Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #6)

In Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis, Molly and Lucas work together at a security firm. When he wakes up in bed with Molly, Lucas is a little freaked out. He remembers feeling compelled to take a single drink, the night before, and then . . . nothing. What happened with Molly, last night? Molly is behaving more than a little bit shifty. Lucas has recently been shot, hence the blackout. Even a single drink with his painkillers was too much. But, Molly is not saying what happened.

Bored with being off work, Lucas insists on returning without clearance from his doctor. Molly is the office manager but she wants to get involved in the investigation side of the firm. To that end, she's brought up a case to her boss. Some elderly women who work as elves at a local Christmas Village are concerned that Santa is not sharing the profits as he usually does. They think he's being greedy and keeping their bonus money.

Molly's boss, Archer, says they're overbooked and that's not their kind of case, anyway. But, Molly is determined. To keep her safe, Archer asks Lucas to keep an eye on her. He'll have to pretend to work with her. But, before he gets around to offering to help, Molly asks for his assistance.

Now that Lucas thinks he's slept with Molly, he realizes just how much he's attracted to her. Molly feels the same but she has secrets and works hard to keep them close. But, now that the wall between them has been broken down, will they be able to stay away from each other? What will happen when Molly goes undercover as an elf and discovers that Santa's story is a lot more dangerous than she could have imagined?

Hot Winter Nights is a romance, so you know the answer to that first question about whether or not they'll be able to keep their hands off each other is a flat "No." But, neither one of them is the type to commit. Molly has been hurt in the past and Lucas has suffered two shocking losses that have convinced him he must never give his heart away, again.

Recommended to a specific audience - Hot Winter Nights contains a favorite blend for romance readers: an alpha male and a plucky female who is every bit as capable as the guys. I liked the story and I sighed at the ending. Romance readers will love it. I was a little disappointed that it was light on action. I'm not a typical romance reader, so the bedroom scenes honestly just bore me, and there are a lot of them. Fortunately, there are some terrific scenes toward the end -- an exciting concluding scene with plenty of danger, followed by a heartwarming ending. So I closed the book happy. It might not be a favorite because I like more action and less romance but Hot Winter Nights left me satisfied, in the end.

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis is the 6th book in the Hearbreaker Bay series. I haven't read any of the other books in the series, but it stands alone fine. Back when I was involved in a romance writers group, Jill Shalvis was one of my favorite romance writers for her sense of humor. This particular book was less lighthearted than the Jill Shalvis stories I read back in the 90s but every now and then you get a glimpse of her sense of humor.

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  1. That’s sad and strange that the older books are more amusing. I’m not s big fan of strictly romance stories. There’s too much swooning and bedroom scenes and not enough story.

    1. It has to do with the particular line of books. I read a lot of what was called the "FlipSide" series, which were romantic comedy. This book is romantic suspense, so it's not deliberately funny, unlike the other ones. FlipSide books were discontinued some time back in the 90s, I think, but I never forgot how much I enjoyed Jill Shalvis's stories. I personally prefer less romance, more action, like you, but neither of us is really a diehard romance reader. :) I'm only an occasional romance reader and I read it for the change of pace and usually look for titles that I think will be pretty plotty. At any rate, I loved the ending and I think I gave it 4 stars because it was so nicely concluded.


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