Darcy Stone is game for anything — except sexy Navy veteran and physical therapist A.J. 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.
A.J. 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?
What do you get when a head strong, world traveling woman is trapped in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho after a car accident working with a smoking hot ex-Navy physical therapist? A recipe for snark, sexual tension and a weekend in a snow storm that changes everything for the pair.
Still the One is the sixth book in Jill Shalvis’ Animal Magnetism series. This time around we get the story of Darcy and AJ. We meet them in the previous installment, Then Came You.
Darcy is the youngest of the Stone siblings and the one most emotionally messed up by their uncaring parents. When Darcy was young, if she screwed up her parents would send her away to a boarding school leaving her alone while the rest of the family traveled to the parents’ jobs. This left Darcy lonely and feeling unwanted.
As an adult, Darcy follows in her parents’ footsteps and travels the world to write articles for different magazines like National Geographic. Since Darcy grew up being pushed away by her parents and other people she has developed the skill to be the one to push others away before they have the chance to do it her.
But when Darcy has a car accident that nearly kills her, she is forced to stay in Sunshine with her siblings, Zoe and Wyatt. Her world is turned upside down. No more traveling or writing and no more painful days. Darcy works to walk away and that’s where AJ the sexy PT come in.
AJ is best friends with Darcy’s bother and has known Darcy for years. But after her accident AJ’s feelings change for Darcy. He pushes her to work hard to get her out of a wheelchair. The two fight all the time and one night they share a kiss but AJ pushes Darcy away.
The push and pull between Darcy and AJ is funny, heartbreaking, sexy and all the things that a great romance needs. They set each other on fire in more than one way.
“I don’t have to go to the bathroom,” he snapped. “And I sure as hell don’t have a bladder problem.”
“Hey, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not like I questioned the size of your –“
He shoved out of the truck. “Wait here,” he said. Curtly, and started to walk off. At the last minute he went back for the keys and yanked them out of the ignition.
She laughed. “Nice show of trust.”
“There’s trust, and there’s stupidity,” he said, and strode into the convenience store. He bought a coffee, a Gatorade, and, because he knew is passenger, he also bought a bag of Gummy Bears. He’d bride her to shut up if needed.
When he got back to the truck all he could see was an iPad in the passenger window. “What the –?” He moved closer and stared. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
Darcy was using the iPad as a sign and it read:
Help, I’m being held captive by a diabolical mad man with a weak bladder!
One thing I love about the Animal Magnetism series is that you can jump in at any time. Each book could easily be read as a standalone. Sure the other couples pop in from time to time but you won’t feel lost if you were to pick up Still the One without reading the other books. But I highly recommend the whole series. It’s a fun small town romance series with sassy heroines and sexy heroes. I always walk away from a Jill Shalvis’ book with feel good feelings about love and friendship.