Book Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Posted August 9, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Book Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
Genres: Cozy Romance
Published by Avon Books on September 27, 2016
Pages: 361
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: It’s in His Kiss, He’s So Fine, One in a Million, Forever and a Day, Second Chance Summer, Sweet Little Lies, Get A Clue, Chasing Christmas Eve, “One Snowy Night”, Rainy Day Friends, Merry and Bright

Second in the Heartbreaker Bay cozy romance series set in San Francisco and revolving around a group of friends and a wishing-for-love fountain. The couple focus is on Willa Davis and Keane Winters just before Christmas.

My Take

I enjoyed Shalvis’ approach with The Trouble with Mistletoe with a woman who has made something of herself, despite her background, and who expands her warmth to include others…besides the animals, lol. Besides, ya gotta love a girl who stands by her guns and yet can take in another’s perspective.

It’s a tale of fear with love triumphing with two characters so amazingly full of compassion in spite of their troubled childhoods. That third-person dual point-of-view, using Willa as the primary perspective and Keane for the second, provides us insight into both their thoughts. Shalvis rounds it out with her so-very-supportive core characters. Definitely a book to read when you need a lift.

Shalvis continues with her trademark sense of humor…I mean, how can you not love a line like this one:

”’And speaking of footwear, yours are on the wrong feet.’

Keller looked down at his shoes and scratched his head before tipping his head up again. ‘But I don’t have any other feet.’”

Then there’s the fuel diet. I love that one.

I do wish parents would accept each of their children as individuals and not compare them to anyone. Not to another sibling and don’t expect them to emulate or want the same things as their parents. And if you don’t want more kids, get fixed! Jesus. Taking out your own mistakes on your children is UNacceptable. That said, Keane’s parents are such screw-ups, and it just burns in their craw that they need to accept his help. *snicker*

The Story

Keane Winters is just plain lucky that Willa is a softy for animals. It does help that Keane seems to have changed from the arrogant kid he was in high school.

Too bad for Keane he doesn’t remember that dazzled girl.

The Characters

The twenty-seven-year-old Willa Davis owns the South Bark Mutt Shop and is on a self-imposed Man Time-Out. Her rescued employees include the tough-but-tender twenty-three-year-old Rory, the new nineteen-year-old feral Lyndie, and Cara.

Thor is Pru’s dog who loves to roll in stuff, the stinkier the better. Janie Sharp is one of Willa’s regulars with three of the devil’s spawn for kids: Dustin, Tanner, and Lizzie. Eric and Frac are their goldfish. Macaroni and Luna are a pit bull and a teacup piglet, respectively, and best friends. Keller‘s daddies hired Willa to plan their poodles’ wedding. Carl is a huge Doberman who belongs to Max. Buddy is a twelve-year-old cat who hates baths.

Keane Winters owns a construction company, SF Builders; Willa would be fine if he never darkened her door again. Mason is his right-hand man. Sass is his very efficient admin. Petunia, a.k.a., Pita, is his estranged great-aunt Sally’s Persian. Blue is the dog he lost a year before he left home. Vallejo Street is the 1940 Victorian he needs to sell. His cold parents are college professors who had him as a late-in-life unwanted baby. Janine (married to James) and Rachel are his older sisters. It was an uncle who instilled him with a love for carpentry. Betty is the best friend Great-aunt Sally shares with another.

The core characters
Pru is the captain of a tour boat off Pier 39 and engaged to Finn O’Riley, the owner of O’Riley’s, an Irish pub (Sean is his ne’er-do-well younger brother; Sweet Little Lies, 1); Elle Wheaten is the building’s office manager; Haley, with a preference for women, has an internship with an optometrist; Archer Hunt, an ex-cop, is the formidable head of a security company; and, Spence is an IT millionaire genius.

Joe is Archer’s second-in-command. Max works for Archer and keeps trying to ask Rory out.

Old Man Eddie is a homeless guy who lives in the alley; they all take care of him. Tina (used to be Tim) makes the best muffins. Kylie is a woodworker who owns Reclaimed Woods which makes gorgeous furnishings. Somehow she inherits Vinnie. Marco Delgado is a longtime client of Keane’s. Sharon is Keane’s real estate agent.

Ethan had been a jerk of a serial creeper and Willa’s ex. Julie Carmen had been Keane’s first real girlfriend. Jenny is a nurse at the hospital who had dated Keane in the past. Andy is Rory’s jerk of an ex-boyfriend.

The Cover and Title

The background for the cover is a cream clapboard siding with a doorway framed in doric columns with a dentil frieze above. It’s a casual yet be-suited Keane Winters standing in front of the doorway with hands in pockets, his eyes covered by a flirtatious, red-haired Willa’s hands. Above the doorway is the author’s name in an embossed metallic red against a dangle of colored Christmas lights with a bunch of mistletoe suspended on a red ribbon. The title is in a thin and smaller embossed metallic green centered to the right of the couple with the series information in black below it.

The Trouble with Mistletoe is that it keeps making Willa kiss Keane. Dang it.

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