Nobody But You
Cedar Ridge - Book 3
By Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: March 29, 2016
SOMETIMES YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN . . .
After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.
Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She's broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I'm-too-sexy-for-myself guy who's now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob's dark intensity makes her want to tease-and tempt-him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.
If you've been reading the Cedar Ridge series, you know that Jacob Kincaid, twin of Hudson Kincaid (hero of book 2, My Kind of Wonderful) left Cedar Ridge after a huge fight with his twin the day they graduated from high school and they haven't spoken since. Feeling like an outsider in the blended Kincaid family (5 siblings share the same deadbeat dad but have different mothers), Jacob finally found the home he had been searching for in the Army but has long regretted his estrangement from his family. Nine years later, he returns home on leave, filled with guilt and grief following an incident in Afghanistan that killed his best friend, a man he loved like a brother. He's searching for peace and the chance to make amends with his siblings, especially his twin. There's no time or inclination for a relationship. Then Sophie Marren sails into his life.
Sophie Marren's life sucks. Big time. Her divorce from her cheating, lying, scumbag, jerk of a lawyer husband left her with nothing but the clothes on her back...and her husband's boat, his pride and joy, the scene of his many affairs. Sophie probably wouldn't even have that if the judge hadn't insisted that she take something. So now Sophie, who is prone to motion sickness, works temp jobs during the day (her ex sleeping with the wife of the CEO of the company where she worked got her fired from her permanent job) and spends her off-work time cruising the lake looking for free places to moor her current home (the boat) while doing her level best to not throw up on the hot guy (Jacob) renting the cabin attached to the dock where she seems to always end up. Not that she's going to do anything about the hot guy. Sophie has sworn off men. They're nothing but trouble and she's not going down that road again.
I loved Sophie and Jacob. They set off more fireworks than the 4th of July and the banter between them had me laughing out loud. Both have baggage, both have ghosts to put to rest, and neither is looking for anything more than a good time. What we have here are the makings of another terrific Jill Shalvis romance. Sophie's snarky, smart-mouthed attitude is exactly what Jacob needs to bring him back into the light. And Jacob is just the guy to show Sophie that not all men are lying cheats. Their journey is, by turns, steamy, poignant, heartwarming, and laugh-out-loud funny. Alone, each is adrift but perhaps, together, they will be able to discover who they are meant to be and where their happiness awaits.
The extended Kincaid family nicely rounds out the cast of characters and the secondary reunion story line (which doesn't flow as smoothly as Jacob had hoped) adds an extra depth of emotion. The only issues I had with this book were the actions of Sophie's ex-husband at the end of the story (they just didn't ring true) and what appears to be a speedy wrap-up of Jacob's sister, Kenna's story. I really hope I'm wrong about Kenna and that she will have her own book. I'm not ready to say good-bye to the residents of Cedar Ridge!
Jill, please describe what readers can expect from a Jill Shalvis romance in 140 characters.
Hot guys, fun, sexy, humor, hot guys, love, girl power and as it can’t be said enough, more hot guys.
What scene from NOBODY BUT YOU was the hardest to write?
The reunion between the hero Jacob and his twin brother Hud, given that they hadn’t seen each other in years.
Is Jacob Kincaid a boxers or briefs kind of Alpha hero? ;)
Boxer briefs. Or commando.
Readers, in 140 characters or less, tell me what you expect from a romance.
Are you reading the Cedar Ridge series? Are you loving these characters as much as I am?
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
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She eyed the bench a long beat but did eventually sit, perching primly as far from him as she could get and yet still be close enough to grab the bottle.
She took the Scotch and drank. Her eyes watered and she coughed as she handed it to him. With a sigh, she leaned back to study the night sky. Her bared throat was slim and creamy smooth. An unexpected temptation. Remembering the flash of pain and vulnerability she’d unwittingly revealed, and that for whatever reason he’d somehow added to it, he spoke. “I’m sorry.”
She glanced at him as if she’d never heard a man apologize before in her life. “For…breathing?” she asked. “Having a penis? What?”
“You were upset because you didn’t know I was a Kincaid.”
She sighed. “That was just me looking for a reason to be mad at you so I wouldn’t…”
She bit her lower lip, clearly not wanting to go on.
But now he had to know. “So you wouldn’t what?”
“Nothing,” she said. “It’s just that I’m trying to make better choices.”
“Of which I wouldn’t be one.”
“It’s not necessarily your fault,” she said. “It’s that you’re a man.”
“Guilty as charged.”
“And I’m off men right now.”
“And on…women?” he asked with admittedly more than a little fascination.
She rolled her eyes. “I’m on no one, but thank you for proving my point on men.”
“I get that,” he said. “But being off men doesn’t seem to be making you very happy, or sound like a whole lot of fun.”
“Maybe I don’t need fun.”
He understood that. He’d felt the same way since Brett died. “What do you need?” he asked, honestly wanting to know more about her.
Instead of answering, she reached for the bottle. He waited until she met his gaze before letting go.
“Nothing,” she said a little too quickly. “Everything’s…perfect.”
“And your glass is half full,” he said. “So you’ve said.”
But he didn’t believe her. “How about a game?”
“I don’t play games.”
Now, that wasn’t exactly true. Whether she knew it or not, she’d been playing with his head since he’d first laid eyes on her. “Three truths and a lie,” he said.
She stared at him. “As in you tell me three truths and a lie, and I pick out the lie?”
She considered this. “What do I get if I win?”
“What do you want?”
For the briefest of beats, her gaze dropped to his mouth.
Oh, hell yeah, he thought. Want me…
“My first boyfriend taught me that game,” she said.
“What did the winner get?”
Definitely still playing with his head… “Is that what you want, Sophie? A kiss?”
Again she stared at his mouth before dropping eye contact and wrapping that eye-stopping pink robe tighter around her body. “Do you?” she asked.
Her gaze flew to his.
“Problem is,” he said conversationally, “if I kissed you, I don’t think I’d be able to stop.”
Her mouth literally fell open. The pulse at the base of her throat jumped. And she seemed to lose her words.
He went on. “But you should know, I don’t lose. That means you’ll have to tell me three truths and a lie.” And he’d hopefully get to know more about her.
She closed her mouth to bite her lower lip in what could’ve been indecision or excitement. Obviously he was hoping for the latter. “But hey, if you’re not sure you can handle losing, we can just forget about it,” he said.
The challenge lifted her chin and put sparks in her eyes. That’s it, babe. Show me what you’ve got.
“Bring it,” she said.