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Wednesday, July 08, 2009:
"Instant Gratification" by Jill Shalvis (2009) - review

Wishful, California, is 3000 miles from Dr. Emma Sinclair’s last job in a New York City ER. It may as well be another galaxy. Here, running her father’s clinic for a summer, Emma treats bee stings, stomach flu, and the occasional pet cat. Plus, she has to contend with patients like Stone Wilder: gorgeous, laid-back, and irritating beyond belief. The man laughs at her. A lot. And Emma loathes him. All except that tiny part of her that wants to throw him on her examining table and break every doctor-patient rule in the book…

When Stone tries to help Emma learn to loosen up a bit, he pictures white-water rafting or scenic mountain hikes. Not a mind-blowing affair that shakes them both to the core. Emma’s sure she has no place in a town like Wishful, but Stone knows different. Emma belongs here—in this town, in his life. And convincing this strong-minded, stubborn, sexy woman of that fact will be a challenge no Wilder man could resist…

This is the second book in Jill Shalvis' "Instant" series, and I thoroughly enjoyed re-visiting Wishful and those crazy Wilder brothers again, though Cam (from "Instant Attraction")wasn't around as much as I would have liked.

Dr. Emma Sinclair is in Wishful filling in for her dad after his heart attack, and she cannot wait to get back to New York, where she's comfortable with bad attitudes, taxicabs, and caffeine IV's. You just can't find a decent Thai restaurant anywhere in Wishful, and Emma's jonesing big-time for city life. It's already been 2 months and she's climbing the walls. Patients are few are far between, and the ones who do come to the Urgent Care center are dubious about her credentials. Besides that, they pay in food currency versus cold, hard cash, and Emma cannot imagine how her father has survived her all these years living like this. There's nothing to look forward to...well nothing except a big, sexy mountain bum who gets under her skin and knows how to fill out a tight pair of jeans....

Stone Wilder may seem like your common, everyday slacker, but beneath the laid-back attitude is the heart of a working man. Injured while on a brief expedition, Stone insists he doesn't need medical care, at least not the kind that can be treated with a needle. But if that uptight yet beautiful doctor wants to lay her hands on him in another capacity, he's more than willing to take his medicine. Stymied by his attraction to such a buttoned-up spoilsport, Stone nevertheless cannot stop thinking about Dr. Emma Sinclair, or dreaming about her, or wanting her. It's just too bad she's got a stick up her ass the size of a fencepost. Maybe if she learned to relax and not take everything so seriously from time to time, she might have a little fun, and actually see all of what Wishful has to offer. And even better, she might take him up on his offer to get nekkid...

Then Emma learns her father's hiatus might not be so temporary, and Stone is not the guy she thought he was, and her life is turned upside down. Fighting her growing attraction for a blue-collar guy and trying not to let the people of Wishful sneak under her defenses and work their small-town charm on her, Emma remains determined to return back to New York, even if she discovers her heart might not be in it. In fact, her heart is very much stuck in Wishful....

My thoughts:

Though this one didn't grab my heart quite as much as "Instant Attraction" did, it was still a great story, made even moreso by the appealing and surprisingly wonderful Stone Wilder. Here was the kind of hero where I thought I knew what to expect, and he turns out to be more amazing that I would have thought. He's a bit arrogant, a lot stubborn, and a whole heap of sexy. But what really makes him so incredible are all those hidden layers. Stone's not your typical slacker, no matter that he makes it look like he's only out having fun. Underneath it all, he's a dedicated employee of Wilder Adventures, and the most important thing in his world is his family. Even they acknowledge that he is the glue that holds them all together. And he seems to do so effortlessly, out of love. I have to admit, I fell hard for Stone.

