All I Want // A Romance I Would Have Enjoyed Even More If I Had Read The Rest Of The Series

09 December 2015

24928837All I Want – Jill Shalvis
Release Date: 6th October 2015
Source: Publisher Headline Eternal
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Smalltown Romance
My Rating:
From the “awesomely, incredibly talented”* New York Times bestselling author of Still the One, comes a sexy new Animal Magnetism novel set in Sunshine, Idaho, where the sky is the limit when it comes to love.

Pilot-for-hire Zoe Stone is happy to call Sunshine, Idaho, her home base. But her quiet life is thrown for a loop when her brother’s friend Parker comes to stay with her for a week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent is a handsome flirt with a gift for getting under her skin. And the situation only escalates when Parker hires her to fly him around the area while he collects evidence on a suspected smuggler.

Now she has to live and work with the guy. But when they’re in the air, she sees another side of him. He’s driven, focused, and sharp. And while he enjoys giving commentary on her blind dates, she quickly realizes with a shock that it’s Parker who gets her engines going…
I did the thing where I requested a book that was in the middle of a series and read out of order! I never do that, it’s such a rare thing. I did seriously contemplate buying all the other Animal Magnetism books first, but that seemed excessive, even for me. I knew I’d get bored and fed up of reading nothing but romance if I did that. Thankfully, romance series tend to be easy to hop in and out of so I didn’t miss much.

It’s Good, But I Did Feel Confused By The Secondary Characters

It was obvious which characters had featured in past books, (such as Zoe’s siblings and partners) because they were the characters who were barely introduced but you were obviously meant to feel connected to and understand without that. As a newcomer to the series I just felt a bit confused by them. I had no clue who Darcy and Wyatt really were. Things which happened to them previously were alluded to but you got no background. That kind of bothered me that I wasn’t getting the full story, but I suppose that is because they want you to buy the other books (they’re on a very long list).

It’s Okay Though Because I Loved The New Secondary Characters

Okay, I may not have known Zoe’s siblings and a couple of folks that lingered in the background, who I was sure had a really good background story to them, but I adored Amoury and Henry, Parker’s sister and her boyfriend. I would quite happily have read an entire book about Amoury and how she grew up and the impulsive decisions she made which terrified her entire family. I loved how Amoury was so impulsive and I loved that she obviously idolised her big brother. I also loved the fact that she had Down’s Syndrome, but it wasn’t a huge deal, it was a fact of her character which wasn’t even mentioned until halfway through the book. It didn’t come across as an attempt to diversify things, but instead it was just another facet of her character. That is getting characters right, by making them real.

But Look, You Don’t Care About That, What About The Romance?

I can go on about the story and the characters and the joy of diversity in books all I want, but I know what you really want to know is if the romance is any good? I mean, do you even need to ask that question? This is Jill Shalvis we’re talking about, of course it’s good. I mean, it starts as it means to go on with Zoe kissing Parker before he even manages to introduce himself. That is the kind of romance it is, it’s fast and a little intense and really quite fabulous.

I’m not always a fan of fast paced romance (it’s really off-putting for me) but when it’s done well then it can be really compulsive reading because you dive head first quickly into a romance you want to know all about, and that’s what happened with this book. The romance gripped me and I just loved this couple, Zoe and Parker were awesome. I am not one to claim that you need a significant other to be happy in life (otherwise I would be doing a lot more to remedy my single situation… or anything really) but really, these two so obviously wanted to find someone because they are both lonely individuals.

So, Let’s Summarise

Okay, so I’ve broken it down into random points and told you my thoughts on All I Want, but if you’re looking for a quick and easy summary of my thoughts and if you should read… well you probably won’t find anything so concise as that on my blog. But, for you, I will try.

This book is filled with a swoon-worthy and addictive romance which involves two characters who are complex and passionate and who you can’t help put root for in the romance department. You have a bunch of fantastic secondary characters who don’t feel like place holders, but characters with actual stories (mostly because a lot of them have had actual stories already… but not the point) and who are complex, and basically who you really want to read about too. And even better (I forgot to mention, or emphasise this part) this is a romance which has a fun story to it. There are animal poachers and criminals and guns and it basically read a bit like that film Romancing The Stone (I have find New Years memories of watching that film at 15 with my mom whilst drinking Bailey’s, but that’s a whole other story) but that’s what the story reminded me of, even though it’s not really similar at all. It had the same feel.

Anyway, those are my thoughts, it was an enjoyable romance read I would have enjoyed more if I hadn’t dived into the series several books in, but that did not detract from my enjoyment.

Have you read All I Want, what were your thoughts? Was I the only one hoping for a story for Amoury? And does anyone else have any experience of jumping into a romance halfway through, or any series? It’s weird, right, you keep feeling like you’re missing something which you’re meant to know.
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