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Book Review: Animal Attraction (Animal #2) by Jill Shalvis

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Animal Attraction
Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To start with, I didn’t realize this novel was the second installment in a series based around the characters at Sunshine, a small (perhaps imaginary) town in Idaho. It didn’t matter though, because it was a fantastic read that left me giggling from ear to ear like some sort of crazy person. Yep, that’s the way I roll. 😀
Jade left her job at the Medical Center owned by her family 18 months ago after being held at gunpoint during a burgling. She ran to Sunshine in the hopes of regaining some semblance of self. The problem is, she didn’t count on being attracted to her boss, vet Dell Connelly, and vice versa, a man that has become a close friend since she walked through the door of the surgery with the “Position Vacant” flyer in her hand.
Dell has a knack for charming both animals and females of the human species. He is the younger brother of two boys, both abandoned by their mother when she was a teenager, leaving them at the mercy of the child welfare system. Both brothers are heavily scarred, but have a strong bond with foster brother Brady. Brady is engaged to Lilah, the woman from the animal refuge. [N.B. Brady and Lilah were the focus of the first novel.]
In spite of the happiness Jade has found in Sunshine, she promised to return to her life in Chicago by the first of the following month, one that she believes she must keep out of a sense of duty to her family. However, after she hears that there has been a bunch of burglaries in the region, she begins to get nervous, then freaks out in the carpark after a deaf child in a Halloween mask brings back memories of her traumatic experience. Seeing it from a window, Dell goes into guardian mode and begins to help her regain some confidence by teaching her some self-defense training. They become closer and closer as the deadline draws ever closer. However, it is the unwillingness of each to face their own demons and emotions head-on, from both past and present, that will be the greatest hurdle for the pair.
Even though Animal Attraction is technically a romance novel, it had more depth than most books in the genre. The characters were inviting from page one, and I wanted to know who they were and what made them tick. Sure, it started with a goofy little scene where Jade is checking out Dell’s ass as he’s trying to coax an abandoned kitten from under a bench, but even that made the story endearing. The language and the descriptive made me chuckle. I found that I really liked the various members of the cast, as the dialogue and inner monologue made them feel like living, breathing entities. Heck, even the animals had their own unique habits and personalities. (Score!)
There is an underlying humor to Shalvis’ that adds a natural quality to the novel, which made scenes that would otherwise be dull, highly entertaining. A lot of the humor came from scenes featuring Adam Connelly, a fellow that takes special pleasure in pissing with his younger brother. Lilah also added to the silliness, asking leading questions of Jade and Dell periodically through the novel. Hilarious! (Score!)
Jill Shalvis does a great job in the pacing department, giving consideration for how much can happen within the span of a month. Having pre-existing relationships also helps make the interactions between the various characters make logical sense. This meant there was no catch-up. There was no need for info-dumps either. (Score!)
Jill Shalvis also knows how to make the sex scenes meaningful. Sure, they tend to be steamy, but the author adds an emotional quality often absent in other books in the romance genre. There is variation in these scenes as well, not the same shit regurgitated time and time again. I even laughed during some of the scenes. Why? Because sex doesn’t have to be serious.(Score!)
And lastly, we come to attention to detail. Jill Shalvis must have made an extensive list of patients and medical histories based on how many times Jade and Dell interacted with their owners. It was a curious thing, but gave me the feeling that the Belle Haven vet center was a business with a real customer base rather than some cheap knock together. Score!)
In conclusion, if you enjoy a romance novel with living, breathing characters, then you should give Animal Attraction a read. Sure, you’ll find some silly moments, but these do well to cut through the drama. There is sex and regular coarse language, so not for the kiddies. Based on this title, I will certainly look into reading other books by Jill Shalvis in the not-so-distant future.

Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis (paperback edition) @Amazon 

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Author: keikomushi

Reader, Writer, New Media Buff, Anime Fangirl, Gnome Hunter, Last Action Femme Fatale, Appreciator of Nature, Jack-of-all-trades.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Animal Attraction (Animal #2) by Jill Shalvis

  1. Pingback: World of Keiko: 12/31/2011 « Keiko Online

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