on Sept. 26, 2017
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Also in this series: One Snowy Night, Holiday Wishes, About That Kiss, Hot Winter Nights, Playing for Keeps
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.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Jill Shalvis’s latest Heartbreaker Bay novel is a fun, hopeful, holiday(ish) story of two people who have every reason to avoid getting involved, but can’t help falling in love. I enjoyed it and really liked both the main characters.
Colbie is an author whose runaway success has put unanticipated pressure on her — and that’s on top of her mother and brothers, who expect her to do and fix everything. Burnt out and unable to work, she flees New York for basically anywhere else, hoping to relax and rediscover her ability to write. Though she’s running from what her life has become, she knows it’s only for a few weeks; she has to be home in time for Christmas. I loved seeing writing through Colbie’s eyes, and her habit of writing everything she observes down on scraps of paper is not only endearing but accurate (as in, I’ve known authors who do that.)
Spence is a familiar but somewhat mysterious character to Heartbreaker Bay fans. He owns the building in which many of the gang (the series regulars) either live or work. A tech genius and a workaholic, Spence thinks he should avoid relationships because he torpedoed the last one by putting work first. He’s compassionate, intelligent, and wary, with an understandable paranoia about the press and a soft spot for Eddie, the laid-back, elderly, surprisingly insightful homeless guy who lives in the alley.
Two people who are both avoiding getting serious. Two people who can each lose themselves in work for hours, even days at a time. Doesn’t really sound like a match made in heaven, does it? But trust me, there’s some serious chemistry between these two, and I don’t just mean physically. They like each other, once they get past the initial awkwardness of their meeting. They understand each other, too, on an almost instinctual level. Theirs is very much one of those “I wasn’t looking for you, but I found you” relationships… though it takes each of them a while to realize it, and longer to be ready to take a chance on it.
Shalvis sprinkles in several funny scenes, particularly involving other members of Spence’s circle of friends, who tease and argue with each other but are always there whenever one of them needs something. As Spence’s building manager, Elle plays a significant role: she sees protecting Spence as part of her job as both employee and friend, and she can be pretty prickly about it. There are also some wonderful moments with Eddie (and one scene that’s both amusing and a little uncomfortable, involving marijuana-laced brownies.) But the main focus is on Spence and Colbie, whose relationship mingles friendship, romance, and a very strong physical attraction. Shalvis writes kisses with more heat than some authors invest in more intimate scenes; Spence and Colbie share a number of the former before turning the heat up several notches.
I did have a little trouble with the timing of the novel — not the pacing of the book itself, but the stated time durations within the book. Colbie is only in San Francisco for two weeks, yet it seemed longer than that, based on bridging sentences about “a few days” stuck in here and there. And toward the end of the book, what appears to be only a day or two from Colbie’s perspective is nearly a week from Spence’s; the timelines don’t seem to line up properly. But that’s a minor issue, and didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the book.
Fans have more to look forward to, as well. There are at least two more Heartbreaker Bay books releasing soon: Holiday Wishes, a novella due out in November, and About That Kiss, which comes out in late January.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon 2017