Riley Callahan has been in love with Paige Warren for years. Although they are best friends, he’s never even hinted at his real feelings. When it seemed like Paige was falling for his brother Beau, he decides to join the military to get away from the whole situation. He soon learns however, that Paige and Beau are no longer a couple. After his tour in Afghanistan is over, he plans to tell Paige exactly how he feels. But all that changes when he loses part of his leg. Paige deserves so much more than the broken man he’s become. His plan to put some space between them quickly derails when he finds out he’ll be recovering at Paige’s house. Paige is a born caregiver and loves the Callahan family. She’s looking forward to caring for her best friend and helping him get back on his feet. For all that’s happened, it seems like Riley is doing really well but as time passes Paige begins noticing that it’s more of an act than anything else. She’s also noticing that her ‘best friend’ feelings toward Riley are not so ‘best friend’ anymore. Both want more than friendship but will they have the courage to reveal their true feelings and the faith and strength to see where it takes them?
Just a Kiss was a wonderful conclusion to the Summer Harbor Series. Don’t get me wrong though, this was not easy read. My emotions were in turmoil watching Paige and Riley deal with all the things happening in each of their lives. The story touched of several subjects like PTSD, losing a limb, secrets, anger, rejection and hurt, just to name a few. I appreciated seeing how Paige, Riley and the rest of the family dealt with all these things and as in real life, it’s messy. I loved watching too, how they grew from their experiences. I admit there were times during the story when I wanted to smack both Riley and Paige but that’s good writing when the characters seem so real you want to do that! You’ll find out what finally happens with Aunt Trudy and the Sheriff. I really liked that each book had all the familiar characters. The ending was very well done but I found myself wanting an epilogue; just a glimpse of a few years down the road, but other than that, everything was just as I would have expected from a Denise Hunter book. I truly hated to see it come to an end! I am going to miss the Callahan's. You can always count on this author to bring you books that are full of life-like characters, great romantic tension and good life lessons. This book can be read as a stand alone but I would highly recommend you read the whole Summer Harbor Series. I'd like to say too, that the book covers were beautifully done!
*This complimentary copy was provided by Thomas Nelson through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
A Couple Favorite Moments:
Their breath mingled between them. His heart kicked against his ribs, his good judgment evaporating in a flood of want. He lowered his mouth to hers one more time. Her lips were soft and yielding. Responsive. A thrill shot through him and he brushed her lips again.
“Don’t you think it’s about time you told her?” His eyes flew to Aunt Trudy. She was giving him one of those looks. Her lips tight, one of her sparse brows cocked at an angle. He made himself settle casually back in his seat. “Told her what?” “I may be old, but I’m not blind.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Don’t you give me that. I’ve watched you pine away for her for years. Watched you die a thousands while she was with your brother. Now’s your chance, young man, and you’re wasting it. You know you Callahan men only love once. It’s proven true for generations.”
For more information about his book or other books by Denise Hunter I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.denisehunterbooks.com.