ARC-Review: HEAD OVER HEELS by Jill Shalvis

Free-spirited Chloe lives life on the edge. Unlike her soon-to-be married sisters, she isn’t ready to settle into a quiet life running their family’s newly renovated inn. But soon her love of trouble—and trouble with love-draws the attention of the very stern, very sexy sheriff who’d like nothing better than to tame her wild ways.

Suddenly Chloe can’t take a misstep without the sheriff hot on her heels. His rugged swagger and his enigmatic smile are enough to make a girl beg to be handcuffed. For the first time, instead of avoiding the law, Chloe dreams of surrender. Can this rebel find a way to keep the peace with the straitlaced sheriff? Or will Chloe’s colorful past keep her from a love that lasts . . . and the safe haven she truly wants in a town called Lucky Harbor?


Title: HEAD OVER HEELS
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Year of release: 2011, November 22
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Received a digital ARC from author for review

First line:
It wasn’t often that Chloe Traeger beat her sisters into the kitchen in the morning, but with Tara and Maddie currently sleeping with the town’s two hottest hotties, it’d been only a matter of time.

Memorable Scenes:
– Maddie’s shirt-inside-out moment > funny as heck
– outdoor shower scene > playful fun lead to sizzling heat lead to anticlimax LOL
– painting Sawyer’s dining room scene > touching and sweet and the paint handprints part was both funny and hot
– the scene involving Chloe showing Sawyer how she can climax without going into an asthma-attack > loved Sawyer’s dirty story and what followed after that

Ever since finishing book 2 in this series I’ve been eagerly anticipating Chloe and Sawyer’s book and my anticipation was rewarded.

Chloe Traeger is the youngest of the three half sisters who play the main roles in the three first Lucky Harbor books. She’s an esthetician who travels all over the place as it’s ingrained in her nature to wander. She’s a wild child, impulsive, stubborn, witty and resilient. Every chapter of this book started with a Chloeism and I loved them. Here are a few of my favorites:

“If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.”
“If things don’t seem right, try going left.”

“It’s always darkest before the dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.”

“A closed mouth gathers no foot, though that’s hard to remember in the moment.”

“Just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, someone’ll throw you a shovel.”

“I’ve always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.”

“They say money talks, but all mine ever says is ‘good-bye, sucker’.”

“Sure, good things come to those who wait – but they’re the leftovers from those who got there first.”

“Women might not like to admit their age, but men don’t like to act theirs.”

Sawyer Thompson, the local sheriff is determined to make up for his not so squeaky clean past as he wasn’t always the upstanding citizen he now is. He’s guarded, calm, patient, unflappable an intense. I loved Sawyer. To be honest I loved all the heroes in these three books as they are awesome partners to the three awesome ladies who snag them up.

You know, it’s the quiet ones…really it is! Who’d have thought upstanding sheriff Sawyer could give wild child Chloe a run for her money in the bedroom. I loved the beginning where the romance was building up but the chemistry was definitely there and promising. Sawyer’s dirty thoughts were both funny and hot. The love scenes totally matched the romance they accompanied. They complemented both story and characters.

What I adore about the Lucky Harbor books, next to the great writing and superb romance, are the characters and the bonds between them. These bonds are the perfect basis for awesome and fun dialogues. I especially loved the interactions between the sisters and between Jax, Ford and Sawyer.

I really loved that HEAD OVER HEELS was a realistic, character-driven small town contemporary romance that focuses on interpersonal relationships and everyday life. No mysteries or weird plot twists although there is a subtle yet crucial suspense-ish plot that I thought was brilliantly woven into the rest of the story.

Jill Shalvis writes awesome small town contemporary romances. The combination of her fluent, easy writing style, her humorous voice, characters, setting and romance is excellent. She’s a master at witty dialogue.

I like that the books in this series are not just about the main couple starring in that book. They are still the focal point but it’s not just about them. The story of each sister/friend is told through their connections with the others and really enjoyed seeing the couples and other characters from the first two books make their appearances and form a strong supportive background for Sawyer and Chloe.

I must rate this 3rd book of the Lucky Harbor series an awesome read! It ticked almost all the boxes for me: it was fun, it was romantic, it was emotional and I loved the characters so much! A fabulous combination of plot, romance, characterization, humor and emotional impact!

Favorite Quotes:
He ran a long, callused finger down her calf alongside one particularly nasty gash, and she shivered. Not from pain. Maybe it was her exhaustion, or hell, maybe it was just from having him stand so close, but the stoic, tough-guy thing was sort of doing it for her this morning. He was a little on edge and sweaty, and a whole lot hot and sexy, and utterly without her permission, her brain rolled out a “Stern Cop And The Bad Girl” fantasy …

There was a wildness to her tonight, hell every night, and an inner darkness that he was drawn to in spite of himself.
It called to his true inner nature, the matching wildness and darkness within him, which he’d tried to bury a long time ago.

“You’re tense,” Chloe said. Standing up, she moved behind him, putting her hands on his shoulders. She dug her fingers into his tight muscles, working them with a surprising strength, until he melted into a puddle at her feet.
“Better?” she murmured against his ear, making him nearly groan when she pressed her breasts against him.
Was she kidding? The only way for this to be better would be for them to be alone and naked.

In answer, he brought his head up and kissed her. Deep, hungry, tasting her in a purposely slow, thorough manner before pulling back to once again look into her eyes.
Oh, God. “Sawyer, what are we doing?” she whispered.
He shook his head. “No fucking clue.”
She let out a low laugh. “Maybe then, we should do it some more.”
He obliged, pulling her in for another kiss, which grew rougher and more demanding, until she was vibrating with need, making little whimpers in her throat for more.

He’d have gone in search of Chloe but Tara’s hand on his arm stopped him.
“She thinks she’s a real tough cookie,” she said.
“She is.”
“Not when it comes to you.”
He met her gaze. “What does that mean?”
“You’re going to have to figure that out yourself. I like you, Sawyer. I like you a lot, but hurt her and I’ll hurt you.”
“Smile. It’s the second best thing you can do with your lips.”

Life’s short, Sawyer. Sometimes you have to take what you can get and make it okay.”

Slow.
Easy.
Driving her right out of her mind. “Please. Sawyer, please.”
But her entreaty fell on deaf ears. He did his own thing at his own pace, gently massaging and teasing and coaxing her right into a blissful explosion that shocked and rocked her to the very core.
While she trembled and shuddered back to Planet Earth, he gave her one last soft kiss and moved back up her body to study her face closely. “Okay?” he asked.
“If I was any more okay, you’d have to peel me off the ceiling.”

She cupped his face, slid her fingers into his hair, and beamed up at him. God, he loved her smile. She felt so good. Her eyes were a staggering, fathomless green, and looking at her made him ache, and he ran out of air.
Completely. Ran. Out. He struggled to breathe and thought this must be how she felt. But then she pressed her mouth to his and gave him her air.

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2 thoughts on “ARC-Review: HEAD OVER HEELS by Jill Shalvis

  1. I've not been quite sure what to make of Chloe in the past 2 books but you've made me want to read her story. Thanks for the great review and the push in the right direction.

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