Ah, a “second chance” Romance. I have been in the mood for one of those lately. I enjoy the sense of depth and connection in the hero and heroine’s relationship when they have a past, so that was definitely a plus with Liam and Guiliana (aka Jules). This was my first book in the Three Kisses series, but I never felt lost. The author did a good job of making the book able to stand on its own. Although I didn’t need to read the first two books to read this one, I had my appetite whetted enough to want to backtrack and check out the other two stories. I’m curious to see the sisters’ romances unfold—and to see Jules and Liam snarking at each other.
The relationship between Jules and Liam felt a little back and forth. It bounced between humor, angst, and coolness. It took me a bit to really sink into it because I was having a hard time getting a handle on the characters and their feelings. One moment Jules would be sniping at Liam, but then in the next she’d be laughing with him and reminiscing about some good memory they had together. Liam was the same. He’d jump from finally gaining ground in his pursuit of Jules to closing himself off and acting coldly. At times it felt a bit like they’d take one step forward and three steps back. It was frustrating, but once I got further into the book and saw deeper into their pasts I understood them better and had more patience (even though I still wasn’t always happy).
Learning about their past as a couple and getting a glimpse of their individual past issues with their families really helped iron out the inconsistencies I had with the characters. The only complaint I have about that is that it took quite a while for all to be revealed, so it was a while before I had a well rounded view of them. But when I learned all there was to know about their past… I felt so bad for them. The author did a really good job showing the emotion in a scene toward the end where Liam hears Jules talking to someone else through the window.
Don’t tell her. Liam’s heart rate spiked. Don’t say it out loud. Please don’t make me hear it.
It hurt just reading it. His internal pain and thoughts in that scene were what really sold him for me. I liked him before and was rooting for them to get together, but there was no way I could read that scene and remain unmoved. And that goes for both of them, not just Liam.
While revealing Jules and Liam’s past, the author used flashbacks. Normally flashbacks do not work very well for me. I always end up feeling like I’ve been shorted development of the relationship in the present while the author develops the relationship in the past. That wasn’t the case here. The author used a light hand with the flashbacks and ended up adding to the romance instead of overwhelming it.
In addition to Jules and Liam’s romance, we were also treated to a lovely secondary romance. Kohl and Grace were scene stealers and for a while there I was impatient to get through the main characters’ relationship issues so I could get back to them. I really wish they would have had a book of their own so I could have enjoyed them more. They were great as it is, so I can only imagine how much more I would have loved them together if I had been able to really sink into their characters.
One thing that I really wish was addressed in the book was the particulars of their break up 10 years ago. I never felt any closure with this because I couldn’t understand why they didn’t completely sever all ties. I needed some reason for this and I didn’t see one. Because of that I was left feeling that it existed strictly for use as a plot device. I also felt that in the beginning of the book Jules came off a little more immature and petulant than I think the author was going for. It went away eventually, but it made it a little hard for me to get into her character.
Although I had some issues with this book, I still enjoyed it overall. I’m going to keep my eye out for this author in the future.
”The kind that will kill you while you lie in bed.” She could see it now. “You heard them. They say that I have a nasty temper and hold a grudge for eternity. And you know me. Think! I might even do it without realizing it. I’ll just rise up in the middle of the night and…and smother you with my pillow.”
They were all staring at her as if she’d gone mad. So? The idea of being that close to Liam again made her mad.
Allie stepped forward. “Guiliana.” Her voice was kind. “Nobody said you had to actually sleep with Liam.”
Mortification rushed over her. “I knew that,” she mumbled.