Sometimes the people who can hurt us the most are the ones we love the most. In her contemporary romance, Wrapped Up In You (Avon), author Jill Shalvis teaches us about vulnerability, facing your fears and the power of forgiveness. 

Nobody knows what it’s like to start over better than Ivy Snow. With a nomadic lounge singer for a mom and a brother who constantly dragged her into trouble, she had no choice but to become an expert in all things temporary. Now she’s settled in San Francisco, far away from her scheming brother, and focused on making her taco truck successful enough to be able to afford a down payment on a condo. Ivy is determined to put down roots, even if it means lying about her past to the few friends she’s made in the city, and erecting walls against the one man who can read her better than anyone else.

A San Francisco native turned Idaho sheriff and ranch owner, Kel O’Donnell knows all about self-preservation. In town to cool off after a bust gone bad, he’s supposed to be on vacation, but the concept is as foreign to him as a certain independent, street smart and incredibly sexy redhead who makes killer tacos. Work has always been Kel’s priority and lies his Achilles heel, but even though he knows he should stay away from Ivy and whatever she’s hiding, he can’t seem to stop wanting to protect her from herself.

When the past comes knocking on Ivy’s door and Kel comes face-to-face with the one person he’s been hiding from, they both know it’s time to make a choice. Will they be able to let go and trust each other, or is true love just too much to hope for?

With winter just around the corner, this is definitely one of those books you’ll want to cuddle up with in front of the fire. I loved the chemistry between Kel and Ivy and swooned over all the ways Kel coaxed Ivy out of her shell. There’s no substitute for a real connection forged between characters and Shalvis delivers this effortlessly in her novel. Ivy and Kel complement each other in the best of ways. She is resilient and driven and he is steady, patient and intense. Their dialogue is easy, but poignant, loaded with authenticity that makes their developing relationship seem more natural than you’d expect from a romance that evolves in a matter of weeks.

All Shalvis’ characters are believable and relatable. The dynamics between Kel and his family and Ivy and her brother tie together their journeys in a way that pulls the reader through to the end. It’s a novel with heart that will make you laugh more than once. I especially like the way Shalvis reinforces her themes throughout the story and how she shows us what it means to be smart, brave, and vulnerable enough to show up at love’s door.

Wrap this one up for a loved one this holiday season. They won’t be disappointed. 

Wrapped Up In You is available for purchase.

About Jill Shalvis

Photo credit: Susan Zweigle, ZR Studios

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 15 million copies of her books sold worldwide.