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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Review: Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter

Book Description "Riley Callahan’s plans to reveal his secret feelings for his best friend are derailed when his life is drastically altered in Afghanistan.

 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?"

Just a Kiss is the third book in the Summer Harbor series.  Each of the books in the series focuses on one of the Callahan brothers.  Falling Like Snowflakes focuses on Beau, The Goodbye Bride focuses on Zach, and Just a Kiss is Riley's story.  They are stand alone novels that you can read if you haven't read the others, but as with most books written in a series you get a better understanding of the characters if you read the entire series.

Just a Kiss deals with some difficult issues that a man who has been in war and returned home would deal with in an honest way.  It also shows how some of these issues affect those around him.  It wasn't just Riley's story though, Paige has some unresolved issues in her life that she had to deal with. I loved the characters, setting, and the the story.  I enjoyed the resolution to Miss Trudy's story.

One part of the story that I did find odd was that Riley had to stay with Paige when he returned home. The reasons are explained in the book but at least one of his family members knew how he felt about Paige and even without that, he is still a man and she is still a woman, especially with is medical needs the idea that his family would have arranged that for him seemed unrealistic.

As far as the series as a whole, I enjoyed books 2 and 3, but Falling Like Snowflakes was my favorite.  I think because it was more then just a predictable romance but also added an element of suspense.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

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