Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Posted September 27, 2016 by Shari in Excerpt, Reviews / 26 Comments

the-trouble-with-mistletoe-by-jill-shalvisThe Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

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 …


One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The Delight

Jill Shalvis delivers an emotionally packed love story that wrapped me in loving arms. Two unlikely people, find out that maybe they have more than what they expected or knew. Filled with passion, throw in a grumpy cat and some other animals to have a hit romance that I didn’t want to put down.

~~~ Shari the Delighted Reader

I don’t know why I haven’t read more of Jill Shalvis’s work? I mean I have read two books and I loved them both. (One of them being this story). Really…I went out and bought book 1 of this series after I read this and pre-ordered another just because I really need more of this author in my life!

The Trouble with Mistletoe is a delight for the senses! With a great group of friends who have you back through thick and thin, laughable moments that make you appreciate your own pets, and a grumpy cat that holds a grudge against the hero. This had all the elements of a wonderful Christmas time romance.

When Keane Winters storms into Willa Davis’s pet shop, it’s game on. Willa recognizes Keane as the boy who stood her up in high school, but he doesn’t remember a thing. Strapped with a grumpy cat his aunt has him watching, Keane just wants a place to board it while he works. He is intrigued with the redhead, but senses there is something she is angry about…specifically with him. Willa isn’t giving him much quarter, especially when the Cat from Hell takes to her and everything seems peaceful.

Keane is one of those heroes with a tough outside, but a oohey gooey inside. The cat never gives him an inch often defecating in his shoes to show her displeasure of being separated from her owner. Even at her worst, he dutifully cares for her, finding a place during the day for her to go and keeping her with him when not. What’s not to like about a hunk carrying a pink cat carrier? This all translates into his life as well. His home life isn’t the greatest and truth be known, he doesn’t really know his aunt very well. When the chips are down, he steps in and takes care of his family, no questions asked.

Willa for her part is a sassy one. She has her own deep secrets of life growing up. Wanting what everyone else does, she feels she is unlovable. The pet shop is her one big success, along with the sassy apron sayings around Christmas. Taking in employees that also grew up like she did is her unconscious project to give back good when there hasn’t been much good in her life.

The two need each other in ways they both don’t even know. A confirmed bachelor falls harder than he expects while a woman who wants love pushes away when things get real. The secondary cast of characters round out this wonderful story of Christmas hope and love.

The Trouble with Mistletoe is the second book in the Heartbreaker Bay series and can be read as a standalone. It has everything a good romance needs: friends, pets, Christmas, comedy, heartbreak and love. It was a wonderful mix…and if you think reading a Christmas story in September is weird, the Christmas elements are kept subtle. It’s there, but not in your face all the time. The focus remains on the characters. I highly suggest you go get this one. You will have deep Christmas regrets if you don’t. Buy a copy for a friend for Christmas….yes, get it!

Challenge Info:

New to Me: Series
Books ‘N Tunes: I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Frank Sinatra



I received this book for free from Book Tour Provided in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
The Trouble with Mistletoe

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Avon
Released on September 27, 2016
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Book Tour Provided

Get it at: add to goodreads

“You want to come upstairs, Willa?”
What she wanted was to put her hands back on his chest now that she knew it was as hard as it looked. Instead she gripped either side of her seat with white knuckles. “Of course not.”
“I think you do. I think you want something else too.”
“What I want,” she said as coolly as she could, “is dinner as promised.”
“Liar,” he chided softly.
“Well that’s just rude, calling your date a liar.”
“So it is a date.” His tone was very male and very smug. It should’ve pissed her off but instead it did something hot and erotic to her insides.
Clearly knowing it, he smiled at her and then dragged his teeth over his lower lip as he contemplated her.
Gah. She wanted to do that. And she wanted to do more too. She wanted him shockingly badly and suddenly she couldn’t remember why she shouldn’t. She tried to access her thought processes on the subject but her brain hiccupped and froze. Which surely was the only reason she let go of the death grip on her seat, slid her fingers into his hair, and . . . brushed her mouth over his.
He didn’t move, not a single muscle, but when she pulled back, his eyes had gone dark as night, piercing her with their intensity.
“Don’t read that the wrong way,” she whispered.
“Is there a wrong way to take it when a beautiful woman kisses you?”

About Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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26 responses to “Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

  1. thats good to know that it can be read as a standalone, especially since I didn’t read the first one, but have this one and love this author! great review

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I didn’t read the first one, but you see a little of the couple. It didn’t leave me confused, so I was happy. I do plan on reading the first one since I loved this one and I pre-ordered another I think.

      I am not a convert on this author and plan to add her to my must buy list.

  2. I’m a huge Jill Shalvis fan, and I really enjoyed this one too. I love her Animal Magnetism series and her Lucky Harbor series. I think it usually takes a book or two for her to reach her stride with series, but then it’s magical!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I am going to find some time to see if I can start her series. I loved this one and I am glad I am only one book behind in it.

  3. I just read a different review of this book! She really liked the book too. Adorable and funny sounds good to me. I have not read anything by Shalvis, but I have one of her other books from this year, Sweet Little Lies (something like that – it was sent unsolicited). I’ll see if I get to it. Shalvis sounds like a solid romance writer!

    Wonderful review. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I am now a convert. I love her writing style and I don’t know why I never continues after the first time I read one of her books. She writes comedy, family, friends into a steamy romance with real people.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I really want to wait to read Christmas romances, but hey, I fell in love with this one!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Thanks Braine! I have been trying out new formats to give them a better look. I am still tweaking, but I think I like this way better.

      Christmas comes early in romances books!

  4. I can’t believe the Christmas is closing in on us, this year has gone by so quickly. I am looking forward to this one, she does great with bantering between her couples.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Yep, we are celebrating Christmas over out $45,000 ditch this year. It’s a joke that we keep telling the kids. Like you college fund is now in the back yard. Start digging, lol.

      I love Christmas stories with such heart.

  5. that’s so great to see you had a wonderfu time with the story! I haven’t tried her book (and we even have them in French) but I keep hearing great things about her work! I need to try!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I kept hearing it, but I kept going on without reading them. Now I am hooked!

  6. I have received book 1 in this series for review, but haven’t read it yet. I had requested this one on edelweiss as well, but I don’t think I got approved yet. Which is a shame as it really sounds like a great read. i read my first Jill Shalvis book last year when I picked up her Cedar Ridge series, which was great and it made me want to read more books by her, so I hope I can start this series soon.
    I like the sound of how this one takes place during Christmas as I haven’t read a lot holiday reads so far. Oh and she has a pet shops, that sounds interesting. I usually like those type of heroes who are tough on the outside and soft on the inside. This one sounds like a book I would enjoy :). Great review!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I bought book 1, but I have a few deadlines I have to hit before I can get to it. I got this through a tour company I work with and snapped it up as soon as I saw it come through. I want more of her books!

      Pet shops are so cute and anything with a dog grabs me!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I loved this story. I wanted to wait until Christmas to post the review, but it was from a tour provider so I had to post it earlier. It will be one of my Christmas recommendations.

  7. RO

    Yes, yes, yes! There has never been a Jill Shalvis book that I haven’t loved, and this sounds like no exception. Add in some cats and dogs, and I’ soooo there! Hugs…