by Jill Shalvis
Series: Animal Magnetism #7
Published by Tantor Audio on October 6, 2015
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Pilot-for-hire Zoe Stone is happy to call Sunshine, Idaho, her home base. But her quiet life is thrown for a loop when her brother’s friend Parker comes to stay with her for a week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent is a handsome flirt with a gift for getting under her skin. And the situation only escalates when Parker hires her to fly him around the area while he collects evidence on a suspected smuggler.
Now she has to live and work with the guy. But when they’re in the air, she sees another side of him. He’s driven, focused, and sharp. And while he enjoys giving commentary on her blind dates, she quickly realizes with a shock that it’s Parker who gets her engines going…
All I Want is book #7 in Jill Shalvis’s Animal Magnetism series. I really enjoyed the first few books in the series, but the last few haven’t been my favorites. With this one, my overall feeling is kind of meh.
Zoe is a pilot in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho. She gets a pretty big surprise one evening when she’s scheduled to go on a blind date with a dentist. Instead, her brother’s best friend shows up at her door.
The meet-cute is indeed pretty cute. Zoe kisses Parker, thinking he’s her blind date and wanting to be impulsive for once. Turns out that he’s not her date, but is her brother’s friend…and her new roommate, since Zoe’s brother arranged to have him stay for the week.
Parker is a special agent for U.S. Fish and Wildlife. His most recent case ended badly and he’s having a tough time dealing with that. Parker goes to Sunshine on vacation–officially speaking. Unofficially, he’s gathering additional information in attempts to apprehend a criminal, despite his boss’s attempts to rein him in.
Even though the parts of the story involving Parker’s job address a serious topic–wildlife smuggling–these scenes struck me as kind of hokey, mainly because the dialogue comes across as stilted. This caused the suspense elements to be ineffective for me. I like Shalvis’s writing the most when it has comedic elements, so that’s probably why I didn’t care for the subplot here.
Additionally, both Zoe and Parker are very flat characters. I didn’t hate them and didn’t love them. They’re both just…there. Zoe has several interactions with her sister, but something is missing from these scenes, like playful banter and heartfelt emotion. There’s another subplot involving Parker’s younger sister, who has Down Syndrome and is struggling to gain some independence from their parents. I think this was included to make Parker more endearing but despite this, I still didn’t warm up to him much. Also, I didn’t think that the sister added much to the overall story arc.
The sex scenes are good, but since I wasn’t emotionally invested in the relationship, I didn’t feel that there was enough context for the sexy times, well-written as they are.
Lastly, I read the audiobook and greatly disliked the narrator. Her reading was overly dramatic and she had a way of stretching out her sentences–almost into upspeak–that grated my nerves. I probably should’ve quit the audio and switched to print. At any rate, I’ll be avoiding this narrator in the future.
The Animal Magnetism books have been very much hit or miss for me. Unfortunately, this one is a miss.
Rating: 2.5 stars