If she has her way ...
Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her ...
He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.
Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him ...
Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice ...
Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work ...
ebook, 384 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Avon
Three and a half stars: A feel good, holiday romance with memorable characters and holiday charm.
Willa Davis is busy surviving another pet shop crisis early in the morning when another lands in her lap. She looks up to find a blast from her past knocking on her door before opening. Her heart plummets to her toes. Keane Winter, as gorgeous as ever, stands outside with a bedazzled pink cat carrier needing a favor. Luckily, he doesn't seem to remember her from high school and how he stood her up. Reluctantly, Willa agrees to help him, and then again and again. Neither can deny the sparks that fly between them, but Willa doesn't want to get close to Keane, and Keane has his own set of issues. Will the two be continue to deny their feelings or, will they find romance during the holidays?
What I Liked:
- Believe it or not, this is my first novel by Ms. Shalvis. I thought this was a fun, holiday read with a somewhat antagonistic romance that has sizzle and heat as well as a friendship. I also enjoyed the large cast of characters and the story. If you want something lighter for the season, this is a fun one to try.
- The romance is a bit of a slow burn as well as antagonistic. Willa wants nothing to do with Keane since he was the one who broke her young teenage heart back in the day, but as Willa gets to know the grown up Keane, she realizes he really is a good guy. Keane, doesn't remember Willa, but he cannot deny that he is attracted to this woman with the big, kind, generous heart, even though he doesn't want commitment. I liked that this one took it's time to build that it had a lot of heat and chemistry, and that it formed into a friendship before moving into something more.
- I loved the cozy pet shop setting with all the adorable animals. I especially liked PITA or Petunia. She was one sassy cat.
- This one features a large cast of characters who are all friends. Even though I hadn't read the first book, it wasn't a problem to dive into this one as it is a companion novel. I liked getting to know each member of the gang, and a few of them had me eager to hear their stories. I will be interested to follow up on some of the characters in subsequent books.
- This one has a nice dose of holiday cheer. Not over the top, but there is enough of the holiday spirit to get your in the mood for the season.
- The book ends in a nice place, with the main romance done up, but there are some tantalizing secondary story lines I would like to continue.
And The Not So Much:
- I have to admit, I got a bit burned out on the romance in the latter part of the book. At first, I loved the chemistry and how they tried to deny their feelings. Then it gets all muddled with the confusion of feelings and it moves a step forward and two steps backward. It got old. I also wasn't a big fan of the scene on the roof. It was a tacky place for their first encounter.
- I was bothered by the whole story line involving Keane's Aunt Sally. It wasn't a big part, but there was so much left unanswered. What was the deal with her? Why did she seem like she had a lot of regrets? Furthermore, what was up with her illness, it seemed dire, and then you get a little mention near the end that left me scratching my head. This is one story line that needed more development, and I doubt it will be continued in another book.
- I also wanted to see something happen with the homeless man. Again, I don't know if it will be followed up on or not.
The Trouble with Mistletoe is a nice, light romance perfect for holiday reading. I liked the antagonistic, second chance romance, but I thought it got a bit tiresome in the end as it kept stumbling over the same issues. Still, I enjoyed the characters and the story, so this is one I can recommend for those who need a good, romantic holiday read.
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.