For What It's Worth

Thursday, September 27, 2018

review: Rainy Day Friends (Wildstone #2) by Jill Shalvis


36260406Six 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 Brown 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. ~
Goodreads

Source: arc provided by the publisher via ALA18 in exchange for an honest review

Review: Rainy Day Friends gave me all the feels. Like ALL the feels – uncontrollable laughter, rage, tears, swoons, joy.

Lanie’s husband of five years, Kyle, died suddenly. As if that’s not traumatic enough, women, his other wives, start showing up angry and wanting a piece of his life insurance policy.

Lanie, looking to escape, takes a contract graphic designing job at the Capriotti Winery. There she finds a big, bawdy, nosy, yet welcoming family. They love and embrace her immediately. She’s not comfortable around them, exactly, but she her hard outer shell starts softening a bit. Especially for the local sheriff, and Capriotti son, Mark. Mark himself is a little damaged. His ex-wife took off on both him and his two little twin girls so while he’s attracted to Lanie – he’s not looking for anything serious and she agrees.  But hearts and feelings and all that get in the way…as they do in romance. lol

The main story alternates between Lanie and Mark’s pov – with  the occasional pov of River, a young pregnant girl that shows up at the winery doorstep.

Matriarch Capriotti – Cora – has a thing for taking in strays and both Lanie and River are brought into the fold and I loved the bewilderment that Lanie and River felt being around this loud, interfering but generous family. They don’t trust it, or each other at first, and are cautious, but they want and need that unconditional love so badly.

But of course there’s no book without drama and when a huge secret is revealed just as Lanie begins to let go of her past and trust in her future.

I figured out early on what was going to happen but it didn’t lesson the sucker punch I felt on Lanie’s behalf. Shalvis wrote Lanie’s betrayal and heartbreak SO well that I was sniffling (several times) as she tried to process everything and figure out who she should could rely on when you it seemed like everyone she trusts has let her down.

This is the point where I wanted to throw the book in a rage. Cora is a wonderful person. She has a huge heart and backs up her words with real actions when she takes someone on. Which is why I was so disappointed in her when the big secret was revealed. It’s hard to talk about without spoiling but when it all blew up I felt like she forced Lanie into being the understanding one and didn’t give her time to process things. Because Lanie acts closed off, Cora assumed she was fine. Which ok – but before this – Cora always had a sixth sense about everyone and butted in no matter what. All of a sudden she’s oblivious?? Lanie is so hurt by this and feels like her support system and rug have been pulled right out from under her. And I agree! I wish Cora (& Mark’s sister – who says something awful to her!) got called out but nope.

Having said that – Mark, his young girls, and River get the depth of Lanie’s pain and this was a much deeper book and emotional journey than I was expecting. It almost had a women’s fiction vibe even though it's definitely a romance. Lanie needs to make piece with her dead husband, his wives, her distant relationship with her mother (which was an amazing scene btw!), and letting Mark in. Even though he sent mix signals at first – once he was in – he was all in - and did not waver in his support for her.

I used to read Shalvis a lot but for some reason (aka - the TBR pile of doom!) haven’t the past few years. I know her books were always fun and sexy but this one was so layered and emotional that it took me by surprise.

It’s also laugh out loud hilarious! Even when Lanie is at her darkest – she has a dark/sarcastic sense of humor and of course the Capriotti clan has zero filters.

Here are a few fun quotes!

“I hope my future husband looks at me in the mornings like I’m looking at this leftover pizza,” Mia said after raiding the employee fridge. “Like, yeah, maybe it’s looked better, but it still makes my heart happy.”

“Dear people who type in all lower case, we’re the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse & helping your uncle jack off a horse.”

“There’s a file marker ‘Tours’ on it with everything you need to know. Take it with you. Password is ihateeveryone247, all lowercase.”

Talking about the nickname Bae:

“If you have pet names for each other, it keeps the love alive, you know”

“What I know,” Mia said, “is that the word Bae is the Danish word for poop.”

Then there are the quotes about anxiety preceding each chapter:

“Brain: I see you’re trying to sleep. Can I offer a selection of your worst memories from the last ten years of your life?”

“I’m not necessarily always anxious, I’m just extremely well educated about all the things that can and will go catastrophically wrong.”

It’s been a while since I’ve been surprised by a romance –  and it’s not like this one didn’t follow a predictable formula as well – but I was not ready for the whirlwind of emotions and the not quite knowing what would happen next plot. Add in the humor and this was a home run for me!

26 comments:

  1. I've actually never read by Shalvis, despite seeing her books literally everywhere. And my reason is so random and ridiculous. It seems like almost all her covers feature dogs so I assume dogs/animals play a big part in her books. And I am just *not* an animal person. So that aspect turns me off and I don't even consider her books. (There. I told you it was random and ridiculous. LOL) I think I also assumed that her books were on the light and fluffy side but this one definitely doesn't sound light and fluffy. And those quotes at the very bottom... oh boy, who hasn't had those thoughts? Especially the one about dwelling on stuff at night. *raises hand*

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    1. That's so funny because I'm like DOG! I want to read it lol

      The dog is there but not the focus. he's a pet that runs through the house or barks on occasion - not central to the plot so you could go ahead with this one.

      I'm like that with kids. This book has them too (twins!) but I loved it anyway.

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    2. Same! When kids (especially babies or small children) play a big role... nope. They’re usually oh so precious and precocious and I just want them to go visit the grandparents for the rest of the book. LOL

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  2. I adored this book. Total women's fiction vibe on this one for sure. I really like this series because of that actually.

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    1. If I recall correctly - her books are usually on lighter side?? It's been about 3 years since I've read anything. I was totally taken by surprise but I loved it!

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  3. I STILL need to read something by this author but I hear such good things. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, and yay for books that make you feel all.the.things!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Her books (from what I remember) were always lighter but this one is a great place to start Lauren. It has it all.

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  4. His OTHER WIVES! Wow, this sounds emotionally grueling. You've made me want to buy it. But I can't buy any more books until I catch up!!

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    1. YES! Plural.

      Oh - c'mon you know you aren't going to follow that rule lol

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  5. I think this is my favorite Shalvis yet! The Carpriotti family was so wonderful, and I totally fell in love with them.

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  6. ALA18? I have never heard of it before. What is it? Is it another ARC distributing platform? Great review!

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    1. American Library Association annual conference. They do give out arc's - it's the same kind of thing as BEA (Book Expo America) if you've heard of that.

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  7. This sounds really good. Definitely adding it to my list.

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  8. It's great when books surprise you with how emotion, and humor, they have!

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  9. I'm so happy you enjoyed this! I really loved the first book and cannot wait to start the one. And those quotes! Hahaha -- love Shalvis.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

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  10. Great review, I've not started this from Shalvis yet but I'm pretty sure this series was a bit of a change from her usual romance books. I think it was marketed more as women's fiction so it was meant to be a bit more layered. I am looking forward to starting this after your review.

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    1. I read her so long ago - mostly the Lucky Harbor series and I recall it being different - more humor and straight forward romance.

      I received an arc but hadn't looked into it much before I read it so i was surprised at how layered this one was.

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  11. She really does get your emotionally invested and her characters become real as we yell and laugh at their antatics.

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  12. Sometimes it's nice to have a surprise and get something you didn't expect from an author! And it sounds like that's just what you got when you read this one as it was more emotional than you expected. I see her books everywhere but I actually haven't bought one yet D: I actually think my mum would really love her books.

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  13. I enjoyed this one, too. But it was so long ago now I can't remember exactly what they did. lol My issue with it was how many memes she used instead of creating her own dialogue for characters. Bout drove me crazy.

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