Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Just a Kiss (By: Denise Hunter)

Just a Kiss

By: Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter is one of our favorite authors, and we have eagerly waited for the final book of the Summer Harbor Trilogy! The story between Riley and Paige has been building since book one and we couldn't wait to see how their story would turn out. Unfortunately, however, these 2 chicks were disappointed in this much anticipated read.

Riley Callahan has secretly been in love with his best friend, Paige, for longer than he can remember. When he finally decides to tell her, an IED changes his life forever and leaves him an amputee. Now he feels he isn't worthy of her and is determined to move on. But when his family sets him up in Paige's house to recover, moving on really isn't an option. On the other hand, she has never seen Riley as anything except a best friend. But suddenly with him wounded and always around, Paige can't help but acknowledge that maybe things are going to be different between them from now on.

For the first two books in the series, the reader has been aware of Riley's feelings and watched him even go so far as to enlist in the Marines to fight them. But what we hoped would be a satisfying conclusion unfortunately wound up falling flat.

As Riley returns home, he is bitter, sullen, traumatized and rude - and while understandable, it was hard to see why Paige was suddenly falling in love with him. Any conversations between them felt stilted and too short, and the usual good tension of not knowing each others feelings became frustrating as it drew out just too long. There were a few additional plots (namely about the animal shelter, Miss Trudy and Sheriff Colton, and Paige's family history) in the book that seemed to abruptly begin and/or end - too quickly for us to process, much less feel invested in.

The story deals with PTSD, abandonment, betrayal and long waited for dreams and longings - deep issues to be sure. But really only the surface felt scratched with these. Some problems experienced were quickly dealt with, but those that did take longer to resolve, we as readers were not drawn into the wrestling and brokenness we would have expected.

Additionally, some of the main characters either have a broken past to deal with or currently have great pain to contend with. Broken families, past mistakes, and unfulfilled dreams are addressed.

As Paige deals with feelings of abandonment by her father, her mother and many others in her life, she comes to realize that God is the perfect Father. Christian principles are followed by most, and Riley and Paige both attend church along with most of the characters.

Love Story
Riley and Paige have a lot of chemistry, which is what kept them best friends for so long and is now drawing them closer together. Their first kisses are very tender and sweet and were extremely sigh-worthy! However, we would have liked more in-depth, soulful conversations about all they had been through as they reveal their feelings to one another.


Denise Hunter remains one of our favorite authors, and although this final book in the trilogy was disappointing to us, the first two books elevate the star rating for Just A Kiss higher than had we only read it as a stand-alone novel. We have loved the Callahan family and will revisit them fondly from time to time - even if its only the first two books we truly get deep into.

Find it on Amazon: Just a Kiss

Note: We were given this book free in return for our honest review

No comments:

Post a Comment