Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis

Reviewed by bonne nuit

This light-hearted story entrances the reader as she is taken inside the intimate day to day occurrences that occur with marked regularity around Elle Wheaton. Elle is a girl who is most interested in the important things in a girl’s life – shoes, for instance, or friends, or even a career.

But there is an obstacle in Elle’s path. There is one solid chunk of a man that Elle can’t ignore or defeat. Neither can she forget him, given the past they share. Not that he is ever likely to allow her to do so. Like a butterfly in a sticky net, no matter how she tries to live her life on her own terms, it always seems to be Archer Hunt who sweetens the trap. And then she discovers what he has really been up to – Elle doesn’t take that sort of interference all that quietly.

Jill Shalvis is an American writer and no newcomer to writing about matters of the heart. She has a long list of titles in her portfolio, not least of which are Sweet Little Lies and The Trouble with Mistletoe., the fore-runners in the three part serial of which Accidentally on Purpose is Number 3. Jill Shalvis is the author of many romance novels, she has won the RITA, and has three times won the National Readers Choice competition.

For a story of this kind to be successful, the characters must be likeable, warm, easily identifying with their readers. In this particular book, Elle is exactly that. Even in a lovemaking scene the scamp bubbles up from beneath the serious signals of regard. It is she who reaches out and gives Archer’s tackle a playful tug to put him into position.

She rocked against him again, taking him into her hands, giving a playful tug to bring him right where she wanted. Leaning into her, his breath decidedly uneven, he teased them both until she moaned and wrapped her legs around him.

“So what’s the holdup?” she asked, impatient to the end.

Gripping her sweet ass in his palms, he jerked forward and slid into her. (207)

One cannot say enough about the joie de vivre that Elle exudes in every scene. Her sense of fun is counterbalanced by the steady Archer Hunt. He is the person in charge of security and, although he does a fine job in that role, we tend to think of him more often as Elle’s soon to be acknowledged soulmate. Although there is sex aplenty between these two there is never anything crude or unwholesome in the sexual favours they share. Jill Shalvis is a master at this sort of presentation.

The situations in which the lovers operate are carefully planned and executed but the planning passes without anyone noticing.

“Did you mean it?” she whispered, desperately needing to know if he remembered the “I love you.”

His eyes were still closed and he was breathing deeply, the kind of breathing one did when one was deeply asleep.

Which answered the question, she figured with more than a little disappointment, but then she nearly jumped out of her skin when he spoke.

“I’ve meant everything I’ve ever said to you,” he said, just quietly without moving a single muscle, like maybe everything hurt. “I’m passing out now,” he announced. (325)

The book is quirky. Minor character Joe is enjoying the taste of his doughnut. “I wanna marry this donut and have its babies,” he announces on page 24. “This started an explicit, filthy conversation that had everyone laughing until Archer opened his laptop. ” Elle’s sister, Willa, plays the part of the girl not to be trusted, and she owns the character.

This book hits all the spots on the charm calendar, and it follows the accepted conventions of romantic literature. The author has spent a lot of thought on the creation of the two leads. It is that lengthy carefully contrived character building that makes them so innocent and fresh within the story.

If you have an interest in romance literature, (and who does not?) this is the book to buy. It is wonderful!

Accidentally on Purpose

(2017)

By Jill Shalvis

Headline/Hachette Australia

ISBN: 978 1 4722 4483 3

$29.99; 384pp

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