Review: Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis

Posted February 12, 2019 by Jennifer in Contemporary Romance, Rating A, Rating B, Reviews Tags: , , , ,

Playing for Keeps
Jill Shalvis
Jennifer & Jen
Ratings: A / B+

What We’re Talking About:

Jennifer: Playing for Keeps is the seventh installment in the Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis and my favorite of the series.  Why? Because I really enjoyed Suits aka Caleb and Sadie as both a couple and individual characters. Plus what’s not to love about a rescue dog named Lollipop?! 

Jen: I agree this is one of the better ones… probably not my favorite, but one of the better ones. I loved how real this couple feels, and Caleb is amazing!

The two have known each other for about a year and have shared friends within the group of other couples from previous books in the Heartbreaker Bay series. On the outside, they seem like complete opposites: Caleb is a quite rich, smart techy guy, and Sadie is a tattoo artist who is full of sass. While Caleb is always in his expensive suits (which is the source of his nickname penned by Sadie) and Sadie in her jeans and tees with changing color highlights in her hair, they both have painful pasts that keep each closed off. They may have a small group of friends they share, but they each find it hard to trust people of the opposite sex when it comes to romantic relationships.

Jennifer: Caleb has a close-knit family made of three sisters and his mother while Sadie is the black sheep of her family that includes a sister and parents. Watching the family dynamics between the two families is both funny and heartbreaking. There were times I thought the families were going to be a big issue for Caleb and Sadie finding a HEA, but they handled the problems with the grace and understanding that mature grown-ups have and it was really refreshing to see that happen with little angst. 

Jen: I agree. I was a bit irritated with both families! Jerks! But the author does a great job making a case for why both families are so protective. This couple doesn’t have it easy, but thanks to Caleb’s patience and persistence, they learn to trust one another. I also love that they know they will not always agree, but can find a way to work through issues.

Jennifer: Shalvis continues to be my go-to author for heartfelt romances with just enough heat. She never fails to entertain me. With Playing for Keeps she brought out all my emotions, I laughed, teared up and swooned. 

Jen: I totally had all the feels with Caleb and his mentor. When Caleb opens up to Sadie and trusts her with all of his real emotions… my heart swooned.

If you’re looking for a feel-good romance with depth and character growth you should pick up a copy and you don’t have to have read the previous books in the series to enjoy Playing for Keeps. Past characters make cameos, but you won’t feel like you’ve missed anything. Heartbreaker Bay series reads like a series within the same town and neighborhoods with a small group of friends, but it also works very well as stand-alone novels.     

Our Ratings:
Jennifer: A, Loved It
Jen: B+ Liked It A Lot
Jennifer & Jen

About the Book:

If you’re planning on falling in love… 

When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure… 

Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you. 

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.

Release Date: January 22, 2019
Heartbreaker Bay #7
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)
The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #2)
One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #2.5)
Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #3)
Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #4)
Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #4.5)
About that Kiss by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #5)
Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #6)