Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Love for Beginners by Jill Shalvis
Narrator: Erin Mallon
Series: Wildstone #7
Published by HarperAudio on June 8, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours, 51 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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 starts 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.
Eager for a new beginning, 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 in desperation then 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 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 realize that life isn’t what you’re given, it’s what you make of it.
The books in the Wildstone series don’t seem to have much connection as far as characters or even locations, so you don’t really have to read them in order. There is a romance or two in each, with much more of a life fiction feel.
Emma had a horrible accident, was in a coma and was told she would probably never walk again. But she was determined to remake her life and so was her PT, Simon. Emma is so resilient and positive in the face of so many problems. At times, it feels like everything and everyone are against her but she handles it. Simon gives her some great help.
Ali has had her own problems and she blames Emma for them. She is a female curmudgeon who is a financial whiz. Both women have had some difficulties in their past and are working to improve their lives in the present. Neither has had a great love and are learning how to have a real relationship, both friends and loves.
Shalvis is extremely talented at pulling together everything for a great, emotional story. She had me crying and then I was laughing. The quirks and personalities are so realistic. Characters who were not my favorite became loved as I got to know them. There were so many characters I could root for their growth and successes. Of course, there were a few who weren’t redeemable as there has to be someone to dislike, as in the cheating ex.
I loved the small town feel and the great circle of support created with friends and family in this story of loves and going after your dreams in life.
Erin Mallon is the voice of this series which I am enjoying on audio. Her male and female characters are differentiated in each book. The male and female voices do sound the same as characters from other books though. I really enjoy the husky quality of her male voices. I was able to listen chose to listen at usual 1.5x speed.
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