The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis: Review–I’m in Puppy Love!

October 4, 2016 Reviews 18 ★★★★

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis: Review–I’m in Puppy Love!The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2
Also in this series: One Snowy Night
Published by Avon on 9/27/16
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Source: The Publisher
My content rating: 18+ (Explicit Sex)
My rating:
4 Stars

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 ...


My Take copy3

How have I not read a Jill Shalvis book before? Well, okay, adult romance isn’t my go-to genre, but still … Jill Shalvis. She’s everywhere. And now that I’ve read one of her books, I’ve gotta say that I get the appeal. I flew through this book and read it all in one sitting.

Even though this is the second book in a series, you can definitely read it as a standalone. I did—but now I plan to read more!

 What Fed My Addiction:

  • Blend of sweet romance and more serious issues. I thought that this book did a great job of staying light overall (which made it a quick, fun read), but still introducing some tougher topics. Willa grew up in foster care and has taken in several young adults who’ve aged out of the system. Because of her history, she finds it hard to truly trust that someone might love her and commit. I loved that Willa was a little messed up because of her background and that she was trying to help others who’d grown up in similar circumstances. (It looks like a novella is coming out in November that will focus on Rory, one of the girls Willa has taken under her wing – I’m really eager to read that one!)
  • Fun friendships. Willa’s relationships with her friends was a major feature of this book (and of the series, it seems), and the banter between them was great fun!
  • Incredible chemistry. The chemistry between Willa and Keane was pretty much off the charts. Even though Willa was trying her hardest not to fall for Keane, he made it really tough on her. I loved that the romance was neither too rushed nor too slow-paced. There was no insta-love here, but it also wasn’t quite so simple as the “hate to love” trope—the connection between Willa and Keane was more complicated than that given their histories and the issues that stemmed from them.
  • Cute animals. Who doesn’t love an occasional cute puppy or grumpy cat thrown into the mix? This book had plenty of fun animal moments.

What Left Me Hungry for More:

  • Hot and cold. Poor Willa didn’t really know what she wanted and her confusion led her to run hot and cold throughout the book. This led to plenty of conflict, but sometimes I just wanted to say, “Willa, what are you doing? You’re messing this all up!” 🙂

All in all, this was a sweet (but still steamy), heartwarming romance—perfect for when you’re in the mood for a holiday romance read! I give it 4/5 stars. 

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Sullivan and Partners in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

About the Author:

jill-shalvis-2012-fullshotNew 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.

Author Links:
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18 Responses to “The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis: Review–I’m in Puppy Love!”

  1. Kaja

    Well! I’m really glad you liked this one. Jill Shalvis is the queen of contemporary romance!

    If you enjoyed the cute animal aspect of the story in particular, I recommend her Animal Magnetism series next (it’s actually my favourite series of hers), because most of it revolves around a vet clinic and an animal shelter and I just loved the setting.

    I can’t wait to read Elle’s story, she’s my favourite of the bunch. Yeah, Shalvis writes good friendships, you always get this feeling of closeness and people having each other’s backs, that’s so important. So often friendships get forgotten in romances.

  2. Joy // Joyousreads

    Ahh you’re in for a treat! She does contemporary romance well. I also love her small town vibe in the Lucky Harbor series. I hope you’ll have the chance to read those! I definitely need to read this series.

  3. Lily B

    hah if this is your first book by her I also recommend the Cider Ridge series, those were my first books by her and this is my third. I really liked the Cider Ridge a lot better.

  4. Lola

    I read my first Jill Shalvis last year (I read her cedar Ridge series) and I can definitely say I see the appeal as well and adult romance is one of the genres I like to read. I have the first book in this series, but haven’t read it yet. You definitely make me looking forward to starting this series.
    She sure seems to be good at writing romances. And yes the blend of serious topics and sweet romance and the fun friendships was something I enjoyed in her other series I read as well. So I think I’ll enjoy that about this one too. Great review!

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    You’re new to Jill Shalvis? Well, I will say you’re in for a treat if you decide to continue with her books. She is one of my favourites when it comes to contemporary romance and she just writes wonderful books. She gets how to write good romance, excellent friendships and she always keeps you hooked. I haven’t read her newest release yet but seeing a review from someone new to her writing has made me excited to get my hands on it as it must be pretty good.

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