Always on My Mind is the eighth book in Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series. I adore this series. With Ms. Shalvis' writing you can't help but get invested in all her beautifully written characters and it also makes you want to pick up your life and move to Lucky Harbor.
Leah Sullivan childhood was less than stellar as she was always under the thumb of her domineering father. She never could seem to please him and he had no kind words or any care whatsoever to offer his daughter. The only happiness in Leah's young life came from her grandmother and her best friend, Jack. Both always stood behind Leah and supported her no matter how crazy her ideas and antics were. As a young idyllic woman, Leah left Lucky Harbor in pursuit of bigger dreams. She left her grandmother and Jack when she kicked up her heels and ran. Leah is now back in Lucky Harbor helping out her grandmother with her pastry shop as she recovers. Leah has just finished up with a cooking reality show (Sweet Wars) where she competes for a grand prize. She is back in the safety of the small town as the reality show airs each week. However, Leah seems to be running once again. Coming face to face with Jack and dealing with what everyone will think once the final episode of Sweet Wars finally airs, may have Leah turning around and leaving once again.
Jack Harper is a Lucky Harbor native and one of the town stud firefighters. His door is a revolving one when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex. When Leah comes back to town they resume their friendship like the time apart had no effect whatsoever. He may have had feelings for Leah a long time ago but she ran never giving them the chance to start something beautiful. Jack is not willing to ever go there with Leah again and keeps her in the friend-zone area. When Leah attempts to make Jack's mother, who is recovering from breast cancer, feel a little better when she complains about Jack's lack of a steady female in his life, Jack is stunned. Leah's way of assuring his mother that Jack is fine is telling her that she is in a relationship with her son. How is Jack going to get out of this one when the joy on his mother's face is so evidently apparent? That damn Leah!!!!
The craziness of Lucky Harbor and its nosey inhabitants, both Jack's and Leah's personal issues, mysterious fires around town, and Leah's plan to not stay in Lucky Harbor after the last episode of Sweet Wars ends all make up a funny, endearing, charming and sometimes a little rough path to a sweet happily ever after for Jack and Leah. This is quintessentially a Jill Shalvis book so you are in for a very entertaining journey as in each of her books. I readily admit that Leah's reservations did become a little cumbersome and I wish there was more to the ending. I wanted to see more of Jack and Leah wholeheartedly committed to their relationship. With this being said, I truly enjoy this series and if you are a fan then you are sure to enjoy this addition as well. I am definitely looking forward to Aubrey and Ben's story which is coming up next.