Title: Accidentally on Purpose
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Elle Wheaton’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . .
There’s no such thing as a little in lust . . .
Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco earthquake and he craves her 24/7, but Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . .
There is such a thing as . . .
As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along . . .
“Nope, I’m good.” Good plus mad, but although she adored Trudy, the woman couldn’t keep a secret to save her life. “Just taking in the nice morning.”
“Oh, that’s a disappointment,” Trudy said. “I thought maybe you were looking for that hottie with the nice package, the one who runs the investigation firm down the hall.”
Elle nearly choked on her tea. “Nice package?”
“Well I’m old, not dead.” And with a wink, Trudy pushed her cart down the hall.
It was true that Archer was annoyingly hot, not that she cared. Hot was useless to her. She’d much rather have the things that had eluded her for most of her life—safety, security…stability.
Three things Archer had never been accused of.
At the other end of the hall, she stopped in front of the door with a discreet sign: HUNT INVESTIGATIONS.
The investigative and elite security firm was carried on Archer’s reputation alone, no ads or marketing required. Basically Archer and the men he employed were finders and fixers, independent contractors for hire, and not necessarily tied by the same red tape as the law.
Which worked for Archer. Rules had never been his thing.
She opened the door and let herself into the reception area, which was much bigger than hers. Clean, masculine lines. Large furniture. Wide open space. A glass partition separated the front from the inner offices.
The check-in counter was empty. The receptionist wasn’t in yet—it was too early for Mollie. But not for the other employees. Past the glass Elle could see part of the inner office. A group of men, five of them, entered by a private door. They’d clearly just come back from some sort of job that had required them to be locked and loaded since they currently looked like a SWAT team.
Elle literally stopped short. And if she was being honest, her heart stopped too because sweet baby Jesus. The lot of them stood there stripping off weapons and shirts so that all she could see was a mass of mind-blowing bodies, sweaty and tatted and in all varieties of skin colors.
It was a cornucopia of smutty goodness and she couldn’t tear her eyes away. In fact, she couldn’t speak either, mostly because her tongue had hit the floor. Her feet took advantage of her frozen brain, taking her to the interior door, where she wanted to press her face up against the glass.
Luckily, someone buzzed her in before she could. They all knew her. After all, her job required her to work closely with the security firm, and therein lay her deepest, darkest problem.
Working closely with Archer Hunt was dangerous in oh so many, many ways, not the least of which was their history, something she did her best to never think about.
She was greeted with variations on “Hey, Elle” and “Mornin’” and then they all went their separate ways, leaving her alone with their fearless leader.
About the Author
Heart, Humor, and Heat.
Let's start with the heart. The most important thing, I think. Obviously, I'm a new reader of this series. But from what I gleaned about this couple, they're known for being argumentative at best and antagonistic at worst. Not exactly enemies, but they love to sling barbs on a regular basis. Archer is alpha to his core, and Elle is a strong, independent woman who doesn't back down from anyone. However, now the reader is given some insight into their full history.
Archer and Elle met when she was sixteen, and he was a new cop on the force. She was a young girl who found herself in a dangerous situation, and he made a choice to sacrifice his career for her safety.
This couple's connection and emotions ran deep, essentials that were fine-tuned by Shalvis. Their first meeting was brief but life changing for both, each having conflicting emotions that have lingered over the years.
Archer has grown to feel protective, which is part of the reason why he keeps his distance from her despite his intense attraction. Feeling as if he would only dredge up painful memories of what she has overcome, he masks his desire for her. Elle feels deeply indebted to him for what her useless family have caused him. Their dance around each other was plausible and filled with delicious tension. Though, I will say that I would have liked to have seen their resistance snap just a shade sooner. They were both too stubborn for their own good. But what I loved was the fact that underneath their tangled emotions, there was genuine affection and support for each other.
He mocked her. He teased her. He drove her nuts. But she could ask anything of him, anything at all, and she knew he'd find a way to come through, no matter what.
The humor was sharp and consistent throughout the book. I really fell in love with the dynamic of their whole group of friends. The camping trip in particular was one of my favorite parts, it was so funny! But I think what I loved most was the witty banter between Elle and Archer. She never lost an opportunity to throw her sass around, and he bandied it right back at her unfazed. It was hilarious to see who would come out on top as the victor in their little scuffles, they never failed to entertain.
We can't forget about the heat. Oh, the delicious chemistry these two had zinging between them. They had some major sparks flickering that they wouldn't acknowledge. These two put up the good fight, but willpower is a tricky thing. Once you get your first taste, you can't ignore the elephant in the room any longer. One burst of anger leads to a punishing kiss, and their passion finally ignites. It didn't take long for Archer to chuck his good intentions out the window and lay claim to the woman he's been aching for for so long.
I have no idea what we're doing but one thing I'm sure as hell not doing is walking away from you. Not ever again."
Once a man like him makes up his mind to pursue and conquer, nothing will stand in his way. Not her guarded heart, not her troublesome family. He's her rock, her comfort, and her home.
I really loved this set of characters and I'm eagerly looking forward to Spencer's story, Chasing Christmas Eve, out September 26th. I'm seriously kicking myself for not discovering this series from the beginning, but that's going to be rectified very soon. If the first two are anything like this one than I have tons of feel-good romance waiting for me. If you're looking for your next read, take a trip to Heartbreaker Bay. You won't be disappointed.
FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON: