About That Kiss
By Jill Shalvis
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Reviewed by Janga
Reviewed by Janga
Kylie Masters is doing her best to forget the unforgettable kiss she shared with Joe Malone. The man may be a woman’s fantasy in the flesh, but Kylie has seen enough of her mother’s mistakes with commitment-phobic tough guys to know that is not what she needs in her life—or so she tells herself. But when a small penguin sculpture, the only memento she has of her beloved grandfather, an artist in woodwork, disappears and she is bombarded with penguin in jeopardy photos, she turns to ex-military, current security professional Joe for help.
Joe grew up poor and rough, doing what he needed to do after his mother’s death to take care of his younger sister, Molly, and his father, a veteran suffering from severe PTSD, even when it was illegal. Enforced military enlistment turned his life around, but he is still a lone wolf, devoted to his family but leery of romantic relationships that involve more than the moment. Despite the example of his friend and boss Archer Hunt and Elle Wheaten (Accidentally on Purpose), Joe is a skeptic when it comes to love, and he is not happy that he can’t get Kylie Masters out of his mind—or his heart.
As Joe and Kylie work together to solve the mystery of the penguin and an increasing threat to Kylie, the chemistry between them grows more explosive and more difficult to resist. Can these two make peace with their pasts and learn to trust their feelings for one another?
About That Kiss is the fifth entry in Shalvis’s popular Heartbreaker Bay series. It has the humor, the tribal connections, and the sizzle that have been trademarks of this series and of Shalvis’s romances generally. Kylie is smart and independent with an appealing vulnerability balanced by a healthy sense of self-worth. Joe is strong, tough, and more comfortable with actions than with words. They are an engaging couple, and the supporting characters, particularly Molly Malone, add interest and winsomeness to the story.
Chasing Christmas Eve, the novel that preceded this one, was my favorite in the series. Perhaps that is why I found this one a bit of a letdown. It has all the right ingredients, but I just never felt the connection that Shalvis at her best evokes. The romantic comedy-suspense mix seemed a bit off to me. I found myself more interested in what is the setup for the story of Molly and Lucas than in the central romance. Regardless, the magnetism of the Heartbreaker Bay core group is still potent, and canine lovers will be charmed by Kylie’s dog, Vinnie. Family dynamics also add appeal. If you are a fan of the Heartbreaker Bay series, you will not want to miss this one. If you are new to the series, other novels are probably better entry points. Book 6, Slow Winter Nights, Molly and Lucas’s story, will be released in September 2018, another Heartbreaker Bay Christmas story. That one is definitely high on my TBR list.
Have you been reading the Heartbreaker Bay series?
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One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on today's post before 11:00 PM, February 10, will receive a print copy of ABOUT THAT KISS. (US / Canada Only)
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, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-
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BUY LINKS for ABOUT THAT KISS:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2mGIuC8