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The Family You Make

by Jill Shalvis

Series: Sunrise Cove (1)

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618367,663 (4.13)None
USA Today Bestseller "Fall in love with Jill Shalvis! She's my go-to read for humor and heart."-- Susan Mallery, New York Times bestselling author Beloved New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis begins a new series--Sunrise Cove--set near beautiful Lake Tahoe, with a heartwarming story of found family and love. During the snowstorm of the century Levi Cutler is stranded on a ski lift with a beautiful stranger named Jane. After strong winds hurl the gondola in front of them into the ground, Levi calls his parents to prepare them for the worst...but can't bring himself to say goodbye. Instead, wanting to fulfill his mother's lifelong wish, he impulsively tells her he's happily settled and Jane is his girlfriend--right before his phone dies. But Levi and Jane do not. Now Levi's family is desperate to meet "The One." Though Jane agrees to be his pretend girlfriend for just one dinner, she's nervous. After a traumatic childhood, Jane isn't sure she knows how to be around a tight-knit family that cherishes one another. She's terrified, and a little jealous. But an unexpected series of events and a host of new friends soon show Jane that perhaps this is the life she was always meant to have. As Jane and Levi spend more time together, pretend feelings quickly turn into real ones. Now all Jane has to do is admit to herself she can't live without the man she's fallen in love with and the family she has always dreamed of.… (more)
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Jill writes the sweetest romance books. The Family You Make is no exception. Yes, they all start to seem like a Hallmark movie, but by the end you find yourself just as in love with the characters and the plot as you always do! ( )
  Jynell | Feb 24, 2022 |
What a wonderful start to a new series from one of my favorite, go-to authors! Jill Shalvis delivers not just one, but two romances, both featuring strong female characters who need to reconcile their present with their pasts and learn to let themselves be loved and to love in return.

I just loved both Levi and Jane and Mateo and Charlotte as couples. Both Levi and Jane need to learn to move on from how they have defined themselves from their pasts, learning to trust each other and not run when things get hard. Charlotte has to overcome issues from her past as well, and Matteo has just the right touch with her, being patient and giving her the space she needs to learn to trust herself and let someone into her life.

I love how Ms. Shalvis really drives home the point that family, especially for these characters, is the one you make, whether that is embracing those in the family you are born into, or finding your person or people to make your own family. There is a lot of emotion in this book that centers around this theme, and I loved every page of it!

As mentioned, I am a big fan of Jill Shalvis’s writing and find it easy to get lost in her stories. There is such a realness to the characters and she always manages to find a way to make her stories relatable. I’m happy this is the first in a new series and can’t wait to read more about the characters in Sunset Cove. This was another wonderful read that I would recommend to anyone! ( )
  mjhughes12 | Feb 24, 2022 |
Thanks Goodreads FirstReads for my ARC.

Over the years, I had heard good things about Shalvis’ books. But, despite of having them on my to-read list and even in my personal library, this is the first one I’ve read. Clearly, I’ve been missing out.

Jane and Levi have a unique meet-cute story : a near-death experience suspended in a gondola hundreds of feet above the ground during a winter storm. Levi’s first thought was to call his family to convey good news and bad news. Only the bad news didn’t happen and he’s…stuck.

He has to make good on the fib he told his family. Family. The word had different meanings for each of them. For Levi, family, although loving and close, was smothering, claustrophobic, something to escape from. For Jane, family was abandonment. Her childhood resembled a pinball, being batted around to and fro. Her adult life was much the same, by choice. As a traveling nurse, she went where she was needed. Never staying in one place for very long. Her assignments were sometimes dangerous. This current one was not any less so. Matters of the heart usually are.

Told in alternating third person perspectives of Levi, Jane, and Charlotte. Jane met trauma surgeon Charlotte on a trip with Doctors Without Borders and was currently renting a room in her house. Technically, her landlord. But more a loyal, sincere, nurturing best friend. Charlotte’s story and love interest makes for an entertaining sub-plot.

Shalvis did not disappoint. I really enjoyed this book! It had it all : drama, romance, comedy and…life lessons. ( )
  kulmona | Feb 2, 2022 |
This story is about two couples, and three of whom are dealing with past personal problems that affect them forming new lasting relationships. A near-death experience in a ski gondola forms a bond between Jane and Levi. It also sets up the reason why Jane is Levi’s pretend girlfriend. The rest of the story follows these two and their two friends as they try to deal with changing emotions while falling in love. It was an interesting tale to begin with, but then seemed to drag a bit after a while with not much happening. The two female protagonists seemed a bit whiny, and the two males were beyond patient and understanding. Not a bad story for chick-lit, just not much to it. ( )
  Maydacat | Feb 2, 2022 |
I had such a good time with this book. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Jill Shalvis’s writing so I was eager to dive into this first book in a new series. I went into the book with fairly high expectations and this story lived up to every one of them. I got the heartwarming romance that I had hoped for along with a wonderful cast of characters that came alive on the page.

This book opens with a pretty intense scene. Jane and Levi are on a gondola during a storm when things go wrong and the one in front of theirs falls to the ground. Things don’t look good for the pair and Levi places a call to his mother hoping to talk to her one last time but instead ends up telling her that Jane is his girlfriend just to make her happy. What a great way to start a story! These two bonded right away because of the situation that they survived and I felt like they seemed perfect for each other from the start.

I fell in love with Jane and Levi right away. They both had some issues to deal with and I enjoyed watching each of them work through everything. They had fantastic chemistry together and the only real obstacle to a relationship was their own fear. Add a little fake dating into the mix and I knew that I would get the happily ever after that I craved. The secondary characters were equally wonderful. Jane’s friend Charlotte has been her rock but she had her own issues to deal with. Levi’s family was just a lot of fun. They were not perfect but you could tell that they cared for each other and only wanted the best for Levi. I really appreciated the fact that we were treated to a secondary romance and I loved being able to see both couples find happiness together.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I found this to be a wonderfully written story featuring characters that were easy to fall for. I cannot wait to read more of this amazing author’s work.

I received a digital review copy of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Jan 10, 2022 |
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USA Today Bestseller "Fall in love with Jill Shalvis! She's my go-to read for humor and heart."-- Susan Mallery, New York Times bestselling author Beloved New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis begins a new series--Sunrise Cove--set near beautiful Lake Tahoe, with a heartwarming story of found family and love. During the snowstorm of the century Levi Cutler is stranded on a ski lift with a beautiful stranger named Jane. After strong winds hurl the gondola in front of them into the ground, Levi calls his parents to prepare them for the worst...but can't bring himself to say goodbye. Instead, wanting to fulfill his mother's lifelong wish, he impulsively tells her he's happily settled and Jane is his girlfriend--right before his phone dies. But Levi and Jane do not. Now Levi's family is desperate to meet "The One." Though Jane agrees to be his pretend girlfriend for just one dinner, she's nervous. After a traumatic childhood, Jane isn't sure she knows how to be around a tight-knit family that cherishes one another. She's terrified, and a little jealous. But an unexpected series of events and a host of new friends soon show Jane that perhaps this is the life she was always meant to have. As Jane and Levi spend more time together, pretend feelings quickly turn into real ones. Now all Jane has to do is admit to herself she can't live without the man she's fallen in love with and the family she has always dreamed of.

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