About That Kiss: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel (Heartbreaker Bay, #5)

by Jill Shalvis

4 of 5 stars 12 ratings • 10 reviews • 13 shelved
Book cover for About That Kiss

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About That Kiss: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel (Heartbreaker Bay, #5)

by Jill Shalvis

4 of 5 stars 12 ratings • 10 reviews • 13 shelved

About That Kiss is the fifth in New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis's Heartbreaker Bay series, featuring her trademark gift for humour, warmth and romance. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts and Marie Force.

When love drives you crazy, the best thing to do is enjoy the ride... When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favour, and it's a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there's only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help - Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him - or seduce him.

No, Joe didn't call after the kiss. He's the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she's been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn't getting the memo.

As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over 'that kiss' might just be to replace it with a hundred more.

Want more warm, funny romance? Check out the other Heartbreaker Bay novels starting with Sweet Little Lies, visit stunning Wildstone, gorgeous Cedar Ridge, spellbinding Lucky Harbor or experience some Animal Magnetism in Sunshine, Idaho in Jill's other unforgettable series.

  • ISBN10 0062741772
  • ISBN13 9780062741776
  • Publish Date 23 January 2018
  • Publish Status Active
  • Imprint Avon Books
  • Format Paperback (US Mass Market)
  • Pages 384
  • Language English


Avatar for nitzan_schwarz

I liked this one a lot - Joe and Kylie were really good together and I liked there wasn't really any angst. Sometimes it got a bit too sappy for me tho.

Avatar for loreleislitlair

I’ve read previous books by Jill Shalvis and enjoyed them for their fun characters, chemistry and banter, but for some reason I didn’t connect with Kylie and Joe. I did like the fun hashtag titles at the beginning of every chapter, and the dialogue between the guys and Kylie’s friends in the story. Something I noticed was that the story was more telling than showing. It was harder for me to envision the story like a movie when I read. For me it was okay, I did finish reading it, but this one’s not a favorite like others of Jill Shalvis I’ve read.

Avatar for nadz_totallyaddicted_2_reading

Wow! Jill Shalvis has done it again. The Heartbreaker series gets better
with each installment. I am yet to read a book from the series I did not enjoy and About That Kiss did not disappoint. Jill Shalvis created a swoony, slow burn romance with a dash of mystery, which kept me turning the pages and had me smiling to the end.

Prior to its release, I had the pleasure of reading an excerpt, which clued me into the fun I would have with this title. You know you are bound to have a fun and exciting journey when the main characters in the story can barely tolerate each other but their chemistry is off the charts.

Joe and Kylie intrigued me from the moment I first met them, so I was happy to discover they would be the focus of this installment. Learning about these two was indeed a treat. The possibility of them becoming a couple seemed unlikely, that was until the search for a wood penguin, Kylie’s most treasured possession, threw them together forcing them to acknowledge the chemistry which existed between them. The more time they spent together solving the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Kylie’s penguin, the more their attraction to each other grew. I enjoyed interacting with them as a couple. You should know though Kylie was no pushover. She wanted all of Joe and was not willing to settle for less. I admired her stance, which proved she knew her worth as a woman.

The story of Joe’s past was surprising. This was due to how he presented himself. He always seems to have everything together, but I came to realise he showed the side he wanted persons to see. His childhood was not a pleasant one, and he had to deal with tragedy from an early age. Added to that, he found himself in dangerous situations. He allowed his past to determine how he now lived his life, which had a negative and positive impact. Professionally, it made him a better soldier, fighter and protector, but personally, it prevented him from maintaining long-lasting relationships.

It was a pleasure reconnecting with the characters from the previous instalments. The bonds of friendship were as strong as ever. I enjoyed the humorous rapport between the gang and loved the way they had each other backs.

Besides the romance, which had me turning the pages, the mystery element had me hooked. My curiosity about who was behind the missing wooden penguin was on high alert. I could not wait to find out who was taunting Kylie. Trying to figure out the person behind the missing penguin placed them both in precarious and at times humorous situations. However, no matter how dangerous things became they were determined to solve the mystery.

