Her Sexiest Mistake by Jill Shalvis // Review

February 24, 2021

Her Sexiest Mistake by Jill Shalvis

He wasn't going to be scared off, as she might have been. He wasn't going to do anything but accept her. The realization was like a breath of fresh air.


Her Sexiest Mistake by Jill Shalvis

Her Sexiest Mistake by Jill Shalvis


Standalone
Release - November 5, 2013
Genre - Contemporary Romance/one night stand
Multiple POV - 3rd person
Heat Level - 3 out of 5 (semi-descriptive and frequent)
Format/Source - ebook purchase
Length - 324 pages
Publisher - Forever Yours

Trusting the heart is the most sensual risk of all

With a fab career, a salary that keeps her in her favorite designers, and her own condo, Mia Appleby has everything she dreamed of as a poor little girl gazing out the window of her mom's trailer. Her old life is completely gone. That is until she has a one-night stand with her handsome new neighbor, Kevin McNight. She ends it before she totally falls for him. But Kevin isn't like other men and won't let Mia off that easy. And neither will her runaway Goth niece, Hope, who inconveniently shows up at her doorstep with hopes for a new life. Now, Mia must keep her new fan club at a safe distance-before they burst her fairytale facade.

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I love when an introduction to a new-to-me author gives me a winner of a story!

It all started with a one night stand. Mia doesn't do repeats and Kevin wants more. She gives him the brush off, he likes her fire. She never goes back and yet, she's constantly finding herself darkening his doorstep. She doesn't do feelings, and yet he evokes in her sensations she can't recognize, much less acknowledge. She can't get enough of him, he can't get enough of her, but there are issues, which only made the story more entertaining.

I didn't like Mia, but I don't think I was supposed to. Initially, she was selfish, self-centered, rude, controlling, and had a huge chip on her shoulder. She covered every vulnerability with a falsehood, her attitude projecting a facade that hid the truth. At first it was a bit off-putting, but once I realized that she needed this in order to protect herself, that she had no idea what it was to have true interpersonal relationships, the ice around my heart for this character began to thaw.

Now Kevin, he was great book boyfriend material. He was patient and kind, sweet and sexy, compassionate and understanding, and for all that he had going for him (such an amazing personality!), of course he was confident, self-assured and charming! Kevin was the greatest part of this story for me and I only wish that he were a bit more assertive when it came to Mia. She walked all over him for the most part and each time he would tell himself 'not again'... Yeah, you guessed it. It would happen again. I wanted him to either stick to his guns by showing her that she couldn't always have her way or give her a bit of a brush off. Tell her no and see how she likes it.

In the end, I really enjoyed this story. I loved the dynamic relationship that developed between Mia, Kevin and Hope. I loved the vulnerability of the characters and the situations they allowed themselves to be in. I loved how this author created a character I could love and hate with the same breath (I'm looking at you, Mia). If this story is what I can come to expect from this author, I'll definitely be reading more :)

With all sorts of wicked thoughts swimming in his gaze, he’d smiled, and she’d involuntarily put a hand to her heart as her pulse leapt.

In turn, his smile had widened and she’d melted on the spot. Clearly, he was a bit of a rebel, a bad boy, which meant he was a man after her own heart, and therein lay the problem.

She didn’t like a man after her heart. She didn’t like anyone to get that close, to get beneath her carefully polished faรงade. But truth be told, if anyone could have, it would have been one sexy, sharp, smart-mouthed Kevin McKnight.

Oh, she knew his name. First and last. And if she was being honest, she’d never forgotten it.

But this morning, only an hour after she’d left his bed, his bike was gone.

Just as well. After the things she’d said to him, he wouldn’t be smiling at her again, wicked or otherwise. Stinky feet. Snoring.

God.

She’d been really frazzled to lose it so completely if that was the best she could come up with. She really wished he’d just kicked her out at two in the morning when he’d finished with her. And anyway, why hadn’t he been happy she wanted to get away? Weren’t men supposed to like that sort of woman, one who didn’t cling and carry on about relationships?

What was wrong with him?

With a sigh, she drove the freeway with the precision of an air force bomber pilot. The skill was required in LA, especially at nine in the morning in rush-hour traffic. She thought about work and crossed her fingers for the day ahead, as she’d been working her ass off to get the new Anderson account, a hot new national beverage corporation, and she wanted it so bad she could taste it. She’d designed the campaign from start to finish, with the help of a great creative team, of course, and could already see the media and public scooping up everything she dished out.

As the air was already getting warm, she turned on the AC. She listened to traffic and news as she transitioned to the 5 south, and when she got downtown she pulled onto Sixth and into her building’s parking structure.

By the time she entered the thirty-five-story glass-and-steel building that housed the advertising firm where she worked, she was ready. And when she stepped out onto the top floor, she smiled.

Oh, yeah, she had it all: a fabulous career, an office overlooking all of downtown, a beautiful house in the hills—absolutely everything she’d ever dreamed of as “Apple,” sitting in a single-wide and looking out at the neighbors fighting on their porch while her mother and Sugar made plans to devour some man or another.

