ABOUT RAINY DAY FRIENDS:
Following the USA Today bestseller, Lost and Found Sisters, comes Rainy Day Friends, Jill Shalvis’ moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship.
Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife. Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person? Can she even trust herself?
Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan. Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Green changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2LJd5uu
Anxiety Girl, able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!
Most of the time Karma was a bitch, but every once in awhile she could be surprisingly nice, even kind. Lanie Jacobs, way past overdue for both of those things, told herself this was her time. Seize the day and all that, and drawing a deep breath, she exited the highway at Wildstone.
The old wild-west California town was nestled in the rolling hills between the Pacific Coast and wine/ranching country. She’d actually grown up not too far from here, though it felt like a lifetime ago. The road was narrow and curvy, and since it’d rained earlier, she added tricky and slick to her growing list of issues. She was already white-knuckling a sharp turn when a kamikaze squirrel darted into her lane, causing her to nearly swerve into oncoming traffic before remembering the rules of country driving.
Never leave your lane; not for weather, animals, or even God himself.
Luckily the squirrel reversed direction, but before she could relax a trio of deer bounded across the road. “Run, Bambi,” she cried, hitting her brakes, and by the skin of their collective teeth, they all missed each other.
Sweating, nerves sizzling like live wires, she finally turned onto Capriotti Lane and parked as she’d been instructed.
It took a moment for her pulse to come down from stroke level. She’d been taught anti-anxiety techniques, but she’d never quite figured out how to make any of them work while in the actual throes of an anxiety attack.
It’s all good she told herself but because she wasn’t buying what she was selling, she had to force herself out of the car like she was a five year old starting kindergarten instead of being thirty and simply facing a brand new job. Given all she’d been through, this should be easy, even fun. But sometimes adulthood felt like the vet’s office and she was the dog excited for the car ride — only to find out the real destination.
Shaking her head, she strode across the parking lot. It was April, which meant the rolling hills to the east were green and lush and the Pacific Ocean to the west looked like a surfer’s dream, all of it so gorgeous it could’ve been a postcard. A beautiful smoke screen over her not-so-beautiful past. The air was scented like a really expensive sea-and-earth candle, though all Lanie could smell was her forgotten hopes and dreams. With wood chips crunching under her shoes, she headed through the entrance beneath which was a huge wooden sign that read:
Capriotti Winery, from our fields to your table…
Her heart sped up. Nerves, of course, the bane of her existence. But after a very crappy few years, she was changing her path. For once in her godforsaken life, something was going to work out for her. This was going to work out for her.
She was grimly determined.
Even though it’s yet another widow-with-a-rat-bast@rd-dead-husband story (et tu, Jill Shalvis?) I tried really hard not to notice that aspect of it once Lanie and Mark and River and Sam and Sierra’s story sucked me in. Each time I pick up one of Ms. Shalvis’s Wildstone series books I fall a little more in love with the world and the people she has created here. The Capriottis (and all of their hangers-on) are no exception. I sincerely hope that Ms. Shalvis will let us come back and visit with this group again and again 🙂
So. Many. Highlights. Here. Once again, Ms. Shalvis has written a book that had me laughing out loud and tearing up–oftentimes closer to each other than I would have thought possible. I loved Lanie’s pre-chapter Anxiety Girl comments (“Anxiety Girl, able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!” and “Why limit yourself to panicking in a crowd? Panic everywhere. Follow your wildest most anxious dreams” are just two of these gems) and virtually everything that came out of Mia’s (Mark’s younger sister) mouth was highlight worthy–because “this whole waking-up-every-morning thing isgetting a bit excessive.” I hear you, sister.
Plus, she’s currently single–just sayin’. 😉
If you’re a fan of starting over stories about giving life and love another chance–as well as realistic characters that make you want to hug them slightly more often than you want to shake them–I can heartily recommend her Wildstone series. Though this book is the second in the series (third, if you count the novella) it absolutely works as a standalone.
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
ABOUT JILL SHALVIS:
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, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
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