Blog Tour: Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis (Review, Excerpt)

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 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.

About the Book

Playing For Keeps
by Jill Shalvis

SeriesThe Heartbreaker Bay Series
Contemporary Romance

PublisherAvon Books
Publication DateJanuary 22, 2019
Purchase Your Copy Today!
Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks


I kept picturing Sadie as Rosa from Brooklyn99. So now that you’ve got that mental picture in your head, we can continue with the review!

I love a good enemies to lovers romance, and Sadie and Caleb sure have that great antagonistic spark that can only be born from the friction of great attraction. There’s not really any reason WHY they should so deeply dislike each other though, and really the “enemies” dynamic of their relationship seems to be all surface. I’m curious if they have more run-ins in the other books in this series that help build up that dynamic more. While I’ve read some of the other books in the series, I’ve read them in a completely random order and there are just SO MANY CHARACTERS, I can’t keep track of them all.

Playing for Keeps does have my most favorite element of a romance novel, and that’s plotlines and development outside of the romance relationship between the lead characters. Sadie has some personal growing to do, learning not to self-sabotage or to run from her fears, as well as working on her relationship with her family. And then Caleb also has his own personal journey to go through, learning to have a good work-life balance and that he doesn’t need to keep making up for his vulnerable past. 

The Sadie and Caleb interactions are also super amazing. Their chemistry is great, and I love how constantly surprised Sadie is by him. Caleb is basically perfect – sexy, brilliant, endlessly patient, but with a rough and dirty edge, and then he’s a little emotionally distant and damaged and disconnected just so he’s not TOO perfect. And everytime Sadie pushes him away, expecting him to push back and he just backs off… *heart shattering sound effects* I smiled so much reading this book, but I also moaned aloud in pain a few times. 

Playing for Keeps is the seventh book in the Heartbreaker Bay series, and can be read as a stand-alone. I don’t think there are any major spoilers for earlier books (other than who ends up with who, because as book 7 there are of course 6 other couples in the series, most of whom show up as side characters in this book). Given how heavily Ivy featured in this book, I’m going to guess that the next book in the series, Wrapped Up In Your, will be about her – which I am so there for!


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 the Author

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 for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventure.
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

2 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis (Review, Excerpt)

  1. Pingback: 2019 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge (#ContRom2019) – Elley the Book Otter

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