Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Review & Giveaway - - The Sweetheart List

The Sweetheart List
by Jill Shalvis
The Sunrise Cove Series - Book 4
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: June 13, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

What makes life sweet?

  • Freshly baked bread
  • A cool lake on a hot summer day
  • The comfort of a cozy bookstore
  • Second chances and new beginnings

When Harper Shaw’s life falls apart, she knows it’s time for a change. She removes everything that doesn’t spark joy—from her soul-sucking job to eating kale to making lists—and sets off for the last place she was happy, Lake Tahoe (who wouldn’t feel good there, right?) to fulfill her dream of opening her own bakery.

With her Sugar Pine Bakery in between a tavern, owned by sexy, grumpy Bodie Campbell, and a bookstore, run by her new BFF, she feels a peace she’s never experienced since…well, forever.. Then she meets Ivy, a teenage runaway, who barrels into her heart. She sees a lot of herself in Ivy and takes her under her wing, but the teenager has secrets…

When those secrets explode, it changes Harper’s new world, and she’ll learn, it’s never too late to start over, it’s never too late to figure out your life, and best of all, it’s never too late to let yourself believe in love.

PJ's Thoughts:

Connection. It's a facet of the books in this series that has had a profound impact on me. In The Sweetheart List, those connections come in the form of biological family, friendships formed, romantic relationships, chosen family, and, yes, even pets and humans. In this case, that animal connection comes in the form of Hambone, a huge, goofy, Bernese Mountain Dog with a weakness for treats, belly rubs, and the people to whom he happily gives his heart. I adored him.

I love this author's ability to create a cast of multi-layered, complex characters, bring them together, then slowly, carefully, begin to unravel all the complications that are keeping them apart. There are heart-tugging emotions, life-changing revelations, steamy desire, and hopeful new beginnings on the horizon. If the characters are brave enough to reach for them. There are poignant moments throughout but also plenty of perfectly placed humor. Kudos to those authors who can make me laugh, cry, and sigh with happy satisfaction when I turn the final page. 

I fell hard for the Campbell family, those characters born into it and those invited to be a part of it. Shalvis nailed the dynamic among the brothers as well as the love and respect they all have for their petite but powerful mother. There's absolutely no doubt about who rules this family with a loving hug and an iron resolve. 

Harper, Bodie, and Ivy all captured my heart. I was in each of their corners all the way through to their hard-won happy endings. Harper's kindness reeled me in, just as it did to everyone else she meets in Sunrise Cove. Ivy's tough outer layer that hides a vulnerable center aching for love had me in tears more than once. And Bodie. He's such a good guy. Dealing with issues, still a bit of a grump (but with a heart that is always in the right place), slowly healing and opening himself up to those who love him. I won't be forgetting any of them anytime soon. 

Also, I want to be the next one to live in the apartment above Harper's bakery (without raccoons, please). Just the thought of waking each morning to the aroma of her cinnamon rolls has my taste buds happy dancing, not to mention her chocolate and mint cookies, and her special blend of coffee, and her Red Velvet cake, and...and...and... Yes, well, you get the idea. 

The Sweetheart List is book four in the Sunrise Cove series but is a standalone story as is each book in the series. I enthusiastically recommend adding this warm hug of a book to your summer reading list. 

Have you read any of the books in the Sunrise Cove series?

Between Harper's bakery and Bodie's pub, food is an important part of this book. What breakfast aromas are sure to pull you out of bed? 

Do you have a pet connection? Tell me about him/her.

One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, June 16 will receive a print copy of The Sweetheart List

*U.S. only
*Must be 18

Thank you to Avon Books for today's giveaway. 


  1. I have not read Jill in awhile so do not think I have read any of this series. I love foodie and books with dogs and this one sounds really good. Thanks for the chance.

  2. I am a fan of Ms Shalvis' writing. This sounds like a really lovely book. I like stories about people who connect to the world around them. And overcoming difficulties is another thing I admire. I have not read any of the Sunrise Cove series. In the morning, the aroma of coffee is always terriific, and bacon....bacon....bacon. It's been awhile for bacon and me to meet. I live with Sonny. He was a "throw away" dog. Literally, a guy threw him away. He is unlike any dog I have ever had. He is small, I have never lived with a small dog before. He does not play - he is a Pekingese and they are not dogs who participate with others. I believe that God introduced him to me because he is exactly what I need in a companion. Whatever brought him to me, I am very grateful. And he is happy too, at least I think so, it is hard to tell with a dog like Sonny.

  3. I've read many of Jill's books, but haven't started the Sunrise Cove series yet. I also enjoy Jill's FB posts with 'her writing view' and of her grandkiddies.

