Holiday Ever After

  • Author Jill Shalvis
  • Release Date October 26, 2021
  • Publisher Avon and Harper Voyager
  • ISBN/ASIN 9780063115002
  • Our Rating
  • Reviewed by Raonaid

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Our Review

All three stories in this anthology are written by Jill Shalvis. Two of the novellas belong to the same series. I am not a fan of holiday-themed stories or anthologies. However, I cannot pass up anything this author writes. I adore the humor she weaves into her storylines.


Max Stranton works for an investigation and security firm. He offers Rory a ride to Lake Tahoe.  Max remembers her from their high school days, especially what she did to him. Wintry conditions force the two to face their shared past. Will Max and Rory’s history keep them from being together? Can he forgive her?

Rory Andrews works as a dog groomer. She wants to go home and visit her family for Christmas. Rory reluctantly accepts a ride from Max, a former classmate, and his dog. Their road trip in a bad blizzard allows them to finally air out all their grievances. Will Rory make it to her family before Christmas? Can she gain Max’s forgiveness for her teenage folly?

Max is a sweetheart. He is a man of few words. I like Max’s protectiveness towards Rory. He came to her defense with her stepfather. What I love the most about Max is his thoughtfulness towards others. He willingly helped strangers in their time of need without expecting compensation. Max even tried to help Rory get to her family before Christmas morning.

Rory is a survivor. Her teen years were not kind to her, something I can relate with. I admire Rory’s courage to turn her life around. She tries to make amends for her past deeds. That takes incredible strength to do. What I adore the most about Rory is her interaction and behavior with Carl. She treats the dog as if he belongs to her. It is evident the two are best friends.

ONE SNOWY NIGHT is book 2.5 in Jill Shalvis’ contemporary romance series, HEARTBREAKER BAY. I have only read a few books in this series, something I plan to remedy in the future. Carl, Max’s dog, made the story entertaining. He reminds me of the Doberman I grew up with. So, I have a soft spot for that breed of dog.


Sean O’Riley co-owns a pub in San Francisco, California. He arranges a weekend getaway for his brother, his future sister-in-law, and their wedding party. Sean never imagined he would be reunited with Lotti Hartford, his first love. She even refuses to acknowledge him. Bad weather forces them to extend their stay at Lotti’s bed and breakfast. Can Sean convince Lotti to give him another chance? Will he give his brother the wedding he deserves?

Charlotte “Lotti” Hartford runs her family’s bed and breakfast in Napa Valley, California. She discovers that her latest customers include Sean O’Riley, the boy who broke her heart. Lotti refuses to soften her heart to the former bad boy. However, the weather keeps Sean and his party trapped at her B&B. Can Lotti trust Sean with her heart again? Will she ruin their second chance? Can Lotti help Sean pull off an impromptu wedding?

Sean is a doll! He is a reformed bad boy, who is tired of his womanizing ways. I like how Sean wants to right all the wrongs he committed in his youth. He deeply regrets some of his past actions. What I adore the most about Sean is his determination to make certain his brother’s wedding is perfect. It is his way to show Finn his appreciation for all he did for him after their parents died.

Lotti is a woman who is afraid to let people close. She has been hurt too many times. I understand Lotti’s reluctance around Sean. He was responsible for her first heartbreak. He is also the reason for her trust issues. What I love the most about Lotti is her selflessness. She willingly donated her unused wedding gown for Sean’s improvised wedding. Lotti even helped him with it.

HOLIDAY WISHES is book 4.5 in Jill Shalvis’ contemporary romance series, HEARTBREAKER BAY. This story, along with ONE SNOWY NIGHT, can stand alone. There is no on-going plot. Characters from prior books do show up in the story. I love Peaches, Lotti’s pet parrot. He made me laugh!


James Webber owns and runs his own expedition company. He also helps at his family’s lumber business. James plans to have a talk with his father on their yearly holiday vacation in the Caribbean. He never anticipated finding Hannah on the boat. The two are forced to confront many things on their boat ride. Can James convince Hannah to give them another try? Or will he let her slip through his fingers again?

Hannah Banfield works as a health care advocate. She dreads her family’s joint Christmas yacht vacation in the Caribbean. Hannah has an ulterior purpose for going this year, a fact that she despises. However, she never expects to see James Webber on her father’s boat. Can Hannah deliver the devastating news she has for her stepfather? Who will she ultimately choose? Jason? Or her job?

James is an adventurous soul. He enjoys traveling and seeing new places. I like how instinctively James knows when Hannah needs a friend. Regardless of their troubles, he always listens to her when she needs to talk. James even defends Hannah against her stepfather. What I adore the most about James is the deathbed promise he made to his late brother. He is doing what Jason wanted him to do: live his own life.

Hannah is a driven woman dedicated to her work. She had a semi-difficult childhood growing up with two clueless and irresponsible parents. I admire Hannah’s thoughtfulness towards her stepfather. She did not want to hurt him so close to Christmas. He may not be blood related, but she still considered him her father. What I admire the most about Hannah is her reason for falling into her profession. She did not want to see another family experience what James and his parents did with Jason.

MISTLETOE IN PARADISE is book 5.5 in Jill Shalvis’ contemporary romance series, WILDSTONE. So far, every story in this series can stand alone. This novella is no exception. The only similarity each one has is the town Wildstone in California. I am almost caught up on this series. I just need to buy and read the first three books and the first novella.

HOLIDAY EVER AFTER is a series of warm-hearted and feel-good holiday stories. I love that Jill Shalvis did not ram Christmas down my throat. The holiday is more of a setting than the main focus.

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