cover image Just a Kiss

Just a Kiss

Denise Hunter. Thomas Nelson, $12.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7180-2375-1

Fans of Hunter's Summer Harbor series (The Goodbye Bride, etc.) have been waiting for Riley%E2%80%94the third Callahan brother%E2%80%94to finally tell his longtime best friend, Paige, that he's been in love with her for years. But his return from Afghanistan complicates matters: severely wounded in battle, Riley must now face life as an amputee. Though he tries to put distance between himself and Paige, believing he's not worthy of her now, his family has arranged for him to stay with her during his convalescence. Their proximity causes all sorts of romantic fireworks as Paige begins to realize her own attraction to her best friend. But PTSD and Paige's own emotional wounds from the past prove to be significant challenges for these two well-written characters. Hunter balances the dark side of love and war with a winning combination: realistically exploring the role that faith plays in healing, deftly creating a potent romance, and giving significant space for the lively and lovable supporting cast of Summer Harbor friends. Fans will be sad to see the Callahans say goodbye, but this tale of recovery and bravery is a fine parting gift. (Sept.)