above, but okay, let me admit the truth – the combination of hot guys and adorable animals is pretty much irresistible for me.
Q: What do you think makes romance readers and the romance community so strong? And how important is it to you to have a presence in it?
A: I think what makes the romance community so strong is that romance readers are awesome. They’re loyal and dedicated and always so willing to help support our community by talking about the books and making it okay to read whatever you want, may that be straight contemporary, romantic suspense, erotica, whatever. I love that! As far as having a strong presence, that is an accidental cause of working alone most of the days out of the year. Reaching out to romance readers and writers via social media is just a really great way to not always be alone.
Q: Are contemporaries your favorite genre to read as well as to write? If so, can you give our readers some of your favorite recommendations?
A: Yes, though I love to read everything, across all genres. Heck, I’m happy reading the back of a cereal box! But as for my recommendations in the contemporary genre, you can’t go wrong with Robyn Carr, Kristan Higgins, Carly Phillips, Susan Mallery, Lori Foster, Rachel Gibson…
Q: Do you think reading romance makes us expect more from our own romantic partners? What effect do you think romance has on those that read it?
A: We’re writing fiction, not nonfiction. Made-up stories. Fantasies, really. I’m not writing “How to Have a Hot Romance.” Or “How to Train Your Significant Other Into Being a Perfect Mate.” I’m writing a fictional tale. I think our readers are sharp, and are well aware and capable of knowing the difference between a pat Happily Ever After and real life. If I can provide someone with a fantasy, a little escape from her reality, then I am considering it a job well done.
Q: You write so many wonderful contemporaries. How do you keep each novel fresh and exciting?
A: Keeping it fresh is a constant battle, and I struggle with that daily. I just love writing, and this genre, and work hard to do the job so I can keep doing it and pleasing readers. Also, I find that stalking neighbors and friends, and being extremely nosy about their personal lives and conflicts is very helpful.
Q: What’s your advice for a first-time pet owner?
A: 1. Read up on your pet, on the specific breed.
2. Be patient.
3. Be patient.
4. Be patient.
5. Oh, and if there’s training issues? Chances are it’s you, so revisit #1.
Q: The interactions shared between you and Alpha Man always entertain; what is a recent “He Said, She Said” between you and Alpha Man that we may not have heard yet?
A: Me: What are you eating?
Him (mouth full): Nothing.
Me: It smells like Oreos.
Me: Are you … eating Oreos? I thought we were out of cookies!!
Him: There’s only four left.
Me: I need two.
Him: I’ll give you one.
Me: No! You can’t eat just one cookie!!! There’s a rule!!!
Him: Show me the book where this rule lives.
Me: I’LL WRITE YOU THE $%#!#$!@ book, give me a second cookie and no one gets hurt!
Him: Is it possible that you need something to go with that cookie?
Him: I was thinking Midol…
Q: Your friendship with Kristan Higgins and your friendly battle for “Man Wars” has become infamous. Why do you two connect so well?
A: I think our chemistry translates well because it’s genuine. You can’t fake a real friendship. We connect on lots of levels, such as competing for readers (kiddin’!), and because we’re both raising aliens—er, teenagers.
Q: What’s next for Jill Shalvis?
A: If you read Rumor Has It, you may notice a new vet is working at Belle Haven. Dr. Wyatt Stone and his two sisters, Darcy and Zoe, are each going to get their own story next year. And more Lucky Harbor is coming as well, so stay tuned.
Rumor Has It Giveaway
To enter for your chance to win, you must:
- Be a follower of our blog (click HERE to subscribe), AND…
- I ‘fessed up on my Shalvis reading binge. Hit the comments and tell me: What was the last reading binge you went on, and which book started it?
Please note: All entrants must review and adhere to our official giveaway policy. This contest will close on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 11:59 PM (CDT) and the winner will be notified via email on Wednesday, October 30.ABOUT THE AUTHOR New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis has written over four dozen romance novels. Jill is known for stories that are sexy, fun, and full of heart. The 4-time RITA nominee and 3-time National Readers Choice winner makes her home near Lake Tahoe. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold, and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures. You can also follow Jill on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. The woman is EVERYWHERE!