‘Just a Kiss’: A Marine, a Best Friend and A Kiss

September 22, 2016 Rissi JC 6 Comments

STORY: He should have never run away. Yet that’s exactly what Riley Callahan did. Driven by the pain of unrequited love, Riley enlists in the Marine Corp to escape the happiness of his brother Beau and Riley’s best friend, Paige. Now, Riley returns home to Summer Harbor, Maine, only this time, he’s not the man he once was. He’s returning missing part of himself, physically and emotionally. Beau is engaged to another, and Paige is still as beautiful as ever; and she’s making it her mission to help Riley. 

Just a Kiss, by Denise Hunter | Book Review

REVIEW: As this novel edged closer to its release, the only book I had read of the trilogy was Falling Like Snowflakes. