Review + Excerpt: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis


the-trouble-with-mistletoeThe Trouble with Mistletoe
Jill Shalvis
Jen Twimom
Rating: B

What I’m Talking About:

Willa Davis, lover of animals, runs a successful pet boutique. She had a rough childhood, in and out of foster care, but she’s turned her life around; seeing the positive in everyone and everything. She believes in second chances, except maybe when it comes to Keane Winters, the boy who stood her up in high school, regardless of how sexy he is now.

Keane Winters, now a successful contractor, was just a teen when he stood up Willa for the Sadie Hawkins dance her freshman year of high school. The funny/sad thing is… he doesn’t recognize Willa one bit. Has no clue of their history or why she would be short with him. However, her feisty attitude is only one of the many things he finds attractive.

The Trouble with Mistletoe, Ms. Shalvis’s second offering in her delightful Heartbreaker Bay series, shares the story of Willa and Keane, two individuals with enough baggage and cynicism to keep away anyone looking for a long-term relationship. However, the power of attraction, on both a physical and emotional level, punches through their tough exteriors, allowing for a friends-and-lovers situation. I admire both characters’ independence, coupled with strong friendships, that they’ve used to help cultivate a healthy adulthood. Both genuinely generous and kind, they vacillate between mutual feelings of one-night-stand lust and wanting more-than-friends, not wanting to hurt the other, but not wanting to be hurt.

Their relationship takes time to develop, which is appropriate both because of their individual histories and fear of relationships, as well as the desire to be friends and like one another before acting on their desires. I appreciate that both characters are open and honest to a realistic degree (we all keep somethings to ourselves), and don’t seem to judge each other based on the past or potential misunderstandings.

The only somewhat negative on my end is that Willa and Keane’s relationship has a lot of back and forth, hot and cold. It is understandable, given the individual histories of both involved; however, near the end I became tired of the wishy-washy feelings expressed by both Keane and Willa. They shared an immense attraction and the fear of being hurt and/or commitment is legit, but the back and forth went on about one too many times.

In the end,The Trouble with Mistletoe is a sweet and spicy contemporary romance. Don’t let the title fool you; it’s not really a holiday-themed story, and it can be enjoyed at anytime of the year. Willa and Keane are two likable characters with hearts-of-gold, and you’ll be rooting for them to get together just as much as their friends do.

My Rating:  B, Liked It


About the Book:

If she has her way…
Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her…

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.
Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him…

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice…
Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work…

Release Date: September 27, 2016
Heartbreaker Bay #2
Contemporary Romance
paperback (384 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/Edelweiss

Purchase Info:

Reviews in the Series:
Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #1)


A guy stood on the other side of the glass, mouth grim, expression dialed to Tall, Dark and Attitude-ridden. He was something too, all gorgeous and broody and –hold up. There was something familiar about him, enough that her feet propelled her forward out of pure curiosity. When it hit her halfway to the door, she froze, her heart just about skidding to a stop.

“Keane Winters,” she murmured, lip curling like she’d just eaten a black licorice. She hated black licorice. But she was looking at the only man on the planet who could make her feel all puckered up as well as good about her decision to give up men.

In fact, if she’d only given them up sooner, say back on the day of the Sadie Hawkins dance in her freshman year of high school when he’d stood her up, she’d have saved herself a lot of heartache in the years since.

On the other side of the door, Keane shoved his mirrored sunglasses to the top of his head, revealing dark chocolate eyes that she knew could melt when he was amused or feeling flirtatious, or turn to ice when he was so inclined.

They were ice now.

Catching her gaze, he lifted a cat carrier. A bright pink bedazzled carrier.

He had a cat.

Her entire being wanted to soften at this knowledge because that meant on some level at least he had to be a good guy, right?

Luckily her brain clicked on, remembering everything, every little detail of that long ago night. Like how she’d had to borrow a dress for the dance from a girl in her class who’d gleefully lorded it over her, how she’d had to beg her foster mother to let her go, how she’d stolen a Top Ramen from the locked pantry and eaten it dry in the bathroom so she wouldn’t have to buy both her dinner and his, as was custom for the “backward” dance.

“We’re closed,” she said through the still locked glass door.

Not a word escaped his lips. He simply raised the cat carrier another inch, like he was God’s gift.

And he had been. At least in high school.


