STILL THE ONE - Jill Shalvis
The Animal Magnetism Novels , Book 6
Sunshine, Idaho - The Present
Darcy Stone's parents never seemed to want her. When she caused any trouble or became difficult, they shipped her off to boarding schools. They didn't even come back to the United States eleven months ago when Darcy nearly died in an automobile accident. The accident left her in a wheelchair with PTSD and an incapacitating fear of driving on highways. Her brother, Wyatt, and her sister, Zoe, saw her though these last past pain-filled months. Now twenty-six, she is still in physical therapy, and thanks to her physical therapist, AJ Colten, she can walk again. As he was a long-time friend of her brother and sister, Darcy knew AJ before her accident. Yet when she needed him most, he let her down. This just reinforced her belief that she wasn't good enough, for eventually everyone she loved will leave her. Once a successful travel writer, she now works at her brother's vet clinic and as a receptionist for AJ's physical therapy center, Sunshine Wellness Center. Loveless herself, Darcy involves herself with other throwaways—she rescues injured or abandoned service dogs and gives them new homes with people who need them.
While he and his fiancée were in the military, AJ lost Kayla when she was badly burned. As a beautiful woman, she could no longer accept her appearance and left AJ despite his seeing her scars as badges of honor and not disfiguring. He knows he cannot fall in love again only to have his love leave him. No matter what he feels for Darcy, he knows she will leave Sunshine one day. In the meantime, he needs her to help convince a potential patron to provide grants to help fund treatment for those whose insurance has run out.
STILL THE ONE has an engaging cast of characters, although sometimes it is hard to empathize with Darcy as she pushes everyone away. Yet her struggle is gripping. Her and AJ's tussle to find love is also captivating, so the story will rivet readers. While the sixth book in the series, STILL THE ONE stands alone, although readers will want to read previous books in the series and probably wait anxiously for Zoe's story, ALL I WANT, releasing in October.