*I received a free copy of The Trouble with Mistletoe from Avon via Edelweiss. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2
Published by Avon on 27 September 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge
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 ...
The Trouble with Mistletoe was a great story, with characters who already feel like close friends of mine, and a romance that made me blush.
Friendship, romance, blast from the past and pet-goodness… What’s not to love, right? The Trouble with Mistletoe managed to mix romance, hotness and sweetness to a near perfect mix, and I really enjoyed the characters, both the new ones, and those I already met in Sweet Little Lies. Willa felt slighted ever since her teenage years because of Keane, but never once had she tried to see things from his perspective. I loved how he tried to make friends with his great-aunt’s cat, and how that same cat brought him back into Willa’s orbit. A more stubborn woman isn’t easy to find, but I loved that she had her principles, even when they were slightly skewed. And she did end up being able to take a step back and see things from a different angle in the end.
Keane is the kind of romance hero I just love to read about. Manly, strong, independent – but still kind hearted, open-minded and romantic. The fact that he took in the cat, and also got to know his great-aunt better really did say a lot about what kind of man he was! And Willa unconsciously realized this from the start – even if she was fighting her attraction with everything she had. The fact that Keane already knew some of Willa’s friends added to the feel-good aspect of the story in The Trouble with Mistletoe, and it also brought to the forefront what I enjoy so much about Shalvis’ writing! The friendships continue to be front and center even when there is a strong romance going on.
Written in third person, past tense, and with some very witty dialogues, all the friends had important roles to play, even while Willa and Keane remained the main characters. The pace was well done, and I enjoyed how Keane dealt with his problems – and his ‘problems’ – especially how he managed to help his parents out, even if they had always made him feel unwanted and inadequate. I am already eager for the next Heartbreaker Bay novel, and urge you to get your hands on this one when you can!
“Ohmigod,” Rory said, staring at their newest cash register display. “Is that a rack of penis headbands?”
“No!” Willa laughed. “It’s reindeer-antler headbands for dogs.”
Rory stared at her.
Willa grimaced. “Okay, so maybe I went a little crazy – “
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 forward out of pure curiosity.
When Keane had returned for Petunia the other night, she’d been with a client so she hadn’t had to deal with him.
But she’d made sure to look her fill. And that bothered her. How could she like looking at him so much? Maybe it was because he was so inherently male and virile he could’ve walked right off the cover of Alpha Male magazine, if such a thing had existed.