Hud and Bailey are instantly attracted to each other when they initially meet but Hud is too commitment phobic to commit to anyone. Bailey is too new to living without cancer to hold herself back. Can just one night of giving in to their mutual attraction be enough?
Hud lives with the guilt of pushing his twin brother away from their family, so he doesn't believe he's capable of long-term relationships. He's already overcommitted by taking care of his early-dementia-ridden mother, as well as all his responsibilities trying to keep his family's resort afloat. But Bailey touches something deep inside of him that he doesn't know exists. Can this sweet woman tame the beast within?
Bailey agrees to paint a mural of the Kincaid family for free if they'll give her room and board on the weekends when she comes to the resort to work on the mural. She loves to paint, as it revives memories of her deceased grandmother who inspired her talent. Currently a graphic artist, painting a mural of this magnitude is on Bailey's list of things to do, now that she's back to truly living after her devastating illness. Will those who love her and who have protected her during her illness give her the freedom she feels she deserves?
Hud has a quiet strength that jumps off the page and into the heart of the reader. His guilt and consequent penance that he tries to force upon himself because of his past misdeeds shines a light on his inner soul. Bailey has spent so much time being sick, that now that she has a hint of what it's like to be on the road to recovery, she's not sure how to settle for anything less than the list of challenges she's created. Hud seems too married to the resort and his responsibilities to take time to go along on her quest. Bailey decides if she can't have forever, what's wrong with right now? Can Hud resist the temptation of Bailey?
I enjoyed Hud and Bailey's story. You'd think this story would be sad due to Bailey's struggles and Hud's mother's condition, but it's not. It's full of life because Bailey is ready to live. Every time Hud said "Bay," my heart melted a little more. He's a man of few words but somehow his deepest emotion is conveyed every time he says her name. I love Hud's reaction to everything around him. He's serious which makes his siblings' and mother's antics toward him entertaining. This isn't a difficult story filled with tension. It's actually an easy read, even considering the more emotional topics that could have made the novel a lot darker. They were aptly covered yet they didn't overwhelm the characters or the story. The emotion did bring tears to my eyes toward the end of the novel but it is Bailey's spirit that makes this novel special.
Jill Shalvis can always make me laugh. Her characters breathe life into every page, making me feel as though I can reach out and touch them. I'm not a skier or fond of the cold, yet MY KIND OF WONDERFUL pulled me into the characters' lives as easily as if it was my favorite scenario. That's the Shalvis magic. Her books are always on my list to read first and remain on my keeper shelf for re-reading in the future. The sneak peek of the next story at the end of this novel made me anxious for NOBODY BUT YOU, coming in March 2016. MY KIND OF WONDERFUL is a fun story with unusual characters worth savoring.