Emma on the other hand is harder to read. She has a lot of likable qualities, yet at the same time she's just a shade too stubborn for me to warm up to her completely. I did like that as she learned more about her father and the circumstances surrounding him and her mother, who recently passed away, she began to realize that maybe her father wasn't the apathetic person she thought he was, and that he truly didn't abandon her all those years ago. That belief really did a number on her, and it shows in the way she tries to push people away instead of letting them in. But Stone wasn't having it. When she pushed him, he'd push back. He wanted to be a part of her life, even knowing she was going to leave someday soon, and he was willing to put his heart on the line and be with her for as long as she was in town. He definitely confounded Emma, which was rather sweet. Here was an independent woman who had her set boundaries that no one dared break through until Stone came along, and she didn't know what was what. By this time, the townspeople began to work their way into her heart, so this made Emma a big, ole emotional mess. Nothing was like it used to be, and she was having a hard time coming to terms with that.

Then they both did the crazy thing and fell in love. Stone was much more accepting of his fate while Emma pretty much fought it every step of the way. But based on the way she lived her life, she really didn't know any better. I liked how once she listened to Stone's words about her lack of people skills, she really took a step back and saw what others did. She was a good doctor, a very competent one, but she didn't have a way with people like her best friend, Dr. Spencer, did. She forgot the human element, and realized how that carried over into her personal life. Once she figured it out, she knew things were never going to be the same.

If there was one person I wished I could have smacked upside the head, it was Emma's mother. Not to speak ill of the dead, but that woman did her own job on her daughter, and I really hate stuff like that. I was even more frustrated that she was no longer living because she deserved a good talking to. I know, I know, life doesn't work that way, and she did love her daughter, blah, blah, blah. It still aggravated the heck out of me that things could have been a whole lot different if mommy dearest hadn't been quite so manipulative. I'm just glad Emma finally saw the big picture and was able to resolve some issues that were a result of her mother's machinations. And let herself love and be loved.

So yeah, another satisfying read from one of my favorite contemporary authors. I wish Jill could conjure me up my own Stone. And after seeing bits and pieces of TJ and Harley and the obvious past they share, I just know they are going to have quite the story of their own. Can't wait :)

Rating: **** out of *****



  1. I just started this one last night and am only on Chapter 3, so I didn't read the review.

    But I totally owe you for turning me on to Jill Shalvis! She's been a delightful find for me. I'm all about her professional baseball story coming out soon. I just wish she sold in MM rather than trade PB. SIGH.

  2. My copy should be here Thursday. Of course, my copy of Double Play will be here too, so it will be tough to pick.

  3. Thanks for reminding me that I have read Instant Attraction, which is by my bed. This sounds good too - I love what you say about the slacker with a hidden serious side as a character. That sounds like somebody I'd be interested in reading about. Shalvis really seems to write non-run-of-the-mill characters!!

  4. Hi Stacy!

    Thank you for sharing your lovely review. This one is on it's way to me. I have "Instant Attraction", in the stacks.

    You have inspired me to move it up the 'alps'...

    I hope all is well with you. :)


  5. I loved this one. Her books are great beacuse they draw you in and don't let go until the very end.

    Love the aviation stories the best.


  6. I really loved this one. Usually, I don't really connect with emotionally closed off heroines, but JS really made me understand why she was this way, and empathize with her. And when she finally does come around, what a wonderful scene!
    Of course, Stone was a wonderful hero, who had a lot of depth.
    Great review, Stacy! :-)

  7. Ohhh, this sounds good. And I really like the sound of the heroine - go figure :) And my library has quite a few of Jill's books, just not her new ones. Time for some judicious hinting methinks *grin*

    Thank you Stacy!

  8. Im about to start Instant Attraction! I havent read any Jill Shlvis but have heard nothing but good. Thanks for the review girly! OH and I have to comment on your movies on your side bar...LUVS-Anne of Green Gables(both young and old Annes (love when she trys to dye her hair when shes younger lol), Pride & Prejudice, Wedding Singer (Adam Sandler *sigh, and Cindy W just sent me North and South! :o) LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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