  4. Jill's books are captivating. I read The Backup Plan which was enjoyable. Breakfast aromas are my favorite. French toast, coffee, frittatas, and pancakes. I have an adorable, sweet and lovable rescue who is smart, energetic, wise and wonderful. This special dog knows all and is sensitive and observant. What a love. We walk several times a day and he watches me, follows me and is completely devoted to me. Babka is my love forever and I cannot live with out her around me.

  5. I am super behind on Jill Shalvis' new series of books. I don't think I've read any of the Sunrise Cove series. Thank you for the reminder, i'll be added them to my library hold list immediately!

  6. I love Jill's books, and yes, she has a remarkable ability to weave stories full of humor, heartbreak and critters ... all to an HEA. Coffee and bacon get me out of bed for sure! All of my critters have been rescues...presently blessed with a bossy little senior Scottie rescue, and I mean BOSSY...she know what, when and where...doesn't really care much about why ;-) Poor thing has n idea how to play, doesn't mind other critters, just gives them a sniff and then off to other adventures. I will admit to getting impatient with her when she stares moose down as if trying to hypothesize them :-)

  7. I read The Family You Make. The smell of bacon would get me out of bed! No pets at the moment.

  8. I enjoy Jill’s books. She has a wonderful sense of humor. I have not had any time to read lately. This is about to change, next month I won’t be babysitting anymore. I have not read her Sunshine Cove series but plan to catch up.
    I have 2 granddoggies, Bandit and Chance and 1 grandcat, Miss Ellie.

    1. Sorry, I hit the button and then realized I hadn’t put in my name.

    2. Cinnamon from cinnamon rolls, yeast dough, coffee and chocolate would all get me out of bed.

    3. I haven't read any of the books in the Sunrise Cove series. I need to rectify that. The smell of coffee, bacon, and pancakes would wake me up. :) Cats have always been number one in our family although our adult son's dachshund is adorable. We have him every time when our grandson comes over. I still think about a few of the cats that we've had. They're never forgotten.

  9. Patricia Bennett BarberJune 14, 2023 at 3:47 PM

    Yes I have read her books and love them. And bacon will get me up fast in the
    And pets... I have 1 cat and I have 5 granddogs and 3 grandcats and a

  10. I have not ready any of the Sunset Cove Series, but I must say this one sounds really good. The smell of french toast and bacon would get me up. We have had a number of pets through the years and they have all been precious to us.

  11. The smell of bacon and coffee will get me out of bad fast! I just started that series I have recieved book 1 The Family You Make it's very good, right now we have 1 dog and 1 year old cat who plays all day,

  12. Love this series!! Read them all! The cinnamon rolls would pull me in forever. We have 2 shitzus, they are our life!

  13. I have read her Sunrise Cove books and I love them! Jill is one of my favorite authors. I do have a spoiled rotten Blue Nose pit bull named Miss Daisy!

  14. Yes I have read some of the series. I love Jill Shalvis'books

  15. I have not yet read any of the books in this series.
    The smell of bacon cooking will get me up, but the smell of yeast dough, especially made into cinnamon rolls or sticky buns will get me going. Lazing in bed smelling the aroma of those baking treats is a luxury I would gladly indulge in.
    We have had many pets. My favorites are no longer with us. Of them all, our first dog, a beagle mix, and our third, a lab mix, were favorites and the ones I connected with the most. There was also another sweet little lemon beagle. It is hard to really attach to a dog in this house. They all adore my husband. We have met strangers out with their dogs who tell us their dogs fear or don't like strangers. Everyone has come right up to my husband wanting attention. Our current dog is a dachshund-beagle mix rescue (as were all our pets). She was obviously mistreated and is afraid of everything. She didn't make a sound for the first 2 months we had her. She is finally beginning to settle in and is bonding with my husband. She will come to me for a pat on the head or a treat. If you poick her up to hold, she sits up stiff as a board. She finally relaxed and fell asleep in his arms the other day after we took her for a long walk.
    Thank you for the review and recommendation. This one goes on my Wish List.

  16. I love Jill's books but haven't started this series yet. If I lived over a bakery, or next door to one, I would eat way too much! I cannot imagine a life without pets. I've always had a connection with cats. We have a set of siblings we bottle fed. I am very much the tortie's person. She'll meet me at the door, follow me around the house, would love to spend most of the day on my shoulders, and sleeps with me most nights. Her brother gets a ton of attention too, but he is an equal opportunity snuggler. That said, I've had some wonderful dogs as well. Our last golden was and our current golden (almost 2 years old) is a big momma's boy.

  17. I have read her other books, but not this series.



  18. I'm a fan of Jill Shalvis's books, but haven't read this series yet. It sounds like a winner. As for favorite breakfast scents, bacon! And honestly, all of it--I'm a big breakfast fan!