Thursday, August 12, 2010

REVIEW: Instant Attraction by Jil Shalvis

ISBN 9780758231239
Series: "Instant" series, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
(c) February 2009, Kensington Publishing
Jill Shalvis's website

Rating: 4 stars

Available at Book Depository (print)

"Sweet and romantic tale with unforgettable characters"

Instant Attraction, despite the frivolity of the title, is a sweet, romantic yet deep tale of two people who have been deeply hurt in their past, yet who inspired and encouraged each other to emerge victorious from the ashes. The resilience of the human spirit shone through in this story, how one may be beaten by life, but never defeated. There is no mystery to solve here or suspenseful moments with a murderer on the loose, and that in itself is refreshing. The attraction between the main characters itself is simple and honest.

Balls out. That's Katie Kramer's new motto in life. The quintessential good girl, she didn't really let herself live. However, after a devastating accident, she emerged a changed woman, one who is determined to live every second, having adventures and taking risks, doing the things she's never done before. You can see this in the way she always reminded herself, "Balls out", when she experienced hiccups in her situations. She left her safe, boring job as an accountant and she ended up in Wishful, California, where she worked in Wilder Adventures, not knowing she'd meet Cameron Wilder, who turned out to be her greatest adventure.

Cameron Wilder is a champion skier, a hunk and has no shortage of women. But a terrible accident left him adrift and lost and wandering the planet. Until he came back home to find a beautiful woman sleeping in his bed.

I found the pace slow at the start, but as more of Katie's character and personality were revealed, she won me over and the story flowed. I like her and her attitude toward life. Balls out. Seize the day, every moment, every opportunity. Even in her interaction with Cam, she told him up front that she wanted him and she left him in no doubt as to her feelings for him every step of the way. Sexually, that is. She pushed, but not overly so, when Cam seemed to retreat. I find this reversal a novelty to watch, as it is usually the guy who's more aggressive in pursuing physical intimacy than the woman. And Katie is just so adorable that I can understand how Cam couldn't help but be enchanted with her. She was just so open and expressive, the opposite of the Wilders who bottled up everything inside them.

And while both Katie and Cam may be happy to continue with their denials that it's just sex, their actions proved otherwise. It was there in the way they helped each other through the nightmares of their past, the way they comforted the other and gave each other the courage to push through the darkness into the freedom of light. "Weightless" and "lifted" were how Cam described those moments of freedom.

And lest I give you the impression that this is one serious book, I can assure you that it's not! Cam's and Katie's banter alone is fun to read, not to mention the scenes that involved the rest of the Wilder clan. The secondary plot involving Cam's aunt Annie's and her husband Nick's problem in marriage is both realistic and funny to read.

I also have to mention Serena, Cam's cheating ex-girlfriend. I like that there's no stereotype villainess here. No, Serena is gorgeous, as can be expected, and she's just a tad bitchy, but overall, she's nice. And she became Katie's friend. How does that grab you?

Despite the snow and the frigid air of winter in which this story is set, Instant Attraction will leave you imbued with warmth and a sigh of contentment as you reach the final pages of the book.


dor said...

This sounds like a heart throbber. Looking out for this one.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

Sara said...

I've read this book and love it! In fact, I've read all three. Carole, you should read the next two!

Carol L. said...

Thanks for the review. Sounds like a story I'd enjoy.
Carol L.

Darlyn said...

I have not read the book but I think it sounds very promising =)

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