Thursday, June 25, 2015

Last First Kiss (Brightwater #1) by Lia Riley

* * * 3/4

A kiss is only the beginning...

Pinterest Perfect. Or so Annie Carson’s life appears on her popular blog. Reality is... messier. Especially when it lands her back in one-cow town, Brightwater, California, and back in the path of the gorgeous six-foot-four reason she left. Sawyer Kane may fill out those wranglers, but she won’t be distracted from her task. Annie just needs the summer to spruce up and sell her family’s farm so she and her young son can start a new life in the big city. Simple, easy, perfect.

Sawyer has always regretted letting the first girl he loved slip away. He won’t make the same mistake twice, but can he convince beautiful, wary Annie to trust her heart again when she’s been given every reason not to? And as a single kiss turns to so much more, can Annie give up her idea of perfect for a forever that’s blissfully real.

Full disclosure: I don’t typically veer towards small town romances for my reading pleasure. What’s different this time is that THIS is Lia Riley and since I love her Off The Map series, I’m all about following her through her latest endeavour!

Annie reluctantly returns to her small town of Brightwater as a divorced single-parent who needs to assemble a plan for her future while picking up all her broken pieces. She’s a champion putting on a brave face for her sweet son, Atticus, and it’s only in those solitary moments when she allows herself to crumble just enough. On the agenda as well is to get her family farm ready for sale. It’s just far too expensive to maintain and her family wants out. This causes mixed feelings for Annie who has bitter memories of being the town’s oddity yet she loves her family home. 

Running into Sawyer and realizing that she still has the hots for him is not in the plan. No, not when she’s still trying to figure herself out. Sawyer is the opposite. He's so happy she's back and sees a chance to make up for an unfortunate misunderstanding that happened years before. He wants to make it right with Annie now. Sawyer is the ultimate good guy without what Lia Riley has described as the “man flu”. He knows she's vulnerable at the moment, and though being around Atticus makes him wonder if he has the potential to be a capable dad, he doesn’t want to be discounted.

I was utterly wrapped up in this charming story that has two of the sweetest and most likable characters I've ever come across. Gentle, quirky Annie is still struggling with insecurities and Sawyer just wants to love her. The sparks come out in full force as they get reacquainted and it’s just a matter of who can hold out longer.

Aside from Annie and Sawyer, there are some other pretty awesome characters that’ll be fun to get to know as they series wears on. There’s Sawyer’s crotchety grandma who’s carrying the flag for the family’s decades-long feud with Annie's, Archer who's Sawyer’s Lothario of a brother and finally Edie, who’s new to the community. The town of Brightwater that this is set in provides a lovely respite from reality. I felt like I was on vacation. I look forward to more from this series – Right Wrong Guy featuring Archer and Edie comes out in August.  Go on and get smitten!
~ Bel
      Last First Kiss (Brightwater, #1)

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