Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

September 5, 2016

Just a Kiss {Denise Hunter}

just a kiss denise hunter
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?

My Thoughts:
From the very beginning of this series I have been looking forward to Riley's story, and I believe Denise Hunter saved the best for last.

It is no secret Riley has been in love with Paige from the beginning of time. He has sacrificed his entire life to make sure his love for her was kept under wraps and she was able to live her life happy and free. He enlisted in the military to get away from her, and this book begins as he is returning home - an amputee with a dark cloud over his heart.

Although Paige has appeared in previous books in this series, we really get to know her in this book. She is such a loving woman with a huge passion for helping others and making sure others are happy. She has been abandoned multiple times in her life and expects everyone to eventually leave her. As her feelings for Riley began to grow, Paige is terrified of how it is going to affect their friendship they have had for so many years. Her fear of abandonment really comes forward as she is working through her true feelings for Riley.

It is in that moment when Paige finally listens to God as He reminds her she is always loved and always His that this story really begins to take off. Paige becomes brave and ready to face her fears. Riley also decides it is time to be truthful about his feelings. The result? Read the book to find out, haha!

I have loved this series so much and will miss the Callahan brothers. I cannot wait to see what Denise brings us next.

Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of 20 novels, including Dancing with Fireflies and Convenient Groom. 

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!