This is another light contemporary read in Jill Shalvis’ Animal Magnetism series set in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho. The stories have interconnecting characters, but they are all standalones.
On the surface, Griffin Reid is back in Sunshine for the wedding of his little sister Holly and best friend Adam, but few know that he might be back for good. Still recovering from an IED blast that nearly killed him and did end his military career, Griffin is unmoored and unsure of the next phase of his life. Once all he wanted to do was get far far away from the small town and his overbearing father, but coming back as an adult has Griffin looking at things in a different light.
Kate Evans is everything to everyone. She’s taken care of her younger siblings since their mother’s death as her father checked out; she is the involved elementary school science teacher and an active member of her community. Kate hasn’t done anything for herself in years, despite winning a prestigious full ride scholarship for a masters program in California three years in a row only to pass on it to take care of her family.
When Kate spots Griffin, her best friend Holly’s brother and the guy she’s had a crush on forever, she decides to take matters into her own hands and get her some, for a change. Kate might be the slightly inexperienced nerdy school teacher who spouts science facts every time she gets nervous, but she has no problem being upfront in asking what she wants from Griffin. Their relationship evolves from scratching an itch to something deeper and it’s very sweet. There is a mutual give and take between these two that’s very satisfying – Griffin helps unburden her load a bit and, in return, allows Kate to soothe some of his pains.
The cast of characters are interesting in their own right – Holly and Adam looking out for their best friends, all of Kate’s family and even the kids that make an appearance. The book has an overall cozy feeling like a warm sweater on a crisp cool day. Even though there are some heavier moments, Shalvis doesn’t dig too deep in them. The BIG THING that happens to Griffin happens at nearly the 80% mark is resolved a little too quickly in my opinion and felt contrived introduced so late in the book.
Rumor Has It is a playful small town romance with relatable characters and enough steam to keep a smile on your face.
*ARC provided by Berkley via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
Rumor Has It
by Jill Shalvis
Release Date: October 29, 2013