Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for Kate Kisset’s JUST A KISS. This contemporary romance features a baker who’s been burned and an actor who got played. Don’t forget to scroll down for to sample an excerpt and to enter the Kate Spade tote bag giveaway!
Reeling from the loss of her mother, Sarah Dupont catches her fiancé doing the nasty on top of her pastry table at their San Francisco Bakery.
Devastated, she calls her best friend, lifestyle reporter, Danica Vargas. Danica convinces Sarah to start fresh, and rent a room with her at an historic mansion in Sonoma Valley.
With two roommates who act like the sisters she never had and a feisty landlord to stand in as the grandmother she always wanted, Sarah’s opens a café on the Sonoma Plaza. Her life changes the moment the little bell on the door rings and the notoriously sexy actor Jamie Santino, swaggers in.
Jamie, one of the six Santino Brothers, of Napa Valley Winery fame, needs baking lessons for his new movie and Sarah is just the woman to teach him. Wine flows, their love affair heats up and a tempestuous femme fatale enters the scene.
How can Sarah trust that Jamie isn’t acting when everything he says seems too good to be true?
How about a little taste?
Help me get a grip, I’m melting into her eyes… He took a beat to compose himself.
“What would you like me to do Sarah?” he asked.
She moved closer and parted her lips.
I’m going, going…
“I think I’d like you to kiss me now.”
On tiptoe and cradling the back of his head, she guided him to her.
No one could surprise him in the love department except Sarah Dupont. He skimmed his hands over the outline of her soft curves and pulled her in tighter. She tasted like cabernet and cake, and he closed his eyes so he could savor her lips.
A low moan escaped her, and hit him in the gut. He didn’t know where to start with his hands and moved them over the sexy arch of her back and pressed her closer to him.
“The tree,” he said quickly, not wanting to be away from her mouth. “Does the tree hurt your back?”
“Don’t stop kissing me,” she said. The need in Sarah’s voice surprised him, making him strain against his jeans. He fought to slow down, to wait, to catch a breath before he lost it.
He swept his lips across her cheek. “Sarah.” When he reached her earlobe, he nipped. She felt luscious and pliable in his arms. He almost couldn’t handle listening to her quick breaths and the feeling of her heart pumping so fast against him.
“Sarah.” He nuzzled behind her ear, kissing and sucking her neck. “Don’t make me stop.”
She groaned between breaths.
He felt drunk, but he’d had only had a few glasses of wine. Touching, kissing and listening to her whimpers made him feel like he could tip over any minute and bury himself into her.
Six months ago Sarah Dupont found out her boyfriend was a cheating embezzler. She left him and the shambles of her bakery to start over again, opening a cafe in Sonoma and living in a villa with three (nosy) friends. One of them, Danica, recommends Sarah to her psuedo-beau’s brother, Jamie Santino. Jamie is an actor, due to protray a baker in his upcoming film, and Danica thinks Jamie could learn how to move in the kitchen under Sarah’s tutelage.
Thing is, Jamie is drop-dead gorgeous, and Sarah’s not ready to hang with an attractive man.
Sarah and Jamie have both been betrayed before. Jamie’s last serious girlfriend was a director who roped him into back-to-back box office flops, and he’s not really looking for anything serious, but he finds Sarah to be so real and honest that he’s more than intrigued. These two fall into heavy lust practically upon sight, which was okay, but then they start having too-strong feelings, and too-little communication. Sarah’s been betrayed, and she doesn’t WANT to feel like a harpy, but she doesn’t address actual issues like seeing Jamie walking into his co-star’s hotel room minutes after he texts her that he’ll be “working all night”? Instead she turns off her phone and slinks away? It didn’t ring true to me.
The interesting part was how Jamie, knowing that he got played again, still had the desire to stick to his “no communication” vow. That was some serious commitment, especially as he was wronged, twice.
The books are clearly set up for sequels to get all the ladies a man, but I was sometimes distracted from the main story with all the introductions of Santino brothers and single gals. I wanted to know more about Sarah and Jamie, and thought this book could have been a bit richer on plot. It felt too short and too convenient. I had a little trouble with the execution of the plot, and I’m not sure if that was because I read an advanced reader copy and some of the logical inconsistencies were edited out in the final version. One of these was the setting for Jamie’s new film–which I thought was planned for rather far from Sonoma, but ended up being San Francisco. This was a decently cute story. Definitely a breeze read.
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About the Author:
Former San Francisco Radio Disc Jockey Kate Kisset has a passion for telling great stories. After playing thousands of Hot AC, Country, Rock and Oldies tunes, for her primarily female fan base, she changed her tune and became an author.
Just a Kiss is the first book in her wine country romance series, The Single Girls Wine Club.
She lives in Northern California and Santa Barbara with her family and rescue pup “editor” Luciana Parmigiana, where she hikes, reads, listens to music, and drinks wine.