Published by Avon on September 25, 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Who needs mistletoe?
Most people wouldn't think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn't most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she's been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that — but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once...
Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don't mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he's shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly's brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can't believe he's drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who's the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he's ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he's been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.
~~Review by Evelyn~~
HOT WINTER NIGHTS by best-selling author Jill Shalvis is the sixth book in the Heartbreaker Bay series. It is a light-hearted, steamy look at co-workers who find themselves attracted to each other in a situation where their relationship would be seriously frowned upon for many reasons.
Smart and pretty Molly Malone is the office manager for her brother Joe’s private investigation agency. She is efficient, organized and very knowledgeable about the business. She is also totally frustrated by having a desk job when what she wants is to be is an investigator. Joe won’t allow it, however, because he still sees her as his little sister who needs to be protected.
Joe’s best friend, Lucas Knight, also works for the company as an investigator. Molly has had a secret crush on Lucas for quite some time, but she hasn’t done anything about it since they work together and she knows her brother would never approve. Lucas, who is quite a lady’s man, has never considered getting involved with Molly for the same reason. One night, however, fate steps in and takes over. Lucas, who is on leave from the agency after being shot on a case, decides to party at a local bar. Unfortunately, his prescription painkillers react with the alcohol and Lucas wakes up the next morning in bed with a dark-haired woman whose face is buried in a pillow. When Lucas realizes that he can’t remember who she is or anything that happened, he quickly leaves. When he arrives at work and Molly isn’t at her desk, Lucas realizes that the woman that was in his bed was Molly, but he can’t remember anything that happened! When Molly gets there, she is annoyed that Lucas can’t remember anything that happened. She lets him think that they had a wild night of sex when in reality, nothing had happened between them. They agreed that they needed to stay away from each other as much as possible.
Molly has been pushing her brother to let her be an investigator on a case. When Molly is approached by two elderly ladies who want her help, she presents the case to her brother. The two ladies are acting as Santa’s elves at the local Christmas village. They are worried that something strange is going on because they don’t feel that Santa is paying them fairly. Joe thinks that the whole case is too ridiculous to pursue, so Molly decides to investigate the case on her own. She feels that she could use this case to prove to Joe that she can be a good investigator. Joe finds out what she is doing, but instead of taking her off the case, he gives Lucas the job of helping her out and keeping her safe. Lucas is not to tell Molly why he is helping her, but Molly doesn’t really care why. She is happy to have Lucas helping her so that they can work together even though they need to keep it a secret.
The characters of Molly and Lucas were strong and well thought out. They both had issues that they carried into their relationship that could make or break it. These issues were handled with sensitivity and care.
The relationship between Molly and Lucas sizzled from the very beginning. Even though it took a while for them to actually do the deed, they were so hot for each other right from the start that there was really nowhere for their relationship to go. In other words, they started out strong but then seemed to stall out. I would have preferred to see the relationship build steadily.
I have only read one previous novel by Jill Shalvis. I remember I liked the novel so I was excited to have the chance to meet Ms. Shalvis at the RWA conference last summer. I was also excited to read this novel, but I don’t think I was familiar enough with her work to know what to expect. I know that I was expecting a Christmas story based on the description of the novel and the cover, but it was missing the general overall feel of Christmas. Christmas really had nothing to do with it other than the story of the elves and their complaint against Santa. I admit, like Joe in the story, that I thought this was not much of a story, at least not in the beginning. The investigation into Santa did get stronger and more interesting towards the end of the book, but I would have liked it to have been a little less predictable and a little more complex.
HOT WINTER NIGHTS will be an enjoyable, quick romantic read, especially for fans of Jill Shalvis and the Heartbreaker Bay series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.