by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #4
Published by Avon on September 26, 2017
Format: ARC, Ebook
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I received an advance copy of this book from Edelweiss.
Run for the hills—temporarily. That's Colbie Albright's plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie's so over it that she's under it. She's also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she's pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won't be a stranger for long.
Spence's commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn't have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot chemistry—he's got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself...just because she's gorgeous and a great listener...just because she gets Spence immediately doesn't mean he won't be able to let Colbie go. Does it?
...and hope for a miracle.
Now the clock's ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.
Chasing Christmas Eve is book #4 in the Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis, which follows a group of friends in San Francisco. Although it’s part of a series, it can be read as a standalone.
Colbie is a successful young adult fiction author who, on a whim, has just flown across the country. After escaping New York and ending up in San Francisco, she’s hoping to A) break her writer’s block, B) take a break from her demanding family, and C) indulge in a little self-care, for once in her life. The combined pressures of Colbie’s wildly popular books and her family’s dependence on her have left her creative well completely dry. She plans on staying in San Francisco until Christmas Eve, at which point she’ll go back to her normal life with her family in New York.
Spence is a successful, wealthy engineer/inventor and recent addition to San Francisco’s Most Eligible Bachelors list. However, he’s no playboy. On the contrary, he shies away from publicity and is very much a self-imposed hermit. Spence’s work is his life: he has never been able to balance the professional and personal. As such, he has become accustomed to being bad at relationships and, subsequently, being alone. Spence has a group of close friends, but otherwise shuts off the outside world.
The book gets off to a great start with Colbie and Spence meeting under comical and less than ideal circumstances. It also features Shalvis’s signature comedy combined with touching moments.
Both Colbie and Spence have complicated families as well as pasts. In fact, they’re both keeping secrets. When it becomes apparent that there’s a mutual attraction, Colbie and Spence agree to a no-strings arrangement, complete with a Christmas Eve expiration date. Naturally, that turns into much more.
I haven’t read the other books in the series (with the exception of one novella) and had no trouble diving right in. However, the supporting characters feature prominently here. In particular, Elle from book #3 is a big part of this story. While she has Spence’s best interests at heart and is fiercely protective of him, I found her overbearing and downright rude at times, especially to Colbie. Since the whole book takes place over a month or so (including the epilogue), it moves at a quick pace. For me, the ending felt somewhat off, in terms of the HEA seeming a bit rushed.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read, with an especially strong first half that becomes much more complicated as the story progresses. Nonetheless, I still plan on going back and reading the previous books in the series.
Rating: 3.5 stars