With a title and cover like that, how can a reader not be drawn in, right? 😉 This story held everything I enjoyed about the last one in the series – unique story line, strong relationships, humor, and even heartbreaking depth at times.
Just a Kiss proved to be so much more than just what meets the eye, giving the reader a beautiful glimpse into lives that are hurting and longing to start over, but don’t know how. By the end of it, you’ll find yourself rooting for Riley and Paige as if they were your best friends.
I love stories where two good friends fall in love. Their tale doesn’t fall into place easily, though, let me tell you. There are misunderstandings – past and present. There are insecurities and fears, pressures and expectations, and so much more that dear Paige and Riley have to face inside this book. My heart broke for both of them at different points as I followed them along and hoped for their happily-ever-after. Their story is so much more than a simple love story. They have to learn to trust and forgive and be there for each other no matter what.
I won’t deny I was a tad frustrated with our hero for a few decisions he makes, but the pain he’s going through can’t be denied. The lessons he learned along the way added to the beautiful, perfect ending.
I’m becoming a big fan of Denise Hunter’s stories. The way she weaves complexity and tenderness into her character relationships leaves me always wanting more. I hate to say goodbye to every couple she introduces us to. I’m really looking forward to what she’ll be writing next!
I received a free copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan’s Fiction Guild. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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?
Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including Dancing with Fireflies and The Convenient Groom. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.
Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the experience of falling in love vicariously through her characters and can expect a happily-ever-after sigh as they close the pages of her books.
In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are raising three boys.
You can learn more about Denise by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter