Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2)

by Jill Shalvis

3.92 of 5 stars 12 ratings • 10 reviews • 15 shelved
Book cover for Trouble with Mistletoe

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Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2)

by Jill Shalvis

3.92 of 5 stars 12 ratings • 10 reviews • 15 shelved
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 he doesn't even remember her. How 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 ...
  • ISBN10 0062567152
  • ISBN13 9780062567154
  • Publish Date 27 September 2016
  • Publish Status Active
  • Imprint Avon Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 304
  • Language English


Avatar for booklovinmamas

I planned on reading The Trouble with Mistletoe before the movie came out on Passionflix. Well, I definitely succeeded on reading it and finishing it in time because it only took 1 1/2 days for me to read it. I would’ve finished it in one day if it wasn’t for my husband telling me I was neglecting the family. He never understands the importance of reading an amazing book.

I was excited to read Willa’s story because I liked to her in the first book. First off, she’s a sweet female character who loves animals. She owns an amazing pet salon and she’s very independent. She doesn’t really want a relationship because she’s been burned before. In comes sexy Keane Winters who needs Willa’s help with his Aunt’s cat that he’s stuck babysitting. Willa though can’t believe Keane doesn’t remember her from high school and she’s definitely not going to give her sweet Willa. He stood her up, so why she be nice to him.

Oh, naive Keane has no idea what he’s in for with Willa, which is one of many reasons why I really enjoyed these two. Willa didn’t make easy for poor Keane. Although, there was definitely tension between the two throughout the beginning of the story. Both Willa and Keane had a rough childhood/teens, but in a different ways. They definitely were meant to meet each other again after high school and I liked how Keane handled Willa at times. Poor Willa. I can definitely understand her wanting to not have a relationship.

Another thing I like about Willa’s character is how she is taking care of other people. She definitely reminds me of Pru from the first story.

Keane is a caring guy in the story as well. He doesn’t know it though.

I give this book 4 stars and recommended it to Contemporary Romance readers out there.

You best believe I’m diving into the next book in the series now, so I can catch up with the newest book releasing next year.

Now…I’m counting down to the movie on Passionflix. I’ve seen the teasers and I definitely know Passionflix is going to do an amazing job with it.  If you haven’t checked out Passionflix, I highly recommend you do soon.

Avatar for kozbisa

Willa was still licking her wounds from a recent failed relationship. She was doubting her instincts after kissing way too many frogs, and had decided to swear off men. Then Keane walked in, and he made Willa rethink her plan.
I'm starting to think you're a little like that chocolate bar I keep in my fridge for emergencies."
"Bad for me."

There is a lot of push and pull in this book. At first, it seemed that Keane was a proponent of no attachments. From his living situation to his family relations, he had no "strings". As the story progresses, it seemed like Willa also had attachment issues, but of a different nature. With the failed relationships and string of foster homes she was raised in, it appeared that Willa was not accustomed to forevers either.
But her entire life had been one big Temporary Situation

As the story progressed, my love for these two grew and grew. It was beautiful watching Willa and Keane change and grow. It was little things at first, but then the changes were full on declarations.
He didn't know how and he didn't know when, but the walls guarding his heart had fallen and he'd be conquered."

I love the Heartbreaker Bay friends as much as these friends

I loved being back in the world of Heartbreaker Bay. I grew quite fond of this little group of friends where I read Sweet Little Lies, and my love for them just grew and grew over the course of his book. I have read multiple series by Shalvis, and one thing she is overwhelmingly capable of, is assembling these amazing friend groups. Overtime I read one of Shalvis' books, I want to move to that town, and I can say, my love of her worlds continues. This is such a wonderfully diverse group of people, who are each have something that is keeping them from romantic fulfillment. They all work out these issues with support and love from each other, and that is really all you can hope for in life.
"Yes," she said. "Friends stick." She lifted a shoulder, as if a little embarrassed. "I guess I wouldn't mind if you ....stuck."

"I like the sticky part."

I looked a little like this many times during this book

Overall: Adorable and heartwarming rom-com from an author who never fails to make me smile.
"The invite. Was that just to the party? Or into your life?"

