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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” Spencer 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.
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At the unexpected sight of Spence, Colbie startled hard. How was it that he was the one who needed glasses and yet she’d not seen him standing against the window? “No, I don’t kill a lot of people,” she said cautiously because she was wearing only a towel in front of a strange man. “But I’m happy to make an exception.”
He laughed, a rough rumble that was more than a little contagious but she controlled herself because, hello, she was once again dripping wet before the man who seemed to make her knees forget to hold her up.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said and pushed off the wall to come close.
She froze, but he held up his hands like, I come in peace, and crouched at her feet to scoop up the clothes she hadn’t realized she’d dropped.
Leggings, a long forgiving tee, and the peach silk bra-and-panty set that hadn’t gotten so much as a blink from the TSA guy.
But it got one out of Spence. He also swallowed hard as she snatched them back from him.
“Hold on,” he said and caught her arm, pulling it toward him to look at her bleeding elbow.
“Sit,” he said and gently pushed her down to a weight bench. He vanished into the bathroom and came back out with a first aid kit.
It took him less than two minutes to clean and bandage the scrape. Then, easily balanced at her side on the balls of his feet, he did the same for both her knees, which she hadn’t noticed were also scraped up.
“You must’ve hit the brick coping as you fell in the fountain,” he said and let his thumb slide over the skin just above one bandaged knee.
She shivered, and not from the cold either. “Not going to kiss it better?” she heard herself ask before biting her tongue for running away with her good sense.
She’d raised her younger twin brothers. Scrappy, roughhouse wild animals, the both of them so there’d been plenty of injuries she’d kissed over the years.
But no one had ever kissed hers. Not surprising, since most of her injuries tended to be on the inside, where they didn’t show. Still, she was horrified she’d said anything at all. “I didn’t mean—” She broke off, frozen like a deer in the headlights as Spence slowly lowered his head, brushing his lips over the Band-Aid on her elbow, then her knees.
When he lifted his head, he pushed his glasses higher on his nose, those whiskey eyes warm and amused behind his lenses. “Better?”
Sometimes the pressures in life force your hand. For Colbie – the demands of being a successful author, taking care of her family, and a misinterpreted romance have driven her to flee from it all. With her famous YA book series hitting the big screen, the demands to produce another book is killing her creativity. Writers block is strangling Colbie with a grasp so strong that the only solution is fleeing to a place where no one knows who you are. Plagued with a curse of a hurricane, Colbie finds herself on the farthest coast of the US where no one knows her real identity.
When you are a genius, life tends to plague you with its own set of difficulties. Spencer has used his expertise to help those around him. Earning him a substantial amount of money, but very little time for relationships. If his track record is any indication, Spencer is clearly NOT boyfriend/husband material. As the owner of the building where he lives and works, Spencer has accumulated quite the ‘collective’. A family of neighbors that are always on the lookout for him.
A chance ‘meeting’ has Spencer and Colbie crossing paths. Or should I say Colbie’s fall into a fountain gives pause to the studious Spencer. Acting as gentlemanly as possible, Spencer can’t help but find himself drawn to Colbie and her mysterious ways. As the two begin to spend time together, they both discover a fulfillment with the others company. As the clock on Colbie’s time in San Francisco winds down, the two wonder what the future will hold.
This latest installment in the Heartbreaker Bay series will warm the heart of any reader. Colbie and Spencer both have given up on love. Devoted to their lives, the two happen to cross paths. Leading fans of the series down the path that two work driven people rarely experience. Jill Shalvis always knows how to add the perfect touch to each couple in the Heartbreaker Bay series. Colbie and Spencer are no exception!!
The plot was engaging, and the setting made me picture every nuance of the bay in my mind. A wonderful combination so close to the holiday season. Each page left me rooting for the couple who have given their all to their craft, but have taken little time for their own personal satisfaction. A great edition to the series!!