Monday, September 12, 2016

Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter

This is the third in a series but reads well on its own. To really appreciate the interaction between the characters, however, the earlier books in the series should be read.

This story centers on Riley, one of the Callahan brothers. He had joined the Marines, a response to Paige, his best friend and the one he loved, dating his brother. Now he is coming back from his tour as an injured man, having lost part of a leg. Riley had every intention of telling Paige how he felt. But now, a damaged man, he is sure Paige would never want him as a husband.

The majority of the plot deals with Riley's feelings. He struggles with his own self worth. He struggles with his love for Paige and thinking he should let her be free to marry a whole man. There are other aspects of the novel, such as the animal shelter Paige manages needing money. Those aspects, it seemed to me, were mostly filler. The plot itself is a little repetitive as Riley makes a decision, then changes, then changes back. I did appreciate the side story of Aunt Trudy, a reminder that we should appreciate love when the opportunity presents itself.

I like to learn something when I read a novel and I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't more information about how Riley adjusted to life as an amputee. More about how a prosthesis is designed and fitted could be included. I would have liked to learn a bit about how an animal shelter is managed too.

I recommend this novel to those who really like a romance that contains and is driven by thoughts and struggles of the characters.

You can read my reviews of earlier books in the series, The Goodbye Bride and Falling Like Snowflakes.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Denise Hunter is the best-selling author of over 25 books, one of which has been made into a Hallmark movie. She has won The Holt Medallion, The Carol Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreward Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. She and her husband and their three boys live in Indiana. You can find out more at www.DeniseHunterBooks.com.

Thomas Nelson, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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