Conclusion and Recommendation

About That Kiss is another of my favourite reads for 2018. It combined all the ingredients to make for a fantastic story. Mystery, romance and suspense it delivered them all. I can’t wait to see which couple’s story will be next.

Avatar for thebookdisciple

About That Kiss starts after "that kiss". I didn't read the previous book so I didn't get to see the events that concluded with the kiss, but it didn't affect my ability to read this story. Joe is a playboy and not into relationships. Kylie is not about to let a guy like Joe hurt her. These two have a very antagonistic relationship filled with banter and teasing.

Kylie is a wood worker and makes beautiful pieces. She learned from her grandfather who passed away years ago. She has a treasured carved wood penguin he made for her and it is stolen by someone. She hires Joe to help her find it. While it is worthless to everyone but her, its all she has left of her grandfather. I didn't expect this to be a big deal, but actually it turns into more than just a simple theft. I was surprised at how devious this thief was! It added a bit of mystery and suspense I wasn't expecting.

The slow burn between Kylie and Joe is delicious! Lots of heated kisses that build and build. Joe knows that Kylie is hiding something and he finds that he actually wants to get to know her better. He has never felt that way before so its all a little strange and unsettling for him. Kylie doesn't want to get hurt, so she is cautious with Joe. Of course Joe is an idiot and has no idea what to do with feelings. Add in the tension with whomever is taunting Kylie and you have a really compelling story that I enjoyed a great deal. Joe wasn't the easiest person to like, but as the story unfolds and you see him with his dad and sister and friends, you get him.


  • POV: 3rd

  • Tears: no

  • Trope: hate to love

  • Triggers: none

  • Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series

  • Cliffhanger: no

  • HEA: yes with epilogue

Books by Melissa Foster, Susan Stoker, Melody Grace, Bella Andre, Samantha Chase...then you will probably like About That Kiss!


About that Kiss

See full review on The Book Disciple

Avatar for weendizzle

Rowena 4 of 5 stars
About that Kiss is the fifth book in Jill Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay series and I really think that Jill Shalvis has finally hit her stride with this series. The first couple of books were okay or just good for me but the last couple have really entertained me and I’m happy to report that this book was another good one.

Kylie and Joe are in the same circle of friends and they kissed but aren’t talking about that kiss because Joe never called Kylie after that explosive kiss. Kylie has done a whole lot of thinking about the kiss but is stubborn enough to not bring it up since it obviously didn’t affect Joe at all. Now Joe is all up in her grill about a birthday gift that he wants Kylie to make for his sister but she’s much too busy to help him out (and just a tad bit annoyed with him that she wants to see him squirm). All of that is flipped on its head when something of personal value is taken from her and she needs Joe’s help finding it.

Joe is a lone ranger. He works better alone so why he thought that Kylie would let him work this case alone, he’ll never know. It’s hard to keep her in his thoughts and not in his space when she is determined to be his partner on finding her missing penguin. The more time that they spend together, the harder it is for him to remember that he’s not good enough for her. She deserves far better but every moment in her company, his resolve to stay away goes up in smoke.

Seeing these two grow closer and closer was fun at the same time that it was sweet. I loved how grown up the two of them were about their feelings. Joe had distinct reasons for feeling the way that he did and so did Kylie. Kylie wasn’t a hot and cold kind of person and I appreciated that though she was torn about her feelings for Joe, she didn’t lead anyone else (Gib) on until she figured her shit out. I also really adored that though Joe thought Kylie was a little crazy with her request, he realized almost from the jump how important this was to her and he took her seriously.

There’s a lot going on in this book but it was a lot of fun to figure things out, fall in love right along with Joe and Kylie and get to know the other characters from this world that we haven’t seen a lot of in the other books. There are still stories to be told and I’m here for it all. This was another winner from Jill Shalvis and I can’t wait for more.

Avatar for kimbacaffeinate

I love a couple who sizzle with chemistry and irritate the heck out of each other!  The results are delicious banter, searing kisses, and eventually fiery passion. A missing Penguin, has Kylie seeking Joe's investigative skills and this stubborn woman insists on tagging along.

I loved how strong both characters were in About That Kiss. They both come from difficult upbrings but Kylie is sweet and Joe was just adorkable. He has some hangs up, but he is the kind of guy you want in your court. He made my panties melt with his reaction to small dogs and his dedication to family. Shalvis writes strong, confident heroines who tackle things head on and don't settle. It is one of the things I like most about this author. Kylie is strong, stubborn and a survivalist.

The combination of heat and heart was well balanced. I enjoyed this couple immensely from the wicked banter to the buildup. The romance was off the charts and I loved their sizzling chemistry. I could just see Joe give a half-devilish smile and see Kylie turn red while wicked thoughts danced in her head. Shalvis did an excellent job of sharing their stories, introducing their families and allowing the relationship to develop.

About A Kiss delivers a good mystery with some suspenseful moments as we deal with both Joe's career and the case of the missing penguin. Growing pains and suspense kept the drama low and the author gave us plenty of heartwarming moments to endear us to this couple. We get updates from previous couples and hints of brewing attractions. I myself want to move to Heartbreaker Bay and befriend all these characters. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

Avatar for kozbisa

I am never disappointed when I read a Jill Shalvis book, and once again, she has delighted me.

It is no secret that I am a Shalvis fan-girl. Her romances are always fun and flirty with a little heat, a touch of drama, and a lot of heart. With each new Heartbreaker Bay novel, I become even more and more entrenched in this world, and my fondness for this group of friends multiplies.

• Kylie, a furniture maker, who was leery, that she had inherited her mother’s romantic shortcomings, and was harboring an unrequited crush on her childhood friend and current boss.

• Joe, a special ops-turned-PI best known for his no-strings relationships and lack of attachments.

The two shared one drunken, yet phenomenal kiss, but Joe failed to followup, and Kylie decided to label him a frenemy. When her beloved woodcarving was stolen, much to Joe’s surprise, she sought his expertise in retrieving the item. As they searched for the stolen penguin, the sparks flew, and Kylie and Joe needed to decide if they would extinguish the fire or fan the flames.

It was so wonderful being back in Cow’s Hollow! I was so excited to get to know Joe better, and Shalvis did not disappoint. His backstory was filled with a lot of heartbreak and some stuff that was a little shocking too. We got to meet his sister and his father, and I loved seeing them interact. All of this really made me admire what Joe made of himself, and I was cheering for him to unpack his baggage so he could find his HEA.

Kylie was also lugging around some heavy bags. She was harboring a ton of guilt associated with her grandfather’s death, as well as a crush which was keeping her from exploring other possibilities. I really liked that Kylie wanted to be her own hero. She may have needed help, but she was going to sit on the sidelines as someone did all the work for her. She was a signature Shalvis heroine. Strong minded and willing to make the best choices for herself, even if they are difficult choices. She knew she deserved more and was not willing to compromise. She had a lot of tenacity, and that is a quality I admire.

It was so fun watching this romance blossom as they got closer to solving the mystery of the missing wood carving. Each new suspect came with a reveal about both Kylie and Joe, and by the end of this caper, I had a rather complete picture of both these lovable characters.

As always, we are treated to many interactions with the other denizens of Cow’s Hollow and their furry friends. This colorful cast never fails to make me smile or make me jealous that I am not part of their squad (seriously, is the room for rent in the building?). We got some major updates on a certain pairing, which put a stupid grin on my face. Speaking of couples, they are starting to outnumber the singles, so I am keeping my eyes wide open for new friends to join this group, since I am not yet ready to leave this place.

Overall: Another fabulous Shalvis romance, which delighted me and left me looking forward to the next Heartbreaker Bay book.

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review.


Avatar for stacey_is_sassy

***IT'S ALIVE!!!***

It’s about not settling…

I think there is one thing that sets Jill Shalvis apart from other romance authors. Her heroines believe in themselves. Maybe it’s because she (Jill Shalvis) has a strong man at her side. Maybe it’s because she (Jill) brought up three intelligent, spirited and beautiful daughters. Maybe it’s because she (J. S.) doesn’t want her heroines or women, in general, to settle for less than what they deserve. Now, all of these things are probably true, but honestly, I’m just guessing. What I can say is that I love that Jill Shalvis is not afraid to give her heroine a backbone. Her heroines acknowledge that they are worthy and show strength when they walk away from someone who isn’t willing to go “in” the whole way. Jill Shalvis always manages to remind me that I deserve happiness and fulfilment.

