Title: The First Kiss by Grace Burrowes
Sweetest Kisses Series Book Two
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The sweetest kiss is the one that means a fresh start
In the second novel of the Sweetest Kisses series, classical pianist Vera Waltham is quiet, cautious, and fiercely protective of her young daughter, but she lets down her guard enough to strike up an unlikely friendship with business law expert James Knightley. James’s past comes between them when Vera learns exactly how big a tomcat he has been, but when she and her daughter are in danger, it’s to James she turns…
The First Kiss is the newest installment in Grace Burrowes’ delightful Sweetest Kisses series starring the Knightley brothers. In this outing, youngest brother James falls for Vera Waltham, but will issues from their respective pasts prevent them from finding their happily ever after?
Vera is a very successful and extremely talented concert pianist and single mom. Currently on a much needed hiatus after her second marriage ended in a tempestuous divorce, she and her eight year old daughter Twyla are now living a somewhat isolated life in the Maryland countryside. When someone begins harassing her, Vera is frightened, angry and quite certain her ex is behind the threats she has been receiving. Despite her fear, she fiercely guards her newly discovered independence and she rebuffs James’ offers of assistance. But James proves to be very stubborn and the two strike up a unlikely friendship that takes an unexpectedly romantic turn.
James is charming, light-hearted and very flirtatious. He is also quite popular with the ladies, but he never gets serious with any of his flings. However his one night stands have lost their luster recently and he has become more focused on his career. James is instantly drawn to Vera but he also respects her need for space. Their meeting coincides with his growing dissatisfaction with his life and his attempt to discover the source of this frustration leads to surprising introspection on his part. An impulsive decision provides an unexpected connection with Vera that allows their friendship to deepen.
Their transition from friends to lovers is leisurely and this gives both James and Vera the opportunity to get to know one another. More importantly, this slow approach also allows them to reflect on their pasts and gives them the time to work through their respective issues. For the first time in her life, Vera is with a man who puts her before her career and James’ perceptive comments helps her figure out what direction she wants to take professionally. The unexpected romance with Vera gives James some much needed insight into his troubled relationship with his mother and the correlation this has to his superficial relationships with women.
The First Kiss is a well-written novel with a very charming well-developed cast of characters. Although the storyline is engaging and interesting, the overall pacing is a little slow until about the halfway point. The suspense aspect is quite intriguing and it is virtually impossible to guess the perpetrator’s identity. Once again Grace Burrowes brings readers another fabulous romance with plenty of depth, realistic issues and tremendous character growth. It is another highly satisfying love story that is sure to please readers and leave them eager for the next installment in the Sweetest Kisses series.
Read my reviews of the other novels in the Sweetest Kisses series HERE.