Avatar for nadz_totallyaddicted_2_reading

After reading ‘Sweet Little Lies’ by Jill Shalvis, I could not wait to read ‘The Trouble with Mistletoe’. This is the second book in the Heartbreaker Bay series, however, it can be read as a stand-alone. This Willa’s story, whom I had the pleasure to have met in Sweet Little Lies.This book provided the perfect blend of humour and romance. It was a light and fun read which addressed some serious issues. It was a story of friendships and finding love when you least expected it. The characters were fun and I could not help but laugh at their antics. However, for me, the star of this show was Petunia, the cat that the male protagonist was forced to care for on his great-aunt’s behalf.Keane found himself saddled with a cat he considered to be from hell. Despite the fact that the cat hated him, he was willing to help out his great-aunt. This demonstrated the kind of man that he was. He was compassionate and cared deeply for his family, despite his miserable childhood. Due to his hectic work schedule, he was unable to take care of Petunia during the days, so he sought the assistance of Willa. Now Willa knew who he was, but Keane had no idea that there was history between them. Willa had been carrying a grudge all these years, but the fact that he did not remember her added insult to injury. But then things took a direction that she never expected, especially since she was on a hiatus from men.Willa and Keane were great together. However, there were times when their actions were frustrating. Willa more so than Keane. It was evident that Willa was confused as it relates to her feelings for Keane. Initially, she failed to see that the crux of the problem laid with her. I understood her need to be cautious given her past. However, I hated that she was allowing the past to dictate her future in a negative way. As a result, the relationship between her and Keane was an emotional tug of war. My respect for her grew a notch when she finally recognized the real problem and tried to make amends.The romance was well developed, believable and well-paced. Another highlight of this novel was the camaraderie between friends. They had each other’s back no matter what. VERDICT:
If you enjoy stories with a Christmas theme, then you will love this story. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Avatar for kait

kait 3 of 5 stars
Willa had been a favourite of mine in this series prior to this book, but for some reason I just felt that her personality wasn’t jumping off the page here, as is usually the case with Shalvis’ heroines. Keane I did love and I thought he was hilarious. Because of Willa’s lacklustre personality I felt like the chemistry and connection between the two characters wasn’t all there for me.

I loved the animal aspect — that’s what made me such a huge fan of Shalvis’ [b:Animal Magnetism|8277481|Animal Magnetism (Animal Magnetism, #1)|Jill Shalvis||13125785] series and it was pretty well done here. There’s a camping scene that might be my favourite scene of the entire Heartbreaker Bay series. 🔥⛺️

Even though this wasn’t a favourite I still really enjoyed it and would recommend to fans of Jill Shalvis and contemporary romance.

Avatar for whisperingchapters

This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews.

Willa is the most adorkable character I've ever read! She owns a pet shop where she doesn't mind to watch them during the day. I loved that she's so dedicated to these animals. Keane needs someone to watch his great-aunt's cat, Petunia, so he goes to Willa's pet shop. Willa recognizes Keane but he doesn't recognize her at all and she's really mad and hurt about this. As the two keep running into each other and clear the air, the romance starts to grow in such a sweet way that I was adoring.

Willa is unlike any character I've read. She celebrates Christmas like no one else, she loves to wear aprons or shirts with Christmassy quotes, she's so witty, too! What had me feeling for her so deeply was the fact that she didn't think she deserved love. She had been in the foster care system on and off until she turned 18. From then, she has wanted to show foster teens that they are valuable. She even employs a few of them at the shop. The friendship between Willa and Rory, one of the foster teens and employee, was so sweet. It felt like a tight sister relationship to me. Willa was there for Rory in so many ways and this showed how big Willa's heart is.

"Ohmigod," Rory said, staring at their newest cash register display. "Is that a rack of penis headbands?"
"No!" Willa laughed. "It's reindeer-antler headbands for dogs."
Rory stared at her.
Willa grimaced. "Okay, so maybe I went a little crazy—"
"A little?"

Keane was so manly with the sexiest smirk ever. He's also very independent and very romantic. I thought Keane would be an arrogant character but that wasn't the case at all. He's so kind-hearted, it would make my heart so happy. He went above and beyond for his great-aunt, someone who hadn't ever had much contact with. But she was family and he knew she needed someone to help her. He never hesitated in lending a hand to her and I just loved that about him.

Keane and Willa were perfect for each other. They both have kind hearts, wanting to give so much from them to everyone they believe needs it. I love how patient Keane was with Willa. She had her cold moments where she would push Keane away, thinking she was way too broken to be in a relationship. The way she went after him had me aw'ing and wanting to hug her.

