Thursday, 13 April 2017

New Release Spotlight & Review: Forbidden Kisses by Annie Rains

Forbidden Kisses
Blushing Bay #1
By: Annie Rains
Releasing April 11, 2017
Forbidden Kisses

Blushing Bay Series

For years, Jack Sawyer’s family has been running their upscale seafood business like a finely tuned machine. But every machine breaks down eventually, and suddenly Jack needs a new office manager, a new kayak launch, and a new lease on life. Then Grace Donner shows up again. She’s smart, motivated, and perfect for the manager position, but if she’s anything like her mom, she can’t be trusted. And Jack has never been able to trust himself around Grace.
Grace hasn’t seen her former stepbrothers since their parents’ messy divorce, but she never forgot them—especially Jack. She misses being part of the big rambunctious Sawyer clan, and if there’s an opportunity to set things right, she means to do it. But she can’t ignore Jack’s irresistibly kissable lips, or the searing way he looks at her when he thinks she’s not looking. Their chemistry is more explosive than ever. And if the Sawyers can forgive and forget, anything is possible.


Jack reached for a folded blanket beside the cooler and laid it down on the open floor of the boat. “I know it’s not the most comfortable surface for lying back, but I thought we could look at the stars. It’s a favorite pastime of fishermen, you know.”
Oh yeah?”
He reached for her hand to help her lower to the floor. She held on to his tightly, surprised at how off balanced she felt. Then they lay back together, close enough that they touched. The soft hair on Jack’s arm resting against hers aroused her senses.
Were they really just going to look at the stars?
Yes, it was all very romantic, but so was doing other things under the stars. Things she’d been thinking about since stepping aboard.
Jack pointed up at the sky and started to speak. Grace was tired of talking, though. Tired of resisting what she wanted, and right now all she wanted was Jack.
Unable to help herself, uninhibited by the wine and the romantic environment, she rolled on top of him and crushed her mouth over his.
Judging by the stiff protrusion that met her inner thigh, he wanted her just as much.
Well, hello there,” he said, smiling against her mouth.
I’m sorry,” she said, even though she didn’t mean it.
His hand slid down her back and settled on her bottom, pulling her snug against him. “I’m not. I’d decided tonight was for romance only, but I can’t think of anything more romantic than making love to you on this boat.”
White-hot heat tore through her. She was so hot that maybe it was time to start stripping.
As if reading her mind, Jack tugged the hem of her shirt up on her back and then over her head. The rest of her clothes fell away in the wake of his needy hands until she was tipsy and naked on the floor of his pontoon boat—on a boat ride to nowhere in particular, except his body was promising to shoot her to the low-hanging full moon.

Jack Sawyer advertises for someone to run the office of the family fishing business; Sawyer Seafood Company to free up his time to finally put into practice the business idea he and his late friend dreamed about. When his former step-sister overhears him interviewing for the office manager position and offers herself as a candidate, he's torn between helping her out and not offending his family. Against his better judgement, Jack gives the job to Grace knowing she's perfect for the job but her appointment will not be well received by his brothers and father.

Desperate times makes for desperate measures and Grace is quick to offer herself for a job vacancy she overhears in the Blushing Bay café. It isn't until she sees the interviewer that she realises it is her former step-brother. Still, she needs the job and hopes he will offer her the opportunity even though it won't be easy. Only the position isn't as difficult to handle as re-emerged feelings for her first crush and the one responsible for her first kiss.

Realistic protagonists...warts an' all! I didn't agree with some of the actions and decisions Jack and Grace made, however, that made them, flaws and all more endearing and likeable. These are characters you could be friends with in real life, their issues making them relatable. Ms Rains centred them in wonderful, homely setting which adds to the overall feel and appeal of this novel.

Second chance and forgiveness are the strong themes running through this novel. The protagonists are victims of their parent's bitter divorce which left them estranged for many years. It's heart-warming when the two families begin to forgive and forget what pulled them apart so that they can all find peace in the future.

Forbidden Kisses is a delightful, romantic foundation to what promises to be a wonderful series. I'm looking forward to catching up with the other Sawyer brothers along with Abbey and Krista in future novels. This was my first Annie Rains novel and thoroughly enjoyed the warm, community spirit of the Blushing Bay setting.

***arc generously received courtesy of Loveswept via NetGalley***

Annie Rains is a USA Today bestselling author who writes small-town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and three children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.

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