Tag Archives: Jill Shalvis

Review: One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis

Mary’s Review of
One Snowy NightOne Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay series) by Jill Shalvis
Contemporary Romance released by Avon Impulse on November 8, 2016

It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.

Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.

They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.

I love a road trip romance. There’s something about two characters with loads of unresolved issues being trapped in a car together for miles and miles. With the holiday angle added in and a goofy, lovable dog…well, I just couldn’t resist picking this book up.

Rory was very interesting. She ran away from home at seventeen and hasn’t been back. She’s now 28, a little older and a little wiser. She’s tough – having survived and then thrived in San Francisco, putting herself through school and working. She wants to make amends with her family and decides to go home for Christmas. The problem: she’s told them that before and flaked every time. It’s easier for her to run away from her problems than face them and she’s working hard to change that.

Max was a lovable character. He’s protective of Rory but not in an overbearing way. He’s also smart with a good heart. Plus he has a dog and, let’s be honest, there is nothing better than a tough guy who melts like butter when it comes to his pet. Max agrees to give Rory a lift home – they are going in the same direction, after all. But what starts out as a good deed is later revealed to be far more than that. While Max likes and is attracted to Rory, he’s also very upset with her for some things she did in their shared past. He’s holding a grudge (for a good reason) and it makes his actions towards her only better because it would’ve been so easy for him to be nasty and dismissive. I really liked Max a lot.

During the ride home, the couple runs into some trouble. They end up stranded, of course, but how each of them reacts to that is what makes the book so good. Rory knows her family will believe she flaked again and she hates that. Max, knowing some of the history between Rory and her family, comforts her and does his best to make the best of a bad situation. On top of that, under pressure from Rory, Max reveals his reasons for keeping a distance. When Rory discovers what she unknowingly cost him, her reaction is very moving. It was easy to see Rory was working hard to change who she was. Max recognizes this and it made the romance between them so much sweeter.

My biggest complaint with this was the length. There was so much going on in this little novella, I think it really could have been longer. Also, if you haven’t read any of the novels in the Heartbreaker Bay series – like me – you might be a little lost in the beginning. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novella but I wish the author had given a touch more background on the characters.

Grade: B-

You can read an excerpt of this book here or buy it here.

Release Day Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: Still the One by Jill Shalvis

Hi friends! We’ve got Jill Shalvis!!! Ish. Well an exclusive excerpt, which is still awesome. I have to tell you, this post has been a long time coming. Almost six months ago I emailed Jill … and we were going to do a birthday post for her, and then you know the holidays and life and this and that and now it’s April! But guess why that’s awesome? Because Still the One is out today.

Still the OneLove is a dare in the sexy new romance by the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of the Animal Magnetism novels and the Lucky Harbor series…

Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?

At seven the next morning, AJ stood outside Darcy’s house in a freezing mist, leaning against his truck. He knew better than to rush a woman, but they really needed to get going to allow for any unplanned incidents on the road.

Although considering Darcy was one really big Unplanned Incident, it probably wouldn’t matter when they left.

He was in for a rough time today and he knew it. If there’d been any other way—any other way at all—he’d have taken it. But he needed her.

He’d been raised to show no weaknesses, and that usually worked for him. But when it came to anything having to do with one Darcy Stone, he instantly went off axis.

The front door of the Victorian opened and Darcy stepped out wearing a formfitting, thigh-length sweater, leggings, and boots. Zoe stood in the doorway looking worried.

Let’s get this drama-free adventure over with, shall we?” Darcy asked.

She hasn’t had caffeine yet,” Zoe warned.

AJ looked Darcy over. “You think caffeine’s going to help?”

Zoe laughed, blew him a kiss, laid one on Darcy’s cheek, and vanished back inside.

Darcy went on the move, walking with an uneven gait, signaling that she was tired, possibly to the point of exhaustion.

She still wasn’t sleeping. Why, if she was still taking pain pills, wasn’t she sleeping?

As she stepped off the porch it began to sleet in earnest, and she looked up at the sky, a slow smile crowding the exhaustion away from her face.

She loved the rain, always had.

Pushing off the truck, he strode forward to take the duffle bag from her. “You’re not supposed to carry anything over five pounds,” he reminded her.

Her sleepy gaze locked onto his and he felt both a stirring and a discomfort.

Yeah. He had a hell of a long day ahead of him.

It’s been eleven months,” she said.

Eleven months and two weeks. He took a step closer, ordering himself not to breathe her in, but damn he loved the way she smelled. He shouldered her bag and held out his hand for the purse hanging off her other side.

She relinquished her purse without a word.

Another sign that something was wrong. He’d expected her to be pissy, but it wasn’t temper he saw.

Hey,” he said, moving closer, bending to see into her face. “You okay?”

Terrific, never better.” She hit the first step and her leg buckled.

