Title: Wrapped Up in You
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #8
Author: Jill Shalvis
Format: Paperback/eBook, 387 pages
Publication: Sept. 24, 2019 by Avon
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
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.
Ivy has been on her own since she was sixteen but lately, she wants to put some roots down. She's slowly starting to warm up to her group of friends and the new guy Kel, is catching her eye.
Kel is on leave from his job as a sheriff after being betrayed by one of his cops. When his cousin introduces him to Ivy, he's instantly attracted to her and her spicy tacos.
Ivy and Kel have family drama and they're both scared to open up but they just can't stay away from each other.
She wanted him. Quite badly, if her racing pulse meant anything. He was so . . . what, exactly? Steady? Tough? Intense and yet somehow easygoing, not to mention also extremely easy on the eyes?
Eighth in the Heartbreaker series, Wrapped Up in You gives a little bit of a crossover with Kel from the Animal Magnetism series. I haven't read any other books in Heartbreaker and that might have hurt some of the emotional connections I was missing. Characters that were stars from previous books, acting as secondary characters here, were never overwhelming to me as a newcomer but I never fully felt the friendship between the women and Ivy or a emotional familial connection between Kel and his cousin. Kel and Ivy spend the majority of the time together and are the focus, which works for highlighting their relationship, but it hurt my feeling their connection to the world Shalvis has created.
Kel's background in Idaho and all the drama that went down there happened away from this book and his utter lack of desire to return to what was his home gave more of missing piece to his character for me rather than emphasizing his desire to stay in California for and with Ivy and his family. His family drama with his mother also felt tacked on as I struggled to get a sense of Kel, let alone his secondary family members and their relationship.
I connected with Ivy's character more, her family drama and relationship with brother provided some end of story angst. I would have liked more scenes with her and her friends to get more of a feel and emotional connection to why she suddenly wanted to put down roots in this city (as a new reader to the series, something that continuous readers might have a better feel for).
But he slowly pulled back and ran a thumb along her jawline. “I knew you were going to be trouble the very first moment I laid eyes on you.”
“Hello, I’ve been trying to tell you that very thing!”
Snatching her hand in his, he grinned at her, a very sexy, very naughty grin, as if maybe he thought she was the very best kind of trouble, and led her through the alley to his truck.
Ivy and Kel had an immediate attraction and they act on wanting each other pretty quickly; I think it was around 20% the question of if they're a “we” was being discussed. I personally enjoy more of a building up and thought their relationship lacked the certain fun and sexy vibe Shalvis can sometimes give her lead's relationship.
Overall, Shalvis stories are always readable but with Kel's seeing his mother cheat on his father and feelings of abandonment, Ivy's brother struggling with going straight and the slight danger element from this, and their two week romance that lead to a together forever I couldn't quite feel and believe in, this lacked the Shalvis joie de vivre that keeps me reading her books.
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