BOOK REVIEW: Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis

Title: Playing for Keeps
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publication: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Romance
Pages: 384

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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 copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

I had originally pre-ordered this book to be auto-delivered on the day it came out.  Then the gods smiled upon me.  My co-editor got an email from the publisher asking if we would like to read the book and do a review on it.  I squealed with delight, canceled my order and filled out the form to do the review. Then I proceeded to stalk the front porch for the UPS man.  I have become obsessed with Jill Shalvis since I read her first book for review about a year ago.   Now I search bookstores for her novels and keep a list of the ones that I own in my wallet so I don’t double buy… they are that good.

Sadie Lane has always been on the odd side.  She wears her colored hair as armor and has tattoos that mortify her family.  She didn’t know how to fit in and how to control her life so she started to cut herself.  She did it high on her thigh where she could hide it.  She didn’t want to die, she just wanted control.  Her mother found out and they put her on an involuntary admission to a psychiatric hospital.  What was supposed to be just 72 hours turned into a little over two weeks.  Two weeks that nearly broke her.  She finally got her life back together.  She works at a spa tattooing makeup on people then she goes to her second job at an actual tattoo parlor.  She has worked hard the last three years to get herself back on track.  She had a relationship-induced relapse and started cutting herself again.  Enter Caleb Parker who she, not so affectionately, calls Suits.  He owns and runs his own company.  He is basically Elon Musk.  One night she sees him outside her spa in the pouring rain. She goes out to check on him and sees that he is trying to coax a three-legged, skinny dog out of hiding,  The dog launches himself into Caleb’s lap.  She offers to take the dog for the night.  The next day they take the dog to the vet.  They both announced at the same time to the vet that they are going to adopt the dog they have named Lollipop.    So begins the journey of co-parenting their dog.  Soon things turn into more than just dog parenting.  Sparks fly between them.  Can Sadie get over her past hurts and trust Caleb?  Can Caleb talk her into going on a date, trusting him and taking a chance on a relationship?

I loved this book.  The main character cuts herself to feel in control.  Who of us hasn’t felt like our life was out of control at some point?   While she no longer does it,  it is still something that defines her.  Caleb was a sick premie child who growing up was told that he was deathly allergic to dogs so they never could have one.  He later finds out it was because his family was so poor that they couldn’t handle another mouth to feed.  They both had many relatable characteristics.  Some novels have characters that are so far out of the realm of possibility that it is ridiculous.  Caleb and Sadie have relationship issues that you can see yourself having.  


Pick up your copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or check your local bookstore. Also add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Make sure to check out more books by Jill Shalvis on her website here. You can check out multiple reviews we have done on her previous books on our site, including Rainy Day Friends, The Good Luck Sister, and About That Kiss.

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