The First Kiss, 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. But James’ 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…
is an emotional tale of second chance love and starting over in New York Times
bestselling author Grace Burrowes' new Sweetest Kisses
contemporary romance series.
This is the second full length novel in the Sweetest Kisses Series. We met James in the earlier books. He's the youngest of the Knightley brothers and has been thought a "Gentleman Slut" by them. He did put the moves on Trent's girl, but only to see if her feelings for him were sincere. I wasn't sure if I was going to like James. He flirts with everyone. Young, old, married, single. But then, so do I! James likes women. Very much so. He never has to pursue them, they do the calling. He wonders at one point if he'd win something along the lines of "Most Sought Out Booty Call." This makes me sad...because it makes him sad. Now, a young man, who doesn't HURT women, either their bodies or their hearts, can have fun if it's consensual. And it appears to be so for all those women in his past. He never calls, they call him and he's never had a reason to say no. Until recently.
James is sad. He's a great attorney AND a sharp CPA. But he's still waiting for something and the things he used to enjoy...just don't appeal any longer.
When he delivers some papers to one of his brother's clients, he meets the something, or rather, the someones, he's been looking for. Yes, there are two females who intrigue him. Vera and her daughter Twyla...two who might need him, too.
As always, this is not a wild roller coaster ride of a book. We slowly get to know these characters as they wend their way toward an HEA. Vera and James have hurts in their pasts, some not quite that distant. Someone is stalking Vera and she's pretty sure it's her ex. Something a bit different with him, is that we get to see his POV...and once again, the bad guy is not totally evil. One can almost feel a bit of sympathy there. Almost, anyway.
At one point, James and Trent are looking at horses to buy for Trent's new wife and her daughter. I truly enjoyed the brief glimpse we had of Wellie and Jo!
It took me a few chapters to come to like Vera. She was too timid. She was too cranky. She was too...a lot of things that just didn't appeal to me. Then, on the slow ride to the end, she made sense. Her attitude at the beginning made sense, too. Her issues were hard ones. Real life ones. And then I liked her very much.
Ms. Burrowes writes intimate scenes with a sweet, yet steamy, eloquence. It reads hot, but not ***porny***, if that makes sense! It also doesn't take over the entire book. It just fits the story and doesn't overpower it.
This is another Five Bookmark review from me. I find I'm not even missing the Regency Era...although I am looking forward to more of those, too! The next book in this series, Kiss Me Hello, is calling to me. Mac is a farrier and visits a therapeutic riding stable at the beginning of the book. Our family volunteers at one, and this book is going to be fun! Mac needs to laugh a bit more and I hope he finds some joy in this one (of course he will!).
Thank you, NetGalley and Sourecebooks ~ Casablanca, for the opportunity to read this book!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion.
Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.