Friday, October 13, 2017

Review - - Chasing Christmas Eve

Chasing Christmas Eve
By Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: September 26, 2017 
Reviewed by Janga

Colbie Albright is escaping from her life—from her mother and twin brothers who depend upon her for financial and emotional support, from a looming deadline and a severe case of writer’s block, and from the other complications her success as CE Crown, number one bestselling author of a YA action-adventure, dystopian series, has brought. After five years without a break, she needs to get away. When a late-season hurricane makes her dream of exchanging December in New York for Aruba or some other South Seas destination impossible, she impetuously boards a flight for San Francisco. A recommendation from a cab driver takes her to the Cow Hollow district and a certain legendary fountain. An encounter with a large, exuberant dog lands her in the fountain.

After trusting the wrong person, Spencer Baldwin finds himself on a list of San Francisco’s ten most eligible bachelors. The resulting media storm infringes on his privacy and is interfering with the uninterrupted time he needs to complete his latest project, getting medicines to people in inaccessible areas via drones. Taking a break to retrieve the phone he tossed in the fountain, he is drafted for dog walking duty by his friend, pet shop owner Willa Davis, (The Trouble with Mistletoe). When the dog knocks a tourist into the fountain, Spence goes to her aid. Guilt over her minor injuries comes second to an immediate fascination with her curvy body and her sense of humor that refuses to be dowsed even by her fountain experience. In fact, he is so attracted that he offers Colbie the use of an apartment in his Pacific Pier Building, against the advice of the building’s general manager and another “Friend of Spence,” the bossy Elle Wheaton (Accidentally on Purpose).

The more Spence and Colbie get to know one another, the greater their attraction to one another grows. They agree to an affair with an expiration date, Christmas Eve, the day Colbie has promised to be back in New York. But their relationship involves more than desire. They like each other, they talk to each other, and they are good together. The blocks they each have experienced in their professional lives yield to new creativity and productivity. However, they are keeping secrets from each other, and neither is willing to risk making the first move toward the forever they both want. When Colbie leaves, they both stand to lose.

When Jill Shalvis is at her best, nobody does funny, relatable characters with hidden vulnerabilities and stories that balance heart and heat better. Her Heartbreaker Bay books, albeit with some unevenness, have showcased her gifts. Readers have embraced the motley misfits who have become found family and eagerly awaited each new story. This fourth novel gets my vote for the best of series. I love geeky heroes, and my affection for writer heroines goes back to childhood when Jo March, Anne Shirley, and Betsy Ray, writers all, were as familiar and beloved as my real-life best friends. But Spence and Colbie have more going for them than the fact that theirs is a tale of a geek and a writer. They are likable, intelligent characters, a bit battered by life but loyal to those they love, passionate about their work, and possessing a keen sense of humor. Spence’s tribe all have parts to play in this story, and fans of the series will enjoy seeing favorite characters in their secondary roles. Colbie’s twenty-something brothers appear only briefly, but their appearance is long enough for them to give readers an aww moment. Finally, this is a Christmas book. It is not just a book set during the season but a book about giving in its most meaningful sense. The ending left me with a lovely holiday buzz.

If you are a Shalvis fan, I probably don’t need to remind you to add this one to your TBR shelf. If you are a fan of contemporary romance and haven’t read Shalvis, Chasing Christmas Eve is a great place to start. My recommendation for this one comes wrapped in sighs and smiles, with a tag that says, “Definitely open before Christmas.” And you can plan to start 2018 with Shalvis too. Joe and Kylie’s story, About That Kiss, releases January 23.


  1. I don't read a lot of contemporaries but I've always enjoyed her books!

  2. I'm a fan of this series. Looking forward to this new one!

  3. I read more historicals, but there are a small number of contemporary authors who absolutely blow me away. Ms Shalvis is one of them. Your review has made me realize, this is another book I really, really need.

  4. I need to catch up on her books. Thanks for the wonderful review.