It was instinct for him to reach for her, but at his movement her head whipped around like Carrie in the horror film and she gave him a back off or die look.

He lifted his hands.

She put earbuds into her ears and hit play on her iPod. Then she very carefully gripped the railing on the porch and took the second step.

Killing him. He looked at the time on his phone and eyed the distance to his truck, torn between keeping his big trap shut and mentioning that not only were they in a hurry, but a fall on the slippery steps would be bad. “I’ll carry you,” he said.

She pretended she couldn’t hear him over her music and made it to the third step, completely drenched now. Her hair loved this weather as much as she did, the curls rioting around her face.

Two more steps.

AJ watched, holding his breath, hands itching to help. Jesus. How did Wyatt and Zoe do this every single day?

When she nearly bought it on the last step, he had to shove his hands in his pockets to keep them off her.

She held still a moment, fighting for balance—which she won. And the cocky smile she sent him over her shoulder was worth every second of the torture.

Did it,” she said, clearly proud of herself. “And this time I didn’t eat dirt.”

He’d been with her just about every step of the way since her doctor had approved PT. He’d seen her flat on the mats at his wellness center, writhing in agony as he dug into her scar tissue to loosen it up. He seen her fighting her way through the pain as she worked the weights and stretches he’d given her. He’d seen her stand up out of her wheelchair and take her first steps again.

All of it had moved him.

Deeply.

It was why he did what he did. He never got tired of being such an integral part of someone’s recovery.

But now, right this very minute, watching her do a triumphant dance, which included a very carefully orchestrated hip boogie and body shake that had his eyes going straight to her sweet ass, made his day.

Nicely done,” he said.

She slid him a look, and he had no idea if it was the morning huskiness of his voice or something else, but she blinked in surprise at him.

And then turned left instead of heading to his truck. She walked to the middle of the grass in her yard and . . .

Lay down on her back. Despite the fact that the air was chilled and the ground even colder, she stared up at the sky and smiled as the rain hit her.

He stared down at his feet, blew out a breath, and tossed her bags into his truck. Then he joined her, sprawling out on his back on the—oh, perfect—wet grass next to her. Their arms touched and she reached for his hand, squeezing his fingers. “Perfect start to the day, right?”

The wet grass was seeping through his clothes as drops of rain splashed right in his eye. They had a long drive ahead of them, but all he could feel was her fingers in his, and then there was her smile.

Brighter than the sun that hadn’t come out in weeks.

The front door of the house across the street opened. An older woman in a thick bathrobe and curlers peered out. “What the hell are you crazy kids doing?” she yelled.

Darcy laughed her musical laugh. “Being crazy kids,” she yelled back.

The woman muttered something and slammed her door.

She’ll call the cops,” Darcy said. “And poor Kel will have to come out and investigate.”

Kel was the local sheriff and a friend of AJ’s. “We’re not doing anything illegal,” he said. “Stupid, yes. Illegal, no.”

Darcy shrugged. “Mrs. Willingham likes to cover all her bases when it comes to me.” She blew out a sigh and sat up. “We’ve got eight point five minutes to get out of here.”

A few minutes later they were on the highway. “I’m not even going to mention how disturbing it is that you know the exact response time for the police to your house.”

You can read another excerpt here, or buy a copy here. So what’d you guys think? Do you read Jill’s books? Have you been reading this series? 😀

Jill Shalvis Blog Tour

Hi everyone! So Jill Shalvis and her publisher assigned a blog tour, and today’s my day/stop! I asked Jill three questions, and here they are! It’s just a little random something so all of you can peek into Jill’s mind and learn about her newest book.

1. What can we look forward to after these books? (What are you working now?)
Three more Lucky Harbor books for next summer in June, July and August.  At Last, Lucky In Love, and Forever And A Day!

2. What, in your opinion is the best kind of cookie? What about chips? (I remember you said you’d pick chips over cookies if you could only have one…)
Best cookie … oh boy.  I can’t pick just one!  But quite possibly Mother’s Double Fudge … or Chips Ahoy chocolate chip… As for chips, salt and vinegar, hands down.

3. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever learned researching for a book?
I learn something for every book, mostly that I know a lot less than I think I do.  😛

There will be a three copies given away to random winners who comment on the tour. So have you read anything by Jill Shalvis before? She will be an official guest here – so what questions would you like to ask her?

If you care to follow the tour all the way through… The other stops with the giveaway chances are at these places on these days: Dec 3, Dec 4: here, here, here, here, Dec 5:  here, here, here, Dec 6: here, here, here, Dec 7: here, here, Dec 8: here, here, here, here, Dec 9: here, here, here, Dec 10: here, here, here, and here! Or at least that’s what the sheet from Grand Central Publishing said. 😉 Enjoy!