Nothing makes me happier than a new book from Jill Shalvis, particularly one from the Heartbreaker Bay series – a favorite.
Playing for Keeps
Sadie is one of the ‘newbies’ in the Pacific Pier building, working at the spa and in the tattoo shop. Caleb – a part-time partner of Spencer who owns the whole shebang is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. But, being who she is, and more than a little closed-off and hedgehog-prickly, Sadie calls him Suits, in a not so endearing way. But one night with the rain pouring down she spots Caleb tucked in a corner, waiting patiently, looking into the shrubs. Soaking wet, speaking softly and ‘shushing’ her when she calls out to ask what he’s doing, she can hardly believe it when he coaxes out a 3 legged dog, obviously starving and maltreated, but determined to make Caleb her human.
Much as Caleb gently coaxed Lollipop into his arms, he works the same magic with Sadie. He’s intrigued by her smart mouth and the shadows she sees in her eyes, but he’s also got a ton of ‘issues’ he doesn’t want to share so he does expect that when she’s ready she’ll do just that. But, he’s so perfectly patient and I’m wondering how he’s not utterly bruised – because despite her claiming to be far more mature than the angry 15 year old she once was – Sadie has a TON of growing up to do, and her ability to run first and think through things later is more than frustrating. In fact, she was running for 90% of the book – funny how it took EVERYONE else in her little group (her boss at the tattoo parlor, her friend Iris with the taco truck, and even her co-pet-parented 3 legged dog Lollipop had more sense when Caleb tripped over his own two feet, or didn’t bare his soul at the first moment. Hey -neither one of them was truly irretrievably broken, and Caleb has done more with his life than navel gaze and act petulant every time family called, but it felt like he was on an endless treadmill of tests – and it would have to take something truly special to make him take all that time. I loved him, debated on slapping her more than once, and wanted to have a dog that needs to hold hands when she goes for a car ride.
I thought that perhaps this would be the book that made me think I can’t read another in this series, but nope – there was just enough alpha from Caleb (particularly with Sadie’s parents) to keep me interested in his character and heart, and when Sadie finally got it – after a serious talking to from both Iris and some rando customer mentioning his wife’s romance novel learning – they have a difficult, and not always smooth path on the way to happily ever after. I only hope that Sadie grows up enough to realize what a gem Caleb is – and I can’t help but think his sisters (also known as The Coven) will have more than a fair share of influence on that. I love this series – and while this wasn’t a favorite book in the series – there always has to be one – right? Oh – and did I mention that Caleb always thought he was allergic – like epi-pen level allergic to dogs? Yep – quite a start to a co-pet-parenting moment there.
“It’s how am I able to be with a dog in the fist place. In the same room. Me not dying.” He squatted down beside Lollipop and she wriggled in happiness at him. “I mean, look at her. She was abused, abandoned, and has not a single clue that she’s got an owie. Also, I just used the phrase ‘she’s got an owie.’ What the actual hell?”
“There’s a Skittle under my desk. She’s apparently convinced it’s the enemy, but she isn’t sure, so you can imagine the stress she’s under.”
Title: Playing for Keeps
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #7
Also in this series: Sweet Little Lies, The Trouble with Mistletoe, One Snowy Night, Accidentally on Purpose, Chasing Christmas Eve, Holiday Wishes
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Avon
Published on: 22 January, 2019
Source: Avon Addict, Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 10 Hours
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
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.
A copy of this title was provided via Avon Addict, Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Intrigued? You can read the excerpt from the first chapter here
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