Way too much filler

Simply Irresistible - Jill Shalvis

I picked this one up because I had been hearing so many good things about it. However, I could not get into this book. The story begins with Maddie, the heroine, just getting out of an abusive relationship and being fired from her job. On top of that, her mother has just died. Said mother left her and her estranged sisters in care of a dilapidated inn. Maddie immediately latches onto the idea of fixing-up the inn and reopening it, but there's the problem of not having the money to do the necessary repairs and the fact that her sisters all want to sell it.

While there is a lot of time spent talking about fixing the inn and arguing about selling it, it's not really the important part of the plot. In fact, the majority of that time felt like filler or a plot device used for the unveiling of the "big deception" that was the climax. In fact, I can't for the life of me remember what the sisters decided to do with it at the end. Did they decide to fix it or do something else with the land? No idea.

The main story revolves around Maddie's relationship with local good guy, Jax. I will admit that Jax was one of the highlights of this story. His character was interesting and I enjoyed his relationship with the locals. However, the development of his relationship with Maddie was too instant for me. She had just gotten out of an abusive relationship, lost her mother, and lost her job. Yet almost the second she steps foot into town her and Jax have their hands all over each other and its the focus of most of her thoughts. But okay, I could've handled this if Maddie was an interesting character. Unfortunately, she fell flat. One of my biggest pet peeves in books are heroines who are so sweet and sacrificing that they would make Snow White look evil. And that's the vibe I got from Maddie. There were no edges to her personality and it really detracted from her character.

The other large issue I had with was how contrived the relationship between the sisters was. All of them have hardly spoken for years and there was clearly a lot of animosity between them during those years; yet within an hour of being together they all seemed like BFFs. This, combined with how much time the author spent on establishing each of them, made it painfully obvious that Shalvis had plans on writing sequels for each and was just setting that up.

Despite all my gripes with the book, I did enjoy the setting a lot. The small East coast town in the middle of winter was really lovely. However, I highly doubt that I'll be continuing with this series.