From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes a captivating story of love, second chances and new beginnings…

We are thrilled to bring you the review & excerpt tour for THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE, the second standalone novel in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series! Check out each stop on the tour and grab your copy of this fantastic new novel today!

Order THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE in ebook or paperback

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N

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And don’t miss the first novel in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series, SWEET LITTLE LIES, now available! Grab your copy HERE!


Don’t Miss each stop on THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE Review & Excerpt Tour!

September 26

2 One Click Chicks – Review & Excerpt

A girl and her books – Review

That’s What I’m Talking About – Review & Excerpt

Adria’s Romance Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Book Readers Anonymous – Review & Excerpt

Bridget’s Book Bungalow – Review

Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Review

Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Review & Excerpt

This Wacky Momma Reads! – Review & Excerpt

September 27

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

Bookaholics Reading Haven – Review

Booknerd1107 – Review & Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt

East Coast Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

SBB Reviews – Review & Excerpt

September 28

21st Century Once Upon A Times – Review

Bookworm Dee Reads – Excerpt

Delish, Devine and All Mine – Review & Excerpt

Embrace the Romance – Review & Excerpt

Reviews from the Heart – Review & Excerpt

Queen of All She Reads – Excerpt

Kelsey’s Corner Time – Review & Excerpt

Theory of A Dreamer – Review & Excerpt

September 29

Bea’s Book Nook – Review & Excerpt

Beneath The Covers Blog – Excerpt

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Reading in Pajamas – Review & Excerpt

The Revolving Bookcase – Review

Rock Out With Sweet Reads – Excerpt

Romanticamente Fantasy Sito – Excerpt

September 30

Aly’s Miscellany – Excerpt

Book Munchies – Review & Excerpt

Lea’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Mistress of Romance – Review & Excerpt

The Readdicts – Excerpt

Socially Awkward Book nerd – Review & Excerpt

Shannon’s book blog – Review & Excerpt

October 1

b i n i b i n i – Review

Books,Dreams,Life – Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt

JordansBookReviews – Excerpt

Maari Loves Her Indies – Excerpt

The Heathers Blog – Review & Excerpt

October 2

A Literary Perusal – Review

Sweet & Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt

The Geekery Book Review – Review & Excerpt

WTF Are You Reading? – Review & Excerpt

My fictional escape – Excerpt

Romance Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

The bookworms obsession blog – Review

October 3

Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt

Ellesea Loves Reading – Review & Excerpt

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents – Excerpt

EskieMama Reads – Review & Excerpt

Writing My Own Fairy Tale – Review & Excerpt

Southern Yankee Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Talking Books Blog – Review & Excerpt

October 4

Books and Things Blog – Review & Excerpt

Two Book Pushers – Review & Excerpt

Jax’s Book Magic – Review

IrishdaisylovesRomance – Review & Excerpt

The Girl with the Happily Ever Afters – Review & Excerpt

With Love for Books – Review

October 5

BFF Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Oh My Shelves – Review

Once Upon a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Lightning City Book Reviews – Review

October 6

BJ’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

KT Book Reviews – Excerpt

I Heart YA Books – Review & Excerpt

The Travelogue of a book addict – Review

Read-Love-Blog – Review & Excerpt

October 7

Books Need TLC – Review

Ripe for Reader – Review & Excerpt

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

Romance Readers Retreat – Review

October 8

Alphas Do It Better Book Blog – Review

books are love – Review & Excerpt

Fangirls Ahead! – Review

Wrapped Up In Reading – Review

Rustys Reading – Review


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About Jill Shalvis:

New York Times and USA Today 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 sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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  • I think the hot/cold thing could possibly bother me if it is done too much but I suspect here I could handle it. Plus, animals! That is the one thing I love about this author’s work.

    • I love how much she works animals into her stories. I’ve been listening to the Animal Magnetism series (on the last one now) and the thread of animals throughout is well done.

      The hot/cold thing went on maybe one time too long, but not so bad that I got annoyed.

  • I have this one on my holiday reading list for Ho-Ho-Ho Readathon. I haven’t read much of her work but I tend to enjoy it. Thanks for the great peak 🙂

    • I hope you enjoy. It’s not a huge holiday story, but does take place during the holidays. It’s also good as a stand alone b/c there isn’t much carry over from the previous title. Jill writes some wonderful, happy, feel-good romances.

  • I should read more Shalvis 🙂

    • Based on your reviews, I think you would enjoy! See if you can get on audio – they are really good.

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