Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis

Posted January 22, 2019 in review Tags: , ,

Playing for Keeps by Jill ShalvisPlaying for Keeps by Jill Shalvis

Series: Heartbreaker Bay #7
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Setting: San Francisco, CA
Source: ARC, Edelweiss
Also in this series: About That Kiss, Hot Winter Nights, Wrapped Up in You, Twist of Fate
Also by this author: My Kind of Wonderful, Nobody But You, Accidentally on Purpose, About That Kiss, Hot Winter Nights, Wrapped Up in You, Twist of Fate, Love for Beginners
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If you’re planning on falling in love…

When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s yoga pants, he’s a suit. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure…

Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you.

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.

Can a girl with scars and baggage really be with a billionaire who has his life together? Playing for Keeps is an opposites attract type story with 2 people who have way more in common than they think initially. Caleb, AKA Suits, grew up poor, sickly, and bullied. He made sure his family never struggled again as soon as he was able. Sadie, AKA Mercedes, never fit in with her family and they never stopped reminding her of it. She is trying to make it on her own, but each day is a struggle.

Sadie has walls that Trump would be envious of. This girl is so closed off its like trying to escape North Korea (all right, no more political comparisons). She is broke and struggling to build her tattoo clientele, but she is also proud and stubborn. Her family hasn’t been kind to her and she struggled with mental health issues. Now, she tattoos people who want to cover up scars, which is amazingly cool. I had trouble really liking Sadie because, honestly, she is VERY judgmental. I found this ironic given how her family judges her, but she thinks she knows Caleb from the start and makes some pretty judgmental comments disparaging him even though he has been nothing but nice and honest. Caleb calls her out on it, which I thought was great. She does admit to this character flaw, and that helped me warm to her.

The thread that ties these two together is what totally won me over though: Lollipop, the 3 legged dog! Caleb and Sadie’s relationship grows from their “co-parenting” of a rescue dog. As a dog lover myself, and someone who has 2 rescue dogs, I agree with Lily about this: You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat an animal. I loved seeing these two kind of use Lollipop as a reason to see each other. Sadie doesn’t want to admit her feelings, so she literally and figuratively hides behind Lollipop. Caleb is so sweet to this dog I could hardly stand it. Both Caleb and Sadie make mistakes-they both have trust issues, baggage, and crazy families. While they both tend to make mistakes, both of them own up to it and it made their relationship feel believable!

Playing for Keeps will tug at your heartstrings whether you are an animal lover or not because Caleb and Sadie will warm your soul! Their story is filled with past hurt that has to be overcome, mistakes made by both, but that makes the journey so sweet.



Going Down Easy by Carly Phillips, Driving Whiskey Wild by Melissa Foster, Everything She Wanted by Jennifer Ryan, …then you will probably like Playing for Keeps!


Playing for Keeps

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She shook her head.

“Look at me. Please?”

It was the damn please that had her opening her eyes. He’d closed the gap so that if she so much as took a breath, they’d be touching.

So she did just that. She took a deep breath, and then their bodies were up against each other, his warm and hard. Everywhere. “What’s happening?” she whispered.

“I believe you’re deciding between kicking me in the nuts and kissing me.” One side of his mouth curved very slightly as he lifted their still joined hands above her head, against the wall.

“But that last part might just be in my dreams.”

“Yes,” she whispered.

“Yes, it’s just in my dreams?”

She meant to say yes again, she really did.

She even opened her mouth to say it, because this was insane, this incredible . . . craving she had for him. It made no sense. Less than no sense, and yet . . .

She went up on tiptoe and touched her mouth to his.

About Jill Shalvis

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

Jill lives with her family in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters (Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is mostly coincidental). She does most of her writing on her deck surrounded by more animals than humans. Which is quite astonishing considering she’s a city girl who was plucked from the wilds of L.A. to the wilds of the Sierra’s. Most of her books come from a combination of hard work, cookies, and hot guy pics, and not necessarily in that order.

Jill often travels to reader weekends & conventions where she LOVES getting to meet and hang-out with readers. The only problem being she tends to get lost in her hotels. So if you ever see NYTimes Bestselling author Jill Shalvis roaming the halls, someone please return her immediately.

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6 responses to “Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis

  1. I really love this series, haven’t read this one yet due to my lack of free time but I’ve pre-ordered it. I remember thinking the same about Sadie (too judgmental) when I was reading Hot Winter Nights. I’ll definitely get to it this month and maybe I’ll warm up to Sadie too. Great review! 🙂

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