Shalvis’s San Francisco–based Heartbreaker Bay contemporary romance series started out strong, but this time around, property manager Elle Wheaton and romantic foil Archer Hunt have neither the quirky charm of Pru Harris and Finn O’Riley (Sweet Little Lies) nor the warm glow of Willa Davis and Keane Winters (The Trouble with Mistletoe). Elle and Archer do fulfill the overarching theme of the series: two people connected by complicated past issues who fight their mutual attraction against the backdrop of the city’s Cow Hollow District. Archer, an ex-cop, operates a security business that’s responsible for the safety of the building that Elle manages. He knew that the two of them working together was a bad idea—old baggage and all—yet he recommended her for the building manager job anyway. The daily torture of their close professional proximity is too slender a thread on which to hang the story, so Shalvis adds a subplot involving Elle’s black-sheep sister that lacks sufficient depth to be credible. Shalvis’s fans will still read this installment, but they know she can do better. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/05/2016 Release date: 01/01/2017 Genre: Fiction
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