Title: Last Kiss of Summer
Author: Marina Adair
Series: Destiny Bay #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: 30th Aug
He’s one bad apple she just can’t resist . . .
Kennedy Sinclair never dreamed she’d own a pie shop and an orchard in a small town like Destiny Bay. But nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it’s the perfect place to cross something off her “Life’s short so eat the icing first” list and start her life over from scratch. Her shop, Sweetie Pies, is famous for its hot, flaky apple turnovers and sinfully delicious deep dish pie. For Kennedy though, nothing is more enticing than the tall, strapping slice of temptation who keeps coming back for more.
Luke Callahan is determined to make his hard cider business a success. With his beloved father’s cider recipe and the opportunity of a lifetime in his grasp, he’ll stop at nothing to get this deal done. There’s just one catch: he needs Kennedy’s apples. At first, he thinks it’ll be as easy as pie to charm those apples right off her trees. But Kennedy isn’t falling for his tender charms or his wicked ways. When the negotiations start heating up, so do the feelings they have for each other. And it takes just one kiss to seal the deal . . .
Source: ARC from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via email and NetGalley
Marina Adair has a new series! If you’re an existing fan, you’ll probably know that no matter where Adair’s books are set, certain things will be the same – a cosy small town setting with quirky, frequently older, characters. Someone will have a larger than life family. The hero will be protective and caring, and the heroine will be strong enough to stand on her own two feet – or at least be on the way to getting there.
Well, the first book of the Destiny Bay series definitely has all that – and apples! There are many, many apples in this book, along with pies. You may feel hungry while reading. All of which adds up to an enjoyable whole.
And yet… don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of this author, but while I did enjoy this book, I also didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I’d hoped.
Part of this is because of Kennedy. I actually really liked her, but the Kennedy we meet in chapter one, with her awful ex and her lovely gran, isn’t anything like the Kennedy in the rest of the book. I also wish we’d had more from her grandmother and that her jerk ex had been eaten by a caiman or something, because I am fictionally vindictive and he really deserved it.
The Kennedy in the rest of the book seems keen to take risks, even if she does sometimes worry about them, is apparently really sexy (not just according to Luke) and has little trouble facing down difficult people – like Fi. Not that this isn’t great, but the disconnect between this Kennedy and the one we first meet was tricky for me to grasp at times, especially when Kennedy’s insecurities rose up to choke her.
Then there’s Luke. Well. My overriding mantra while reading this book was, “No, Luke, don’t! Don’t be a… oh.” Sometimes the oh was good, often it was bad. I know he’s got fairly decent intentions half the time, what with pushing his cider business to the next level and trying to buy back his mother’s old summer home, but his methods are awful. I struggled to like him, thanks to his frequently underhand methods, and this book leaves it all way too late for things to come out and him to (supposedly) make amends. Which left me feeling a touch unsatisfied at the end.
Because of this I found it hard to buy into the romance, mostly because I didn’t trust Luke not to do something nefarious when the opportunity arose. Which meant I enjoyed the fairly slow start to their relationship. Then it all speeds up and… yeah. It’s okay, but didn’t sweep me away in the way I’m used to from Adair’s books.
Away from these two, though, Destiny Bay definitely lived up to my expectations. The town is great, full of memorable characters, and has plenty of opportunity to expand and grow in the future. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out next.
Last Kiss of Summer is out August 30th!
Visit Marina Adair for more details.