There's a coffee shop/bakery that speaks to my soul. I mean, the coffee's come in themes. One specific coffee is named "It's Way Too Early for Life's Nonsense". I freaking love this! I would so go to a coffee shop that has names like these. It'd be perfect, too, so that way I'll be trying new coffee flavors every day.

I love the friendship in this story! They are even stronger and more present than in Sweet Little Lies. The ladies in this series are hilarious and I so hope they were real. I would never have a dull moment in my life with them as friends.

"I'm on a diet."
"Me too," Elle said. "It's a fuel diet. I eat whatever's going to fuel my soul, and tonight that's going to be pizza."

"Men are just flawed, is all. And that's a good thing."
"How?" Willa asked. "How in the world is that a good thing?"
"Hello, have you never heard of makeup sex?"

Not only were the friends hilarious, when they needed to be serious and be there for one of them, they would drop everything they had and would all go together to help the one in need. When I say all of them, I mean all of them. I love that the friendship is something that feels so real in this series. They are all grown-ups, but still like to have fun and tease each other just as friends would.

They loved her like family should. Unconditionally. Without question. No doubt. No hesitation. No qualifiers.

Overall, The Trouble with Mistletoe is filled with witty conversations that will have you laughing, an adorable romance, and a strong presence of friendship. I'm already so eager for the following novel!

I received an eARC from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews.

Avatar for stacey_is_sassy

Trouble…depends who’s under the mistletoe with you.

***4.5 Stars***

Did you see my new header? I was inspired after reading The Trouble with Mistletoe, to be honest. The inspiration (to share the P & P quote) wasn’t because Keane was arrogant and proud, far from it. I was inspired because of the struggle, the mutual admiration and the ardent feelings that could not be denied. I just finished another Jill Shalvis love story that made me laugh, sniffle, snort and blush. She really is my go to author for contemporary romance.

The Heartbreaker Bay series is turning out to be one of my favourite series by this author. The characters we are introduced to are not perfect by any means. They’ve experienced life, seen the good and the bad side of it and lived to tell the tale. All of them know what it’s like to struggle, but the gang from Pacific Pier also know that they have each other's backs. They’re friends that act more like family and love each other accordingly.

In The Trouble with Mistletoe, we are looking into the life of Willa Davis, the owner of South Bark Mutt Shop. Her love for animals and finding the right product niche has made her little business quite a success. Willa takes her job very seriously. She loves her work, but she also appreciates the security it offers her. As a child, she’d lived and survived the foster system. South Bark also gives her a chance to help out other survivors of the foster system, giving them jobs and a helping hand. One day her past walks up to her door with a bright pink bedazzled carrier in his hand.

Keane Winters is not having a good day. His great-aunt Sally is sick and needs him to cat-sit Pita (pain in the ass) also known as Petunia. As soon as Sally left, the cat went gonzo and left destruction in her wake. Keane needs to get to work so is hoping to leave Pita with a cat minder. He’s absolutely stoked that the very hot owner of South Bark took pity on him and gave in to his begging. Besides the last minute inconvenience, the owner doesn’t seem very happy with him for some reason.

Willa and Keane have a history but unfortunately what was a big deal to her, is not even a memory for him. At first, it seemed they wouldn’t be able to get past their history. There is a very strong physical attraction between them and eventually, they decide to give in to their feelings. Neither of them want, need or expect anything more than to scratch their itch, but those pesky feeling pop up and they must decide whether to take things further.

I really enjoyed The Trouble with Mistletoe. The series is great. I love catching up with the whole gang and seeing what they’re all up to. It cracks me up that they assume it’s their right to know what’s going on in each other's lives, but on the flipside, they’re always there to lend a hand. There were times when the story took a serious turn with both Willa and Keane dealing with the feelings brought about by their upbringings. They both had different childhoods, one seemingly perfect, the other definitely not. What they both come to realise is that their decisions and thoughts now are a result of the lessons they learned growing up.

Love is not easy, but you will never find love or experience love if you don’t open your heart to accept it. A penny in the love fountain will only pay out if you take a risk.

I will definitely be back for more, especially considering it’s finally time to find out all about Elle and Archer.

To buy The Trouble with Mistletoe from Amazon -


I’m an Aussie chick who loves to read and review romance, drink coffee, be a Style Setter and stalk David Gandy. To see more of my reviews, fashion, food and pervathons -

Avatar for ellesea

Lynn 4 of 5 stars
My confession: This is my first Jill Shalvis book. I know; a shocking admission!

