The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #2)

the-trouble-with-mistletoe-by-jill-shalvisAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

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 …

Jill Shalvis is a master of her craft. It takes a special kind of author to be able to consistently write exceptionally funny, romantic books without repeating the same story over and over. Shalvis has the knack. I wasn’t sure I would like another series as much as I adore her Lucky Harbor series. After reading this second book, I’m quickly falling in love with Heartbreaker Bay. I adore the characters, San Francisco is a fabulous setting, and her alpha heroes are to die for.

Willa Davis loves with her whole heart when it comes to her friends, her pet shop clients and the “strays” she brings in – young women who find themselves in trouble with nowhere to go. Willa has no problem letting people – and pets – into her life, and she quickly becomes attached. The one exception is her love life. Having been ignored and devastated in high school and then abused in her last relationship, Willa is adamant that love is not in the cards for her. She is perfectly fine not opening her heart to that kind of hurt again.

Then one morning her teenage crush shows up at her pet shop desperate for help. Keane Winters has no clue that he’d unintentionally broken Willa’s heart as a teenager. He honestly has no idea who she even is. All he knows is that he needs someone to take care of his aunt’s cat so he can get some work done, and the beautiful, petite shop owner giving him attitude is his only hope. When sparks fly between him and Willa, he is more than willing to explore the possibility of her becoming more than his cat-sitter.

The attraction between Willa and Keane was instantaneous. Their chemistry sizzles, and it doesn’t take long for Willa to realize that Keane has grown up, and not just physically. He’s no longer the arrogant, popular jock. He is funny and sexy and hot as sin. He’s a hard worker, he takes care of the aunt he’s never been close to, and he looks out for Willa the same way her closest friends dos. He claims that he doesn’t do permanent, but despite his so-called inability to commit, she sees the way he has become attached to the house he plans to sell, the cat he says he doesn’t want, even in the way he gently pushes her to let him in.

Willa wants Keane in her life. She loves the way he makes her feel, she loves making him smile and laugh, and she wants nothing more than to belong to him. The fear of being abandoned, of it not lasting, is larger than life for her and almost costs her a chance at true, long-lasting love. Fortunately Willa has friends who repeatedly talk sense into her, and Keane sees through her fear and is willing to take whatever she can give until she can give him everything.

One thing I’ve noticed recently about Jill Shalvis is that she writes stories with less heat than her earlier books. While I love a good steamy romance, I don’t think this detracts from her books at all. It just seems like a different style of writing for her. There are three things you can count on from a Jill Shalvis book: women you want to be friends with, heroes you fall in love with and towns you want to live in. The Trouble with Mistletoe delivers on all three.

I give The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis 4.5 stars!

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