REVIEW: JILL SHALVIS ✭ HOT WINTER NIGHTS

REVIEW: JILL SHALVIS ✭ HOT WINTER NIGHTSHot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #6
Published by Avon on September 25th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Avon
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four-stars

Who needs mistletoe?

Most people wouldn't think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn't most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she's been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that — but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once...

Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don't mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he's shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly's brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can't believe he's drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who's the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he's ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he's been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.

HOT WINTER NIGHTS

by Jill Shalvis

“Love is just stumbling through life with your best friend.”

Jill Shalvis is one of those authors I don’t need to be in the mood for because I’m always in the mood for one of her books. I remember when I felt that crackling chemistry between Lucas and Molly in Joe’s story I wanted to know what was going on between them. Turns out not so much back then. Yes, there was attraction but in Hot Winter Nights they definitely crank the heat up.

What keeps me coming back to Jill’s books are her unfailingly lovable characters. Molly is a young woman who has been hurt because of her physical condition. She has built a barbed wire around her heart, determined not to let anyone get close and while she always has always felt Lucas’s pull she would never act on it. I loved that she could be so mischievous and screwed with Lucas head in a fun way. She had a big dose of sass, was smart and brave as long as she didn’t have to think about emotional relationships.

“Lucas?” she whispered.
“Yeah?”
“I’m in trouble with you.”

Lucas has closed off his heart because he’s no stranger to loss. For years he kept everyone at arm’s length, his boisterous family included. With Molly that changes fast. There are so many reasons he wants her and even more reasons why he shouldn’t but this crafty, funny, clever woman makes him fall so hard that his walls are annihilated in one fell swoop. And I just loved that. Lucas saw her as the capable, intelligent investigator when everyone else was trying to hold her down out of totally misguided protectiveness. He bolstered her self esteem, made her feel beautiful and sexy with all her perceived and real flaws.

“You know martial arts?”
“A little. Sorry I almost kicked you.”
“Are you kidding?” he asked in disbelief. “If this costume wasn’t cutting off vital circulation, I’d be hard.

What I loved most about these two was their introspection, their self awareness and honesty with themselves and each other. The complete lack of bullshit was perfect. Lucas’s family was the kind we all want. Loud, funny, non-judgmental, just enough pushy to let him know that they loved him, a safe haven to come back to when he was ready. I loved his mom’s wisdom so much! We got to see Joe again, whose story I loved so much – this time through the eyes of Lucas and Molly. He was such a punk!

“She was online dating?”
Joe shook his head.
“Not anymore. I went in and changed her profile to make her seventy-five years old, using a picture of one of the Golden Girls. I edited it to say she likes slow rides on her motorized scooter and drinking Metamucil while watching the sunrise, since sleeping gave her indigestion. I’m pretty sure that fixed things.”

Hot Winter Nights is not a Christmas Story. OK, it does have Christmas elves, a Christmas Market, and snow but if you expect holiday cheer… that’s more of a background noise. This book doesn’t have the emotional impact of other books by Jill Shalvis but it is a solid wonderful, delightful story with just enough suspense that will have you smile all the way until the end and will give you all the warm fuzzies.

About Jill Shalvis

New 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 www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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four-stars

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