Friday, September 27, 2019

Wrapped Up In You by Jill Shalvis - Blog Tour and Review

Wrapped Up In You
by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay, #8
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 24, 2019

It’s love. Trust me.

After a lifetime on the move, Ivy Snow is an expert in all things temporary—schools, friends, and way too many Mr. Wrongs. Now that she owns a successful taco truck in San Francisco and an apartment to call home, Ivy’s reinvented life is on solid ground. And she’s guarded against anything that can rock it. Like the realities of a past she’s worked hard to cover up. And especially Kel O’Donnell. Too hot not to set off alarms, he screams temporary. If only his whispers weren’t so delightfully naughty and irresistible.

Kel, an Idaho sheriff and ranch owner, is on vacay, but Ivy’s a spicy reason to give his short-terms plans a second thought. Best of all, she’s a tonic for his untrusting heart, burned once and still in repair. But when Ivy’s past intrudes on a perfect romance, Kel fears that everything she’s told him has been a perfect lie. Now, if only Ivy’s willing to share, Kel will fight for a true love story.

He held her gaze for a long beat before taking the bag and unzipping it, finding the dishes she’d put together for him. “Not tacos,” he said in surprise.

“Making tacos is my job,” she said. “This was for something else.”

“And what’s that?”

“An apology for being … grumpy last night.”

“You weren’t.”

She gave him a get real look and he smiled. “Okay, maybe a little. But it was understandable. You’d just gotten an unfortunate and unfair surprise.” He gently tilted her face up to his. “You doing okay this morning?”

“Yes,” she said. “Of course.”

“Of course,” he repeated and shook his head. “Smart, tough, and resilient,” he murmured, his gaze on her face.

Now it was her turn to smile. “Some might say stubborn, impulsive, and doesn’t know when to quit.”

“Yeah,” he said. “But I find those things very attractive.”

Honestly, she didn’t know how to take half the things he said. They made her feel both terrified and exhilarated at the same time. “You’re a strange man.”

“So I’ve been told.” He looked over the food. “You poison any of it?”

“No, and only because I’d never waste food.” But to prove it, she grabbed the fork she’d packed and took a bite of her eggs. “Mmm,” she moaned before she could stop herself, but hey, she’d worked out and been on the move ever since, and she was starving. Plus, she made damn good eggs if she said so herself.

Again their eyes met, and that now familiar spark went right through her. She wanted him. Quite badly, if going off her racing pulse meant anything. He was so … what, exactly? Steady? Tough? Intense and yet somehow easy-going, not to mention also extremely easy on the eyes?

“You didn’t have to cook something special for me,” he said, sounding touched.

“You helped me last night. I repay my debts.”

“I didn’t do it so you’d feel indebted to me,” he said and cocked his head as he studied her for a beat. “Someday you’re going to have to tell me about the apparent assholes who’ve been in your life to make you so distrusting of me.”

“Oh, don’t flatter yourself. It’s not just you. I don’t trust anyone. And it wasn’t just me paying back a debt,” she admitted. “I wanted to cook for you.” And because that made his smile warm, which in turn made something inside her warm as well, she shrugged and backed up a few steps, needing breathing room. “I also wanted to thank you for your help,” she said, feeling annoyingly awkward as he shoved stacks of plans to one side of the table and started pulling everything else out of her bag with a deep male hum of pleasure when he caught sight of the pancakes.

“Are those blueberry?” he asked very seriously.

She nodded.

“Fair warning, if they’re as good as the eggs, I really am going to drop to my knees and ask you to marry me.”

That startled a laugh out of her. “Fair warning, if you drop to your knees, I’m going to use my considerable kickboxing skills on you.”

Jill Shalvis always delivers a well-written and easy to read story that has emotion, heart, and humor. Although Wrapped Up In You delivered all that and was an enjoyable read, it just didn’t give me that little something extra that I usually get when I read a Jill Shalvis book. It was good, but I just didn’t fall in love with the characters like I usually do.

Ivy and Kel were both great characters – most of the time. I loved that Ivy has created a life for herself after a very rough childhood. She certainly has trust issues, but somehow Kel works his way into her life. Kel has his own issues from his childhood and from the current day. He may trust, but not his heart, since history has shown that when you trust your heart with someone it will get broken. What I didn’t like so much was Ivy’s penchant for lying, which granted had to so with some of her trust issues, but there were times when I just didn’t get it. Kel got me a bit annoyed towards the end when he made assumptions about Ivy and didn’t think things through – something a skilled cop would do. He was downright awful to Ivy, and I felt it went a bit too far for my liking. They did have some great banter and I did enjoy the lead-up to them getting involved. Kel was patient with Ivy and was just there for her…which was very sweet and definitely helped him win her over.
Something flickered in her gaze at that. She didn’t like that he was a cop. “The law can be dirty,” she said.

As he well knew, but he wasn’t going to go there. Instead, he let a teasing smile come into his voice. “True. And I can be very dirty, but only when I’m off duty, and only if you ask real nice.”

She laughed out loud at that, the sound both soft and musical. “Okay, I’ll give this to you – you’re funny. And maybe also sexy as hell, but this isn’t happening, Cowboy.”

He’d take the sexy as hell any day of the week. “We’re just talking.”

“Uh-huh,” she said dryly.
I’ve really enjoyed this series and the feeling of family that exists between all the friends. With the group expanding it’s sometimes hard to keep track of everyone and I did miss some interactions with some of the core group of characters from the first books. There is a bit of predictability in the plot and it was easy to see what issue was going to have to be dealt with in this one. Although there was some nice heat between the characters, that special spark between them just wasn’t there for me.

I received an advance reader copy which I voluntarily reviewed.

New York Times and USA Today 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 sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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