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Review: Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7) by Jill Shalvis

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, Sophie 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.

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“The seduction of being with a woman who didn’t want anything from his was too much to resist….”

“You’re different too. Different good, by the way. You’re a puzzle, one I can’t seem to solve. That doesn’t happen often.”

“He took Lollipop to a pet park. He held her hand whenever she got scared. Damn. The man was dangerous to her heart and soul.”

“I love you, okay? I never meant to, but I kept feeling all the little broken pieces of my heart give themselves to you. It’s terrifying, Caleb.” she said to his smile. “I’ve never really given my pieces away before, at least not to someone who could protect them and take care of them.” He kissed her gently. “I’ve got you, Sadie, I promise you. Give me all your pieces, I can take everything you’ve got.”

Playing for Keeps is the 7th book in the Heartbreaker Bay Series, but can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone novel. Playing for Keeps is the kind of story that hooks you from the very beginning and will keep your eyes glued to the pages right until the very end.

From the moment we meet Sadie, I just knew she was going to be a special character. She was rough and tough on the outside, but had a wonderful vulnerability about her. Her life has been complicated and she never really fit in. And when it came to men, her walls were sky high and she wouldn’t dream of letting anyone get close. That is until Caleb came into her life. You see, Caleb is her exact opposite in every possible way. On the outside, it seems like he’s got everything he could possibly want. That the world is his oyster. But there is so much more to Caleb than meets the eye. When you get to know him, you see a sweet and vulnerable man. A man that has worked hard for everything that he has. A man who was bullied and had to learn to protect himself. A man who doesn’t do relationships, yet is searching for love just like everyone else. So, while Caleb & Sadie might be total opposites, it just takes one night to turn their worlds upside down….

Playing for Keeps was a really enjoyable read for me. It was sweet with just the right amount of drama and sexiness. The characters were wonderful and easy to connect with. I loved Caleb & Sadie together. Not only did they have terrific chemistry, but I just loved the banter between the two of them. Between the vulnerability the two had and Sadie’s sassyness, you just never knew what was going to happen next. They both judged one another and that they had each other pegged, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. They say opposites attract and well, these two were a temptation neither one of them ever saw coming.

I have to say, I really adored Caleb. Not only was he smart, but he was so dedicated. He knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. So, while Sadie challenged him at every possible turn, he wasn’t going to give up. He worked hard to build her trust and break down those walls. Sure, he wasn’t perfect and he made some mistakes along the way. But, believe me when I tell you, Caleb is the kind of guy that you want in your corner. The kind of guy that was patient and understanding. They kind of guy that would give his all to the right woman. And Sadie….Yes, there were plenty of moments where Sadie just drove me nuts. But, she’s not perfect. All her life she just wanted to be normal and like the other members of her family. But, Sadie wasn’t destined to be normal. She was destined to be special, unique and totally her own person. She just needed to find the right man who could love her just the way that she was.

Overall, I found this book to be a really enjoyable read. It was sweet and sexy and totally pulled at your heart. The road to happily ever after wasn’t an easy one for our characters, but it was certainly worth each and every moment. I loved the ups and downs and obstacles along the way. I loved the will they/won’t they moments. I enjoyed watching Sadie & Caleb fight for what they want and seeing their walls come tumbling down. Ugh! I just couldn’t get enough of these two. I laughed. I swooned. I begged for more. This book was everything that I was looking for and had one very satisfying ending. I can’t wait to see who’s story I get to fall in love with next!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via the author, in exchange for an honest review*

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