Friday, March 10, 2017

Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter

This is my first book by Denise Hunter. I enjoyed the plot itself.- Military hero comes home as an amputee, struggling with his inner self. After an explosion rocked his world and he lost his leg, Riley doesn't know how to cope. His tough guy persona is just an act. He moves in with best friend Paige (here I have a bit of a conflict because in my personal opinion that doesn't portray the best Christian testimony, even though they are just friends) since his family currently has some remodeling going on and there is no spare room. Riley has been Paige's best friend forever, and since she has no family of her own, he has adopted her into his. His family members have done the same.

Riley is struggling with PTSD and the emotional scars of battle. Here is where I
struggled a little with the book. I understood his point of view, worthless feelings etc, yet I kind of wanted him to get over his poor-me-syndrome and she-deserves-so-much better attitude and move on with his life. She cared about him, but he just kept pushing her away. But isn't that just like life... sometimes it takes longer than we think for people to come around. Maybe it was just too close to reality - and real life can be painful.
Paige is also dealing with insecurities of her own due to some past history with her family. She feels like everyone in her life always leaves.

The story was good it just felt like the back and forth,  "I love you" - "I love you not", drug out a little too long. Since the book is fairly predictable, it was like, get-it-together already! I did not read the previous two books in the series, but was able to follow this one just fine, even though most of the characters stories play out in the previous books.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

You can find this book on Amazon and other online retailers

Book Synopsis:
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?

Meet the Author:
Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. 
You can learn more about Denise through her website or by visiting her Facebook page at Facebook

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