Jill Shalvis returns to the blog today with what has to be one of my favorite series of recent memory, Heartbreaker Bay. Set in San Francisco’s Cow Town, this group of friends have made a family, and all join together to protect one of their own in
Chasing Christmas Eve
There are few series (or books) that make me giddy just knowing that I have them to read: the Heartbreaker Bay is one of those series. The chance to check in with the gang in Cow Town, see how their relationships are progressing, watch their interactions as only your most trusted friends can question your motives, push you to grow, and rush to protect you because they care. Spencer is busy ignoring the press and attention after a college roommate took advantage after all these years and used personal knowledge, past history and gossip to round out an interview, given grudgingly. Adding Brandon to the list of people who’ve left him feeling inadequate and at odds with relationships, he’s also having difficulties with his latest project: important to him because it’s beating him AND he’s using it as a way to make amends to his ex for being self-involved and closed off. Blessed with incredible brains, focus and always able to bend technology to his will, he’s frustrated and feeling those inadequacies all too keenly, he decides a break is in order and heads to walk one of the many dogs in Willa’s doggie day care.
Colbie has been the caretaker of her twin brothers and mother since she was a small child, after her father left the family. A huge imagination and a talent for writing have made her a successful published YA author, even as her relationship with her boyfriend / agent went toes up horribly, and her family can’t seem to tie their own shoes without her help. Now with a deadline looming, a movie premier for her first book coming up, and more pulls at her time and focus than she can handle, she is blocked and words aren’t coming. Armed with a suitcase, her laptop, a purse full of bits of paper with ideas on them and a wad of cash, she heads to the airport hoping to find a quiet retreat in the sun. With weather issues cancelling flights, she purchases a ticket to San Francisco – a nice change since she’s never been there – she’s never been anywhere – and that may just be the perfect opportunity to get some words written.
Landing in the city and intrigued by the story from the cab driver about the fountain in Spence’s courtyard, Colbie finds herself at the mercy of a very large dog with few manners as she lands IN the fountain and needs to be rescued. Spencer is horrified, yet intrigued, as Colbie laughs at the ridiculous situation and doesn’t take a strip off him, even as Elle, ever present and in pit-bull protector mode, is ready to. These two are instantly intrigued: Colbie’s curiosity about the people around her, her humor and her general answers about herself have Elle’s hackles raised – but Spence finds her refreshing and fun – and likes how she sees the world.
Not nearly as fast-paced as some of the earlier stories: that completely works for these two. Colbie is used to putting everyone’s needs and desires before her own: rushing to simplify things for them even to the detriment of her own wishes. Spence has decided that he’s an all or nothing sort of guy, and that he’s comfortable and confident with work, can’t function in relationships so he’ll never have one. Emotionally, when it comes to relationships these two are like sic year olds, the only things missing are the punches and hair-pulling. Both had relationships that failed, spectacularly in their eyes, yet both still have friendships of sorts with their exes. They both have that constant refrain of ‘it’s only until Christmas Eve”, Colbie’s self-proclaimed date she is leaving, but their desire to be together, their interactions and attraction are too much to deny. And both are carefully negotiating unfamiliar waters and falling in love, yet convinced that the other doesn’t want that, or finding a reason to not speak the words: it’s too soon, I’m horrible at relationships, we have lives in different places, and my favorite: Elle’s constant (and adorable but wearing) attempts to keep Spence safe because they don’t know anything about Colbie.
If you’ve read this series from the start, it’s hard not to find Spence adorable if a bit enigmatic, and you may mistake that reserve for coldness. But he’s so far from that: he’s built this little compound in Cow Town, filled it with the people he has made into his family, giving everyone a chance at happiness and security, and he’s been in the middle of the three relationships that have come to pass, with or without the fountain. From a brilliant child with graduate degrees before he was 21, his life has been focused on working, success and the next project. And yet, he’s lonely: even if he hasn’t the range to make that conclusion for himself. Colbie is that piece that was missing, but his fears about her using him or him not being successful at a relationship (his two worst fears, being used and failing) he’s convincing himself that her going back to the east coast is best for everyone. Until it isn’t.
Shalvis always brings a smile to my face, and this series is one of my ‘on the shelf and re-read often’ series: each story is paced to fit the growth and development of the relationship in the spotlight, while interactions with friends, their inputs and moments around the city of San Francisco add touches of atmosphere. These are friends that you want to have in your corner, the tribe that has been made with Spence’s help, and now it is one member larger.
Title: Chasing Christmas Eve
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #4
Also in this series: Sweet Little Lies, The Trouble with Mistletoe, One Snowy Night, Accidentally on Purpose, Holiday Wishes, About That Kiss
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Themed
Published by: Avon
Published on: 26 September, 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 20 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
Run for the hills—temporarily. That's Colbie Albright's plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie's so over it that she's under it. She's also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she's pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won't be a stranger for long.
Spence's commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn't have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot chemistry—he's got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she's gorgeous and a great listener just because she gets Spence immediately doesn't mean he won't be able to let Colbie go. Does it?
and hope for a miracle.
Now the clock's ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.
See the Heartbreaker Bay series on Goodreads
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.