The Trouble with Mistletoe
Author: Jill Shalvis
Reviewer: Jen Twimom
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
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format(s): paperback (384 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/Edelweiss
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
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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!
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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.