ABOUT THE BOOK:
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 yoga pants, he’s a suit. 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. …
Both guarded and vulnerable, Sophie 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.
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Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis is a 2019 Avon Publication.
I’m always happy to return to the Heartbreaker Bay series. So far, each chapter in the series has been a little whimsical and maybe a bit quirky. This book begins with a similar tone as the other books in the series, with Sadie and Caleb adopting an adorable dog named ‘Lollipop’ and becoming co- pet parents.
However, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Their attraction to each other is like mixing oil and water. Caleb has dealt with some heavy issues in his past, but he’s taken big strides toward maturation, although he still hides behind emotional barriers, and his sister’s overabundance of caution and extreme protectiveness.
Sadie on the other hand-
Well, Sadie is still coping with a lot of baggage she can’t quite seem to shake off. In Sadie, the reader sees someone struggling not only with a haunted past, but with some bitterness, and the immature need to rebel, still trying to shock and offend.
Of all the books in this series, to date, this one feels a little more serious. Shalvis always has an uncanny knack for addressing uncomfortable topics, while keeping the tone light. Her humor always offsets the heaviness in any given situation. This time, however, the whimsy, charm, humor, felt forced and often falls a bit flat.
Despite that, the story is still a very compelling read. Sadie’s issues would test the patience of Job, but so would Caleb’s sisters!! I am glad, however, that Shalvis addressed a topic rarely explored in romance novels of this caliber.
Although I found this couple to be more of a challenge than most, their happily ever after may have been the most rewarding, in some ways. Perceptions, expectations, family, acceptance, and forgiveness are adeptly woven into the story. Caleb and Sadie defy all the odds against them and at the end of the day, this is what makes this book stand out.
The outcome was worth the extra patience this couple seemed to require. Of course I was, as always, happy to see this couple, and Lollipop, get their long overdue happily ever after.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.
Visit Jill's website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
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