Willa Davis has built up a successful pet shop from scratch by diversifying to match the needs of her pet eccentric customers...Pet Weddings anyone? She's successful, part of a close-knit group of friends and single! Life is good until a customer comes into her shop, triggering a painful memory she'd rather forget. 
"A guy stood on the other side of the glass, mouth grim, expression dialled to Tall, Dark and Attitude-ridden." 
Only, she can't make him sorry for his mistake if he can't remember who she is, can she?

Keane Winters is desperate. With his aunt's precious cat in tow, he goes to the South Bark Mutt Shop hoping they'll board this 'pain in the ass' he's been asked to temporarily care for. 
He's delighted when the owner is drop dead gorgeous, but left perplexed when she appears angry with him...why?

When two stubborn people meet it's going to be a fascinating and bumpy ride and Ms. Shalvis keeps you constantly entertained with humorous, laugh out loud funny dialogue as the protagonists attempt to overcome their individual issues about themselves and each other. They are beautifully complimented by an array of equally intriguing characters whose own stories I'm interested in reading about too. The pre-Christmas time-line conjures up lots of seasonal feel-good feelings as well as highlighting unfortunate challenges faced by those less unfortunate than ourselves.

I love the San Francisco setting, and after visiting the city many years ago enjoyed revisiting and remembering the city I have memories of as I became embroiled within Willa and Keane's story.

A special shout-out to Petunia 'Pita' for her excellence as a cat with attitude and her ability to run circles around her foster human! As a cat lover and owner, Pita's portrayal sums up all I love about cats.

So, If you are looking for a Christmassy, feel good book heavily embellished with fairy-lights, this is one for you!

***arc generously received courtesy of Avon Books via Edelweiss+***

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Linda 4 of 5 stars
This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews
The Trouble with Mistletoe was a great story, with characters who already feel like close friends of mine, and a romance that made me blush.

Friendship, romance, blast from the past and pet-goodness... What's not to love, right? The Trouble with Mistletoe managed to mix romance, hotness and sweetness to a near perfect mix, and I really enjoyed the characters, both the new ones, and those I already met in Sweet Little Lies. Willa felt slighted ever since her teenage years because of Keane, but never once had she tried to see things from his perspective. I loved how he tried to make friends with his great-aunt's cat, and how that same cat brought him back into Willa's orbit. A more stubborn woman isn't easy to find, but I loved that she had her principles, even when they were slightly skewed. And she did end up being able to take a step back and see things from a different angle in the end.

Keane is the kind of romance hero I just love to read about. Manly, strong, independent - but still kind hearted, open-minded and romantic. The fact that he took in the cat, and also got to know his great-aunt better really did say a lot about what kind of man he was! And Willa unconsciously realized this from the start - even if she was fighting her attraction with everything she had. The fact that Keane already knew some of Willa's friends added to the feel-good aspect of the story in The Trouble with Mistletoe, and it also brought to the forefront what I enjoy so much about Shalvis' writing! The friendships continue to be front and center even when there is a strong romance going on.

Written in third person, past tense, and with some very witty dialogues, all the friends had important roles to play, even while Willa and Keane remained the main characters. The pace was well done, and I enjoyed how Keane dealt with his problems - and his 'problems' - especially how he managed to help his parents out, even if they had always made him feel unwanted and inadequate. I am already eager for the next Heartbreaker Bay novel, and urge you to get your hands on this one when you can!

"Ohmigod," Rory said, staring at their newest cash register display. "Is that a rack of penis headbands?"
"No!" Willa laughed. "It's reindeer-antler headbands for dogs."
Rory stared at her.
Willa grimaced. "Okay, so maybe I went a little crazy - "

A guy stood on the other side of the glass, mouth grim, expression dialed to Tall, Dark and Attitude-ridden. He was something too, all gorgeous and broody and - hold up. There was something familiar about him, enough that her feet propelled forward out of pure curiosity.

When Keane had returned for Petunia the other night, she'd been with a client so she hadn't had to deal with him. 
But she'd made sure to look her fill. And that bothered her. How could she like looking at him so much? Maybe it was because he was so inherently male and virile he could've walked right off the cover of Alpha Male magazine, if such a thing had existed.