Now, don’t get me wrong, these heroines are not perfect. They definitely have vulnerabilities, doubts and insecurities. What person doesn’t? My favourite type of heroine is capable of doing things for herself. My favourite type of heroine uses her talents and abilities to get through life. My favourite type of heroine also doesn’t mind someone giving them a hand. My favourite type of heroine also doesn’t walk into a burning building by herself because of some misguided belief that…SHE CAN DO IT ALL! (Those bloody heroines drive me up the bloody wall!!) My favourite type of heroine is Kylie.

My favourite type of hero is Joe…after he wakes up to himself. I’ll give you a hint about why I love Joe. He’s bossy, HOT, protective, HOT, sexy, HOT and he loves his family while also being HOT. Joe also thinks that he’s a bad bet on love. Of course, he just hadn’t found his “one”.

I have never met two people more afraid of throwing a penny into a love fountain. Both Joe and Kylie are scared of love but with the chemistry between them, they can’t avoid the love bug for long.

I really enjoyed About that kiss. The Heartbreaker Bay series is my favourite type of comfort read. A love story with engaging characters, an interesting storyline, bossy heroes, quirky heroines and really cute animals. I can’t get enough of these stories and I’m really hoping that Molly and Lucas might be up next. I think I see a spark between them…

Stacey is Sassy, received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.

Avatar for linda_un-conventional-bookworms

Linda 5 of 5 stars
This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews
*I received a free copy of [title] from [publisher] via . This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *About That Kiss brought out the feels. You know how it is when you pick up a book, and it feels like you're hanging out with your best friends? Living through their struggles and their good times right there with them? Shalvis does that to me. With every book she writes - no matter if there are characters I've already met or if they are completely new to me.


About That Kiss has a very slow-burning romance, all the friendships, and a very good mystery. I loved getting to know Joe Malone better, and Kylie was the perfect match for him. With her unconventional profession as a wood worker, she managed to see through his tough exterior and find a heart hidden away.

As always, hanging out with my friends in Heartbreaker Bay was a treat. About That Kiss included all the characters from prior books - even if some were just mentioned in passing. The mystery with Kylie's stolen wood penguin worked really well. And I loved how stubborn Kylie was about being a part of the investigation.

As Joe and Kylie got to know each other better, their chemistry kept building. Kylie didn't want only a part of Joe, though, and when push came to shove, she put herself first. That is a thing we don't see in heroines too often, and it made About That Kiss even better in my opinion.

With both action and sweet moments, the overall story and plot made my toes curl in pleasure. The character development was really well done, and I have two new friends in the Bay area now ;)


Kylie grew up with her grandfather, and learned to work with wood under his care. Making a profession out of it, and being really good at it just made her an even more interesting character. With a strong mind, and a good sense of self worth, I would love to hang out with Kylie one day.

Joe appeared to be a total alpha macho man at first. However, he was not unable to see things from Kylie's perspective, and he learned from his mistakes. While he wanted to protect her, he also understood the importance of her needs and feelings.

Writing style :

About That Kiss is written in third person point of view, but still closely from either Joe's or Kylie's perspective. The many dialogues brought both the characters and the story to life.

Feels :

My feels were all invested in this story. I got my romance, all the hope, a lot of suspense, some sadness, a tad of anger, and also the friendship I enjoy in this series.

On the best of days, he made her feel things she liked to shove deep, deep down, because going there with him would be like jumping out of a plane - thrilling, exciting... and then certain dismemberment and death.

Kylie, the fashion outcast, was in jeans, a Golden State Warriors sweatshirt, and some residual wood shavings. The fact that she had more clothes to sleep in than to go out in said a lot about her.

Avatar for kait

kait 3 of 5 stars
I don't typically love romantic suspense but Shalvis managed to do this in a really relatable and totally non-cheesy way. I loved that it was all about a wooden penguin carving! Plus Joe is just 🔥🔥🔥