Still the One by Jill Shalvis
Series: Animal Magnetism #6
Also in this series: Rumor Has It, Then Came You, All I Want, All I Want, All I Want
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 7th 2015
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Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.
AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?
Darcy’s parents were the type that couldn’t handle her. She would do something bad – normally for attention from them – and they’d send her off to a boarding school with no mean of communication with her parents, siblings or grandmother. She has a great fear of rejection because of this.
Eleven months ago she got in a car accident and while she survived she’s had her issues. One of those is with her physical therapist, AJ Colten. He is a great guy and she has the hots for him but the one time that she tries to make a move on him he told it no and that it would NEVER happen. Wow – nothing like a little rejection. She now works part time at AJ’s Wellness center as well as part time at the local vets office. She also tries to rescue and find new homes for therapy dogs for those who need them. She has a big heart but is afraid to show it. She has a brash and cocky attitude to try and cover any hurt she’s feeling.
AJ thinks that Darcy is sexy as hell but he knows that getting with her would be a bad idea. When he needs her to be a testimonial for his business so that he can get grants for patients who have their insurance money cut off before they’re healed, he’s not thrilled that the only one he can turn to is Darcy. They end up in Boise to meet the financers Darcy makes them believe that her and AJ are in love which is totally wrong – but doesn’t stop them from falling in bed together. This starts a sort of relationship between the two of them but neither truly knows how they feel or what they want.
I really liked Darcy in this story. She was very strong and capable and I had to admire her for overcoming all of her physical ailments time and time again during the book. I also adored the fact that she was saving dogs that needed to be needed and putting them with patients and people who could thoroughly benefit from their therapy and love. One dog she gave to a guy named Ronan who was just a grumpy ole soul but once he was with the dog it changed him and I loved that.
AJ was a little harder to read in this book and I frankly couldn’t get a complete bead on where his head was most of the time. I knew he cared deeply about Darcy but yet I wasn’t getting the love vibe from him throughout the story. IDK, there was just something missing on his side.
I didn’t care for Darcy’s constant back and forth with AJ as I was never quite sure where she was going with him. I was happy that she finally got herself together enough to realize that she was worthy of love.
The story was overall a good one but not my favorite of the series.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5