New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis continues her Wildstone series with the moving story of a young woman who has to start her life—and her love life—over again.
When Emma Harris wakes up from a coma, she learns that her fiancé and her BFF have fallen in love, she’s lost her job, and the life she knew is gone. Overwhelmed but grateful to be alive, she decides to start over from scratch. Not as easy as it sounds, of course. But she’s never been a quitter, even if she wishes she could quit rehab, where her hot but evil physical therapist, Simon, puts her through the wringer.
Desperate for a new start, Emma opens a doggy day care. Unfortunately, the only space she can afford is owned by her childhood nemesis Ali Pratt. But hey, she’s been through worse, right? She tries to roll with the punches, but a friend drops his grandpa off at the doggy day care because he can’t find senior care. On top of that, she and Ali bring the term “frenemies” to a whole new level. And then another grandparent shows up. And another.
In the midst of all that, Emma realizes she’s accidentally fallen for her Evil PT. But the most horrifying thing of all is that Ali just might have turned into the best friend she’s ever had. And as Emma grows from the pain of her past and takes on her new path, she comes to learn that life isn’t what you’re given, it’s what you make of it.
Love for Beginners is a story about starting over, and in some respects, just starting. Emma is starting over after a near-fatal accident, two months in a coma, and ten in a rehab facility. Her boyfriend and best friend–the “exes squared”–fell in love while sitting by her bedside in the hospital, and at the beginning of the novel it looks like all she has is a very part time job, a therapy dog reject, and Hard@ss PT, her physical therapist/the guy who got her an apartment so she doesn’t have to hear her exes squared while…well, you know.
Simon is doing the job her loves–physical therapy–but only part time, because he’s also working full time running his dad’s business and caretaker for his dad, who’s recently had two strokes. He’s been attracted to Emma since day one, but has never been a guy who can commit the time–or himself–to a relationship. So he’s standing by the “it would be unethical for me to date my patient” line, and he’s going to stand by it hard.
Or at least he’ll try.
Alison has just been dumped by the guy she’s sure is the love of her life, and it’s a wake up call. She needs to learn to people. And though she also loves her job–and is great at it, thank you–she can’t help but feel that she got it because she’s the owner’s niece. And the acting owner’s cousin. So she’d really, really like to do something all by herself for once. For herself. While figuring out how to have and be a friend. Oh, yeah, and she’d like to get her guy back too. Easy peasy, right?
I honestly lost track of how many times I laughed out loud while reading this one–and I teared up more than once too. Except at the end–I had genuine tears pouring down my face there. Jill Shalvis does relationships–families, friends, and beyond–like no one else, and I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. Read. It. NOW. You won’t be sorry! (Love for Beginners is a standalone, like the other books in this series. The geographic location–and Ms Shalvis’s stellar writing–are really all they have in common.)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars/ A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.