Monday, January 9, 2017

Just a Kiss- Denise Hunter

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Watching the love of his life fall for his brother was enough to send Riley straight to boot camp. But over a year later, he’s officially a marine, and Beau and Paige are no longer an item. When Riley’s tour in Afghanistan is up, he intends to confess his feelings to Paige and win his best friend’s heart once and for all.

But all that changes when an IED takes the life of a comrade and leaves Riley an amputee. Now he’s heading home, injured and troubled. His plans to win Paige are a distant dream. She deserves so much more than the man that’s left. All he can do now is put some healthy distance between them. But upon his return he discovers his family has arranged for him to stay with Paige.

Paige is a nurturer at heart and happy to take care of her best buddy. By all appearances Riley is adjusting miraculously well to his disability. But as the days pass, Paige begins to see that the smiles and laughter are just a mask for the pain he’s hiding. To make matters worse, her job is in serious jeopardy. The animal shelter that she’s poured her heart into has lost its funding, and she has three months to come up with the money needed to save it.

As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Why is she suddenly noticing his arm muscles and the way his lips curl at the corners? Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?

My Thoughts: Each book in this series has had such a satisfying romance and Paige and Riley's is no different. I don't know that I can put my finger on just why I enjoyed this book. It's well written, with tons of emotional tension, and an occasional laugh. Maybe it is Denise' ability to write such good romance without it being sappy or ridiculous. All I know is that I had such a silly grin on my face while reading it that my sister just kind of stared at me for a few minutes and then walked away, shaking her head.

The ending was not perfect. It mirrored the final conflict of The Goodbye Bride in a way that made it easy to see exactly how this one would end, which was disappointing after all the twists and turns that the rest of the book had. It was also a little rushed and I wished that Riley could have come around without such a drastic backslide.

Still, the very last chapter made up for a lot. It was so adorable, with not only a happy ending for Paige and Riley but also for Sheriff Colton and Aunt Trudy. It was a happy last few pages that makes me sad to see these characters go. I may just have to read the books again.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy through the Fiction Guild.

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