Author: Jill Shalvis

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ARC Review: Accidentally on Purpose

February 6, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★★

ARC Review: Accidentally on PurposeAccidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3) by Jill Shalvis
Published by Avon on January 24th 2017
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1), The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2), One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5)
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four-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

There’s no such thing as a little in love…
Elle Wheaten’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . .
There’s no such thing as a little in lust…
Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. But now that she’s earned happiness and success, Archer just wants Elle 24/7. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco Earthquake, and Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . .
There is such a thing as…
As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along…

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay series. Ever since I first read Sweet Little Lies, I’ve been looking forward to getting the chance to read Elle and Archer’s book. From the previous stories, readers could tell that they had an electric chemistry that both of them were refusing to acknowledge. Anyway, I’m happy that we didn’t have to hold out any longer on getting a happy ending for the pair! I’m not sure if it’s my favorite in the series, but it’s definitely a memorable and awesome one to say the least. I recommend reading the other books in the series first due to how all the characters are connected and the small town life in general.

Elle has been an intriguing character to me from book one. She’s such a loving friend who is there for her girls automatically with no questions asked, but she’s also someone who doesn’t like needing people to be there for her. She’s stubborn and likes to take care of herself, and she’s pretty good at doing just that. Though she’s a badass boss, she does have a big heart. Basically, I love everything about this girl. She’s fierce, confident, and unapologetic about who she is but she has her vulnerable side as well. She isn’t as quirky as some of the other girls from the series like Pru, but she is still very unique and special nonetheless. She’s completely her own person, and that’s what is so great about her as a whole.

So Archer has always been this badass and mysterious guy who knows basically everything. He protects the people that he cares about at all costs, and he does everything he can to help out his friends, who might as well be his family. But like Elle, he’s also ridiculously stubborn and as some of his friends put it, he’s an “alpha.” Meaning, he feels like he has to dominate people and be in control at all times. Though he’s a tough egg to crack at times, I’ll be the first to admit that he’s an extremely swoony guy. Once you get down to it, he has a huge heart and at times it’s really adorable how he shows that he cares and loves Elle. He’s a guy who puts himself in danger all the time to help others, which is a seriously awesome and difficult thing to do. Sometimes he can be frustrating at times, but he’s a great character.

You guys, the romance between Elle and Archer was obviously a highlight of the book for me. It’s blatantly obvious to literally everyone but them that they have crazy chemistry, so it’s refreshing once they finally figure it out for themselves. At times, the romance gets rather hot, including a scene where they have “hate” sex. I’m always a fan when the characters have a history, and I thought that the story was well written. This isn’t a second chance love story though, they’ve never actually been together, but they have a sort of “platonic” history that we gradually learn about as the book progresses. I keep on saying it, but the romance is just seriously so fabulous that I have to ramble out it a little bit.

Accidentally on Purpose is a great addition to a wonderfully written series. There’s still so many characters in the series that have yet to receive a story and I can’t wait for that. Elle and Archer made an explosive couple from the start. I’m beyond happy that they were finally able to get their shit together and be happy as a couple. Although I clearly was a major fan of them as a couple, I also loved them separately. I thought they were both well developed characters who were just full of personality. This was a nice story and I recommend it! Next up, we finally get Spence’s story and I can’t wait for that.

four-stars

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ARC Review: One Snowy Night

November 12, 2016 Reviews 1 ★★★

ARC Review: One Snowy NightOne Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5) by Jill Shalvis
Published by Avon Impulse on November 8th 2016
Pages: 160
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1), The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2), Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3)
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three-stars
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Heartbreaker Bay with a fun and festive holiday novella!
It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.
Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.
They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.

So One Snowy Night is ridiculously short. Obviously it’s a novella, but the actual story only takes up about 60% of the book, the rest of it is an excerpt for another upcoming Jill Shalvis title. I found that to be a little off putting, I wanted it to be even longer! The length didn’t truly give us enough time to really get into Rory and Max’s romance. I still thought it was an enjoyable and fun short read. It’s something that I’d recommend if you only have a small amount of time and would like to read something mostly light and not completely filled with angst. Though not my favorite, I’m still glad that I read this one.

We’ve learned a lot about Rory in the last book in this series, The Trouble With Mistletoe, since she works for Willa. Rory is a caring woman and I’m glad that she received her own story, even if it was simply a novella. She’s a strong and fascinating character, and I loved learning even more about her background and family. Rory is fun, there’s nothing more to say about it.

What we’ve seen of Max in the past has made me extremely intrigued about him. He works for badass Archer, who’s story we get to read in the next book. It’s clear that he’s intrigued by Rory since he stops by so frequently with his precious dog Carl. However, I was surprised and more than a bit confused by his anger towards Rory considering she did nothing wrong. He didn’t know her whole side of the story, but he still jumped to conclusions nevertheless. In my opinion, it was unnecessary drama. Since it was such a short story, luckily it didn’t last all that long, but I wasn’t a fan of it happening. His attitude in general took away some swoony points for me.

The romance was alright, aside from the drama that I already mentioned it. Based on what we’ve already seen of them, I was certain that Max and Rory would make a solid couple, and I wasn’t totally wrong about that. I just felt like it was imperfect with the ridiculous drama. The few sex scenes that we did see were pretty steamy and romantic. I definitely felt the chemistry between them. I feel like the “I love you” might have happened too quickly. You guys literally just got together and Max has had this terrible grudge for Rory over something that he didn’t know everything about. I get that it was a novella so naturally things moved faster than normal, but I didn’t like it.

This was a sweet romance between two characters that I’ve been curious about for awhile now. Despite my issues with Max, he was still a nice match for Rory. I feel like they were really able to balance each other out. I can’t forget to mention Carl, Max’s adorable dog. I loved him, and I also loved how much Rory obviously loved him. This wasn’t a perfect novella, but it was still an interesting one. I wanted more pages of this and less of a sample for Jill Shalvis’s next book. This was a quick read that I was able to enjoy in just a day.

three-stars

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ARC Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe

September 22, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★

ARC Review: The Trouble with MistletoeThe Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2) by Jill Shalvis
Published by Avon on September 27th 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1), One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5), Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3)
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three-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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 ...

I didn’t like this one nearly as much as Sweet Little Lies, but this was still a pretty decent romance as a whole. I thought that Willa and Keane were such a cute couple, just felt like the angst went a little too far at times. This new series by Jill Shalvis hasn’t let me down so far yet, so I’m definitely eager to read more of these stories. I’ve been looking forward to reading Archer and Elle’s story since the first book, so I can’t wait to read it next! I recommend this series to romance readers who love small town stories with quirky supporting characters.

Willa was a character who immediately fascinated me in Sweet Little Lies. We could tell that she was a caring and loving friend from the start, who also worked way too hard. Anyway, it was awesome to learn even more about her upbringing and just her personality in general. I loved how seriously she took Christmas. Seriously though, this girl took Christmas spirit to an entirely new level. Once we learned more about her relatively crappy childhood, it made sense why decorating her business completely and taking the holiday ridiculously seriously was so important to her. I wouldn’t say that Willa is my favorite female character by any means, but she was still very well written and I thought her story was mostly pretty well done.

Keane was a super swoony guy from the beginning. I’m not sure I believe that he was so serious about Willa right from the start if he was known for being a playboy, but he was still a well developed character for the most part. He had a lot less baggage going on than Willa, he was fully (for the most part) involved in the relationship, while she was still partially holding back. I’ll admit that he wasn’t the most interesting and swooniest book boyfriend, but he was still a classic Jill Shalvis guy, which is a true compliment.

For the most part, the romance was a decent one. However, I did have some problems with the heavy drama going on. I absolutely can’t stand it when the couples are unable to be together and happy for more than a couple of pages before the major conflict pops up and momentarily ruins everything. I get that drama is inevitable, but in my opinion, there is something as TOO much and that was the case here. When they actually were together though, things were on the steamy side. There wasn’t too much sex or not enough sex, I felt like the author found a happy balance. I liked the romance, but I can’t say that I loved it.

All in all, this was a fun romance that I’m glad that I read. Jill Shalvis is still a fairly new to me author. Sweet Little Lies was the first book of hers that I ever read. I’m glad that I continued reading because she writes awesome romances and I love how she has dogs in her books as well. Willa is the definition of a pet person, and that was my favorite thing about her for sure! So the point is, I’m officially a Shalvis fan, right along with so many contemporary romance lovers out there.

three-stars

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Sweet Little Lies Review

June 28, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Sweet Little Lies ReviewSweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1) by Jill Shalvis
Published by Avon on June 28th 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2), One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5), Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3)
Reading Challenges: Contemporary Romance Challenge
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
three-flames

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Choose the one guy you can’t have . . .
As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas—the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody But Her.
Fall for him—hard . . .
Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hard-working hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast.
And then tell him the truth.
Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story—because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything. . . .

I feel like one of the only romance fans on the planet to not have read all of (or at least most) Jill Shalvis’s books. I did read the first book in her Animal Magnetism series but that’s it. Anyway, I’m glad that I decided to pick up the first book in her brand new series, Heartbreaker Bay. This was a wonderful introduction to a quirky cast of characters including: a hilarious and mysterious homeless man, an old noisy neighbor, and Pru’s cute little dog Thor. Not to mention that Finn had a great group of friends (and his brother) and I can’t wait to learn their stories in the next books. If you’re looking for a funny but also somewhat emotional story with a beautiful romance, Sweet Little Lies is probably just what you need.

Pru is an amazing and selfless heroine who I really loved from the start. She has a tremendous amount of guilt due to a major mistake made by her parents that hurt many lives. Since then, she’s done everything that she can to help those people out by providing them money, jobs, houses, and whatever else they need. You could tell just how caring and giving this girl is from the scene where she makes a wish in the famous fountain that Finn will find true love. There were so many parts in the story when I wanted to give this girl a huge hug. She carried a huge weight around because of what her parents did, and I hated that for her.

Now Finn is just something else entirely. You can tell from the physical description of him that this guy is seriously hot, and he’s also an incredibly decent and selfless man as well. Finn was on track to become a professional baseball player when his father was killed in an accident and he was forced to take care of his teenage brother so he wouldn’t have to go into foster care. They ended up opening a bar together and Finn has no time for anything not involving work. Things obviously start changing for him when he meets the beautiful new girl in town, Pru. However, Pru is keeping something major for him, and he must decide if he can continue on with her after learning this secret.

I’ve never been a fan of books that have some secret that one of the characters is keeping from the other one. This one did bother me to an extent because I was just not so patiently waiting for it to all blow up in her face, but it wasn’t unbearable to me either. Once I overlooked this part of the relationship, it was actually a very steamy and swoony romance. Jill Shalvis doesn’t get ridiculously descriptive with her sex scenes, but they definitely don’t disappoint. You could feel the chemistry from them pretty early on in the book, it felt extremely believable to me and I really enjoyed it as a whole.

Sweet Little Lies has certainly made me hooked on this new series and I can’t wait to read Willa’s story. There are so many supporting characters that are introduced which is honestly a little overwhelming for only the first book, but I still enjoyed the huge personalities that Jill Shalvis has already given them. I’m particularly looking forward to Sean, Archer, and Jake’s books. Even if you’ve never read a Jill Shalvis book before, you’re sure to love this if you’re a contemporary romance fan. This book is out today, so go and buy it for your Kindle!

four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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