About That Kiss
A Heartbreaker Bay Novel
by Jill Shalvis
On Sale: 01/23/2018
Harper Collins \ Avon
Available formats: Mass Market Paperback/eBook/Hardcover/Audio
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help—Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him—or seduce him.
the best thing to do . . .
No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.
… is enjoy the ride.
As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more. https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062741769/about-that-kiss
Pets, a woman or a man with misplaced guilt who firmly believes he isn’t relationship material and parents on both sides with problems and poor parenting skills are the backbones of almost all Jill SHalvis’s books, but in this series, thus far, this is my favorite.
The protagonists are filled with integrity. But often they do not see themselves as headed for long term relationship-ville.
I always wonder at this because to me it feels like people who are “Stand-Up Guys” (or Gals) are more likely to be relationship friendly. Relationships ground people, provide a center and integrity requires Often the characters in Shalvis book have strong friendships, a military background and, sometimes a family connection (if not parental then siblings or grandparents). Again, why would a character with these elements find a romantic relationship unwelcome or hard?
Therein lies the tension in the relationship side of this story.
Shalvis’s characters rarely place value on products — things like fancy cars and watches aren’t important to them. When Kylie loses a small carving that’s very important to her; something she believes to be of mere sentimental value, she needs help finding it and the best guy she knows for that is Joe with whom she already shares a hot attraction. This item is probably a little more costly than Kylie realizes, but also we get to understand that the things we hold dear are of the greatest value when they have sentimental importance.
When it becomes apparent the “kidnapper” knows where she is and sends her cruel ransom notes with a twist based in popular culture, funny-ish photos, Joe feels she is also in danger. At first, the ransom notes made me think the whole thing was funny, but the cruelty of them becomes apparent and this leads to an understanding that the perp is serious and unhinged.
With the romance genre format we know there’s an HEA and so it’s the journey to the HEA that counts, and Shalvis always provides a steamy trip, normally also based in some crisis turning the relationship around.
Shalvis almost always gives us female characters who are strong and devoted to something vocationally and/or professionally, often non-traditional. In this case Kylie is a woodworker/furniture maker/artist. A note on “Non-Traditional:” I am not sure if that has meaning for younger people or if it is something only my generation or before, experiences as relevant. The woodworker aspect also leads back to that centering and grounding.
Shalvis’s story provides comic relief with Eddie the homeless guy and Kylie’s mother who, as it turns out isn;t really that funny at all. She is reckless and self-centered which is only funny in sit-coms. I think that is something Shalvis aims for.
Shalvis’s choices to feature these themes work well in this story without feeling contrived. This book provided a great vacation read, and indeed I planned to post it when I got home, but it got lost in the trial of my return flights home and slipped my mind.
The book did not get lost in my memory though so I can say it was a good story and welcome distraction.