Love for Beginners by Jill Shalvis ~ Deanna’s Review


New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis continues her Wildstone series with the moving story of a young woman who has to start her life—and her love life—over again.


LOVE FOR BEGINNERS is the seventh book in Jill Shalvis’s Wildstone series and trust me when I say, it might just be my favorite out of all of them. The story is emotional and brimming with so many true-to-life moments, yet underneath all the angst and life lessons, it’s packed with Shalvis’s trademark heart and humor. And best of all, it stands on its own merits, meaning you don’t have to have read any other book in the series to enjoy this one. So if you’re looking for a new summer read, definitely pick this one up and give it a go. It’s worth it.


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Love For Beginners

Love for Beginners by Jill Shalvis

Contemporary Romance | Women’s Fiction | Takes place in Wildstone

June 8, 2021

I purchased my own Kindle copy of this book, but I also received an advanced electronic reading copy (E-ARC). The receipt of this E-ARC did not influence my choice to review the book on this site. It also did not influence how I felt about the book or its characters, storyline, and overall feel. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. As such, they only deal with what is written on the pages of the book and how what is written and otherwise presented made me feel during and after my reading of the book.


“Life’s too short for bullshit.”


Love for Beginners

Envision that you had your life all figured out and then something happened to completely change who you are and how you view the world. That’s what happened to Emma Harris and Simon Armstrong, though for two vastly different reasons.

For the past year, Emma has been healing after a near-fatal accident. She spent a few months in a coma, during which time her body worked on healing while her fiancé and best friend worked on cheating on her. After she woke up, she spent even more months in a rehab facility, trying to regain her mobility while dealing with the knowledge that the two people closest to her betrayed her. And that’s nothing compared to the guilt that surrounds her since her accident.

Simon is the physical therapist who has helped to push and support Emma during her recovery, but like Emma, his life has not been easy of late. He’s helping Emma with her recovery, working two jobs that spread his time really thin, and taking care of his stubborn dad who is recovering after two strokes. He’s managing, but he’s not truly living for himself.


“Surely there was more to life than just trying to survive it…”


In addition to Emma and Simon and their problems, we also have Alison Pratt, Simon’s cousin, who has her own host of problems. She’s got a massive wall around her, which makes it hard for people to know who she is and what they meant to her. She’s good at pushing people away with her words, but inside she’s a mess, hurting after a breakup and trying to figure out how to change without really knowing the best way to go about it.

As you can see, there’s a lot going on in Love for Beginners. Betrayal, grief, fear, friendship, healing, hope, forgiveness, humor, and love all make their appearances here. And on top of that, you’ve got some great animals, some wise but spirited elders, and more than a few moments that will tug at your heartstrings, have you contemplating your own life choices, or laughing out loud in delight and surprise.

With loveable characters, engaging story journeys, and true-to-life relationships and worries, Love for Beginners is a must-read fiction novel. But be prepared, because once you start this gem of a book, you won’t be able to put it down. It’s totally engrossing and has everything it needs to be a great summer read.


5 out of 5 stars



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by Jill Shalvis

Love For BeginnersPUBLISHER: William Morrow
SERIES: Wildstone #7
AVAILABLE IN: Digital, Paperback
PUBLISHED: June 8, 2021
PAGES: 384

When Emma Harris wakes up from a coma, she learns that her fiancé and her BFF have fallen in love, she’s lost her job, and the life she knew is gone. Overwhelmed but grateful to be alive, she decides to start over from scratch. Not as easy as it sounds, of course. But she’s never been a quitter, even if she wishes she could quit rehab, where her hot but evil physical therapist, Simon, puts her through the wringer.

Desperate for a new start, Emma opens a doggy day care. Unfortunately, the only space she can afford is owned by her childhood nemesis Ali Pratt. But hey, she’s been through worse, right? She tries to roll with the punches, but a friend drops his grandpa off at the doggy day care because he can’t find senior care. On top of that, she and Ali bring the term “frenemies” to a whole new level. And then another grandparent shows up. And another.

In the midst of all that, Emma realizes she’s accidentally fallen for her Evil PT. But the most horrifying thing of all is that Ali just might have turned into the best friend she’s ever had. And as Emma grows from the pain of her past and takes on her new path, she comes to learn that life isn’t what you’re given, it’s what you make of it.






Click on the covers to purchase the books


New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Deanna | OkieDreams

Deanna Lynn has been a substitute teacher, a baker, a website designer, a ceramic artist, a business co-owner and a sales and marketing manager for a ceramic shop in Oklahoma. She reads widely, laughs often and loves to talk about writing, books, and this confusing thing called life.

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