cover image The First Kiss

The First Kiss

Grace Burrowes. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-4022-7887-7

In the slow-going second Sweetest Kisses contemporary (after A Single Kiss), single mom Vera Waltham, a famous pianist, gets a new chance at love. When Vera meets James Knightley, her divorce attorney’s good-looking brother, she tries to keep a safe distance from his charms. Two marriages that left much to be desired have undermined Vera’s confidence, and a recent slew of anonymous threats is keeping her on edge. Although James is bewitched by her beauty, it’s hard to understand why he falls head over heels for her so quickly, especially since she continues to rebuff him. As James comes to the rescue time and again when Vera calls, a staid and somewhat strange relationship builds; Vera keeps things strictly platonic, while James, until now the hottest “booty call of the year,” meekly waits for her advances. All the characters engage in nonstop picture-perfect behavior: constant meals cooked from scratch, textbook dialogue, and unreal family dynamics. This installment falls far short of its charming predecessor. Agent: Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Feb.)