Review of The Family You Make by Jill Shalvis

The Family You Make

Jill Shalvis

January 11, 2022

William Morrow Paperback


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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Every time I pick up a Jill Shalvis novel, I am thankful that she is so reliable–and by reliable I in no way mean predictable, boring, or repetitive. Shalvis is a one-of-a-kind who provides her readers with stories burgeoning with heart and humanity. Take her new novel, The Family You Make, which is part of her new Sunrise Cove series and introduces us to not one awesome couple but two.

Levi and Jane catch the last gondola down the ski slope as a blizzard blows in. Jane is terrified of heights (which would make her and me besties) and Levi does his best to assuage her fears. And then the gondola in front of theirs crashes hundreds of feet to the ground. The possibility that they might not survive makes Levi call his mother to say goodbye but instead thinking it would make her happy tells her instead that he’s with his “The One.”

Meanwhile, next door neighbors Mateo and Charlotte, both doctors at the local hospital, battle constantly, a battle which is actually based on attraction that Charlotte would 100% refuse to admit to until the situation gets to a point where she can no longer deny the truth to herself.

Both couples are adorable and you can’t help but root for each one as they slog through murky pasts (well, not Mateo and to a lesser degree than the ladies, Levi) to bring themselves to trust and move through past hurts.

Particular things I loved: Levi’s unruly family who think nothing of stalking his new girlfriend, Jasper the labradoodle, Jane’s grandfather, Mateo, the food, and Charlotte’s mad snowball-fight skills.

The typical things that Shalvis does bring to her novels: witty dialogue, heart, and a wide range of realistic emotions are, thankfully, in place making The Family You Make a warm-hearted novel that will bring smiles, tears, and laughter to you as you read this unforgettable book.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



5 out of 5 butterflies

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