No one in her life from that time would recognize the woman she’d so carefully become. Sophisticated, elegant. Cool, calm ice.

Just as she’d always wanted.

Gen, the receptionist, waved at her. All around, the office buzzed. Phones rang; people moved, talked, wheeled, and dealed. Mia knew there’d been rumors of layoffs, that the powers-that-be wanted to downsize, but she loved the place this big and crazy and hoped it stayed that way. She strode toward her department. Assistant Tess Reis sat at her cubicle in front of the three offices of ad executives she worked for, her fingers pounding her keyboard, either for the slimeball Ted or the more even-keeled but insanely competitive Margot—Mia’s equals.

Unlike Mia, Tess wasn’t average height. Tess wasn’t average anything. She was a tall, willowy, creamy-skinned twenty-seven-year-old who resembled one hell of an expensive collectable porcelain doll. She could have been a model, should have been a model, except for one thing.

She didn’t like to be the center of attention.

What she did like was organization, a fact that Mia was thankful for every single day of her life since Tess had come into it.

At every turn Tess mothered, bossed, and stuck her nose where it didn’t belong. “Listen,” she said before Mia could even open her mouth. “It’s a good news, bad news sort of day.”

As they were good friends as well as coworkers, Mia trusted Tess as much as she trusted anyone. “Good first.”

At that moment Margot walked up to the desk, sleek and professional in her smart black Chanel suit and blond chignon. Never one to pull punches, she eyeballed Mia while handing Tess a stack of files.

Mia lifted a brow.

“Bee-yotch,” Margot said.

Adrenaline suddenly pumped through Mia. “I got the Anderson account?”

“I’m assuming so, by the huge delivery that came for you this morning.” Margot shook her head. “Damn it. I’ll congratulate you when I can say it without spitting.”

She was so excited she couldn’t hear. “Delivery?”

“A big-ass plant, which I’m sure you’ll kill pronto like all the others.” Turning on her heels, she walked away.

Huh. The world kept spinning on its axis. Behind them a trio of assistants, all twenty-something and young and silly, were tittering over a computer screen. Fifties jazz came out of the sound system, fitting right in with the art deco theme of the office. The office had the scent of hip success and coffee, Mia’s favorite combination.

She felt like yelling Woo hoo! but that seemed rather high school, so she settled for a shit-eating grin instead.

Tess bent down out of sight and came back up with a huge, lush green plant in a beautifully hand-painted clay pot. “Well, now you know the good news. Do you think I should keep the plant out here? You know, to protect it?”

Yeah, yeah, so she’d killed every single plant she’d ever had, not to mention every goldfish…

She’d gotten the Anderson account. Everyone in the free advertising world wanted the Anderson account. She’d fought long and hard—and she’d won.

All around her the carefully controlled chaos continued, and though she’d have liked to burst into song and do the happy dance, she just continued to grin. “This is definitely good,” she said in grand understatement.

Tess laughed and set down the plant to hug Mia.

“Does everyone know?” Mia asked.

Tess’s grin widened as she pulled back. “Oh, yeah.” She shifted close. “It’s said that Dick actually smiled at the news that it landed in-house.”

Dick Sterling was Mia’s boss. “So give me the bad news,” Mia told her. “Not that anything can be bad today.”

Tess’s smile faded. “You’re not going to like it.”

“Never start out with that sentence.”

“Ted is waiting for you in your office.”

Mia’s eye twitched. “What does he want?”

“There’s no telling.”

“Why don’t you tell him that at the moment I’m out of my mind, but he can feel free to leave a message.”

Tess smiled tightly. “He says he has a beef with you, but we both know he really has a beef for you.”

Mia wrinkled her nose. “Don’t, I just ate breakfast.”

“You don’t eat breakfast.”

“Yeah. Damn.” She inhaled deeply and concentrated on the Anderson account. “All right. I can handle him.”

“Like you handled—what’s that guy’s name on twenty-five?”

“Phil.” Mia had gone out with tall and hunky Phil one night after they’d met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. But he’d been a piss-poor kisser, not a promising sign. “I told you, that didn’t work out.”

Tess sighed. An eternal optimist always looking for “the one,” she worried that Mia had commitment issues.

“Speaking of things working out. Did your sweet little old lady neighbor enjoy the cookies I baked yesterday?”

“Uh huh.” Mia reached for her stack of phone messages.

Tess nabbed them first, holding them out of reach.

Mia, knowing what was coming, sighed. “What?”

“Talk to me.”

“Yes, thank you, the cookies worked wonders. Look, I just got the news of the year. Trying to remain excited here.”

“Do you think I can’t tell when you’re lying through your teeth?”

“I am excited.”

“The cookies, Mia.”

“Fine. The cookies were a huge hit,” Mia said with great exaggeration, waggling her fingers for the messages.

“By—let me guess now—a man.”

“Does it matter that they weren’t for the exact neighbor you thought?”

“No, except I would have charged you double if I’d known you were going to use them as a seducing technique.”

“What? Why?”

“Why? Because I made them thinking you were being kind to old ladies. Because I made them so you’d remember to give me a raise next month when I’m due for review. But, damn it, all that’s really going on here is you’re getting laid and I am not.”

