Karen’s Killer Book Bench: PLAYING FOR KEEPS, A Heartbreaker Bay Novel by Jill Shalvis #RomanticComedy

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A Heartbreaker Bay Novel


If you’re planning on falling in love…

When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s yoga pants, he’s a suit. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

You’d better be sure…

Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

Someone is there to catch you.

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.


A Heartbreaker Bay Novel


Chapter 1

Sadie Lane walked through the day spa, closing up for the night, alone as usual. Her coworkers had left, but even if they hadn’t, they’d just be milling around with their ridiculously expensive teas, complaining about how hard this job was.

They had no idea how ridiculous that was to her, but as the lowest person on the ladder, she’d managed to keep her opinions to herself. She was sure it’d only be a matter of time before her mouth overtook her good sense.
Moving around shutting down the computers and dimming the lights, she fantasized about going home and stripping out of her daytime yoga pants and replacing them with her nighttime yoga pants. Unfortunately, even after eight hours on her feet, that wasn’t in the cards for her.

Her phone buzzed an incoming call and a glance at the screen gave her an eye twitch. “Hey, Mom.”

“You always forget to call me back. I’ve been trying to discuss your sister’s wedding details with you for weeks now, and . . .”

Sadie listened with half her brain, the other half wandering off. Did she have time to grab an order of sliders and crispy fries from O’Riley’s, the pub across the courtyard, before heading to her other job? Lunch had been eons ago . . .

“Mercedes Alyssa Lane, are you even listening to me?” her mom asked.

Being full-named always got her back up. It wasn’t that she had anything against her name—okay, so she sort of did because who named a kid after the car where that kid had been conceived?—but more than anything, she had a whole lot against her mother’s tone. “Of course I’m listening.”

She wasn’t. She was thinking about dessert after the sliders. Maybe cookies, maybe a brownie. Maybe both.

“Honey,” her mom said, her voice going tentative. “You’re not feeling . . . sad again, are you?” She whispered sad as if was a bad word.

And to be fair, for most of Sadie’s teenage years it had been a bad word, along with angry, misunderstood, sullen, and unhappy. To say that she and her mom had a complicated relationship was pretty much the understatement of the year.

“Nope,” Sadie said. “I’m fine.” This was an automated response because she didn’t want to deal with the all you have to do to get over the blues is think positively speech again, well-meaning as it was. But her mom was winding up for the big finish, so Sadie braced herself because in three, two, one—

“Remember what Dr. Evans always told you. To get over the blues, all you have to do is think positively.”

Resisting the urge to smack her phone into her own forehead, Sadie drew a deep breath and sank into the cushy chair in her station, where her clients sat while she applied permanent makeup. This was her bread-and-butter job, seeing as the love-of-her-heart job—working as a tattoo artist in the Canvas Shop right next door—didn’t pay enough yet. And call it silly and frivolous, but she’d grown fond of eating.

The problem was, all the time on her feet working way too many hours a day left her exhausted. And maybe the teeniest bit cranky. But not, it should be noted, sad. At least not at the moment. “Mom, you know it’s not that easy, right?”

“To think positively? Of course it is. You just do it. Take your sister, for instance . . .”
Sadie closed her eyes and caught a few z’s while her mom went on about Clara, whom Sadie loved and adored even if she was annoyingly perfect—

“Sadie? Yes or no?”

“Hmm?” She sat upright, opening her eyes. She’d missed a question, but pretending she knew what was going on at all times was her MO. If she couldn’t blow her family away with her brilliance, plan B was always to baffle them with her bullshit. “Sure,” she said. “Whatever you guys decide.”

“Well, that’s very . . . sweet of you,” her mom said, sounding surprised. “And very unlike you.”

Hoping she hadn’t just agreed to wear a frothy Little Bo-Peep bridesmaid dress, Sadie let her gaze shift to the window.

*Read the rest of the First Chapter:

About Jill Shalvis…

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.


Links to Jill’s website, blog, books, etc. 

Goodreads Link:

Goodreads Series Link:

Buy Links

Kindle:  https://amzn.to/2rBps2S






Series Buy Link:


Thanks, Jill, for sharing your book with us!

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5 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench: PLAYING FOR KEEPS, A Heartbreaker Bay Novel by Jill Shalvis #RomanticComedy

  1. Samantha says:

    Love your books. And by the way, you are doing a great job of marketing this new one. I have received four or five different methods to let me know about it. Goodreads, Amazon, your newsletter, here on Karen’s blog…Look forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kathleen Bylsma says:

    This is the best Heartbreaker Bay so far! Loved it!
    Thanks , Karen and Jill!

  3. Karen Docter says:

    Good morning, Jill, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I love this series. Such fun! Thanks for sharing your latest release with us today!

  4. Judy Tulloch says:

    After reading the blurb and chapter one, my Amazon gift card I was given as a Christmas gift, now has a lower balance. lol. Put in a dog needing help and one with only 3 legs, added to my interest in what sounds like it will be a fantastic read. Thanks Karen and Jill.

  5. Eileen AW says:

    I love Jill’s books. If she writes it, I must raead it!! Thanks for visiting and sharing your book.

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