“I’m always kind to old ladies, and you know I’m going to recommend you for a raise. It’s well deserved. Except, of course, when you hassle me. And FYI, to get laid, you have to stop waiting for your prince and date.”

“Fine change of subject.” Tess let out a long breath. “Just lay low on any destroying of hearts at the moment, okay? Especially with this impending Ted disaster.”

“It won’t be a disaster.”

“Says Hurricane Heartbreaker Mia Appleby.”

Unconcerned, Mia eyed her messages. “I have a creative team meeting, and then a research review for that last campaign we did for Sorvenson Foods. Busy day, as you know all too well. Can I have my messages now?”

But Tess continued to hold the messages hostage. “Was he cute?”

“Who?”

“Whoever gave you that glow.”

Though Mia appreciated men, she did not sleep with them that often. She had her standards, after all, and besides, being a serial one-night-stander was simply too dangerous in this day and age. Last night had been her first…break, as she thought of it, in a while. “He was gorgeous.” Again she reached for the messages.

“Are you going to see him again? Wait a minute, why would I ask such a stupid question?” Tess smacked her head. “Of course you’re not. You don’t repeat.”

“Unlike some people who shall not be named. I’m not looking for a husband.”

“Good, because you’re not going to find him in the sack.”

“I’ll have you know, Kevin was quite amazing in the sack.”

“Kevin.” Tess nodded. “I’m impressed. You got his name.”

Mia tried to snatch her messages, but Tess hugged them tight. “I’m just worried about you. You never attach. It’s not good for you.”

“I’m attached to you. Though I’d be more attached if you gave me my messages.”

“I’m talking about the person you’re going to grow old with. Get gray hair with. Sit on the porch swing and tell stories about the good old days with.”

“I’m never going to get gray hair, thank you very much. And I don’t like swings. Messages?”

“How could you not like swings? Tell me the truth. You’re not human, right? You grew up in a pod and were placed here on earth when you were twenty-two. Fine. Take your damn messages.” She slapped them into Mia’s hand.

Mia looked at her, amused. “Grew up in a pod?”

“Well, that’s just a guess since you won’t talk about yourself before college. It’s all a big mystery.”

Some of her amusement vanished. “Nothing before matters.”

“Mia.” Now Tess gave her one of those patented maternal expressions, full of worry and concern and, damn it, affection. “Of course it matters, it—”

“Stop. Okay? Just stop. You worry far too much. Thanks for the messages.” Mia grabbed the plant.

“Don’t punish the poor plant!”

Mia just shook her head and headed for her office door, passing by the cubicles of the four members of her creative team, Janice, Tami, Steven, and Dillon. They were all at work on various projects, so she waved and moved on. So she didn’t want to talk about her humble beginnings. So what? No reason to feel that twinge of guilt—no reason at all—just because Tess gave everything of herself, no holding back, whatever Mia needed at all times, including cookies.

Damn it, Ted Stokes was in her office, lounging in her chair as a matter of annoying fact, leaning back, feet up as if he owned the place. Luckily, or maybe unluckily, he’d been blessed with a face that women everywhere thought of as California beautiful. He was strong and tan, and when he smiled he flashed baby blue eyes and a dimple, melting hearts and dampening panties everywhere.

But Mia wasn’t fooled by him. Beneath that fun-loving exterior beat a cold, purposeful heart. She set down the plant and gathered her bitchiness around her like a Gucci coat.

He smiled at her, that I’m-an-asshole smile, which really bit into her superiority over getting the Anderson account.

“Ah, a new plant to kill,” he noted.

She smiled through her teeth. She was going to keep the damn plant alive if it was the last thing she did. “I hope you brought coffee to this unexpected party.”

Ted lifted a steaming mug. His own, of course.

“What do you want, Ted?”

“Interesting question.” He smiled again, batting those long lashes over his baby blues.

She did not smile back.

“You’re a tough nut, Mia. I’m trying to flirt with you, in case you didn’t notice. And don’t say you don’t flirt, because—”

“I don’t flirt in the office. With coworkers.”

“We could be more than coworkers. What do you say?”

“How about never? Does never work for you?”

Jill lives with her family in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters (Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is mostly coincidental). She does most of her writing on her deck surrounded by more animals than humans. Which is quite astonishing considering she’s a city girl who was plucked from the wilds of L.A. to the wilds of the Sierra’s. Most of her books come from a combination of hard work, cookies, and hot guy pics, and not necessarily in that order.

Jill often travels to reader weekends & conventions where she LOVES getting to meet and hang-out with readers. The only problem being she tends to get lost in her hotels. So if you ever see NYTimes Bestselling author Jill Shalvis roaming the halls, someone please return her immediately.

For more about this author and her books, visit her website: https://www.jillshalvis.com/

2 comments

  1. I feel like I should have read this one and I can't remember if I did! I love Shlavis' older stuff. I started with Lucky Harbor, but I think her Animal Magnetism series is my favorite. I'm glad you found her!

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    Replies
    1. Me too :) I was actually gifted a copy of Lost and Found Sisters, but ended up reading this one because it was already on my kindle. I'm going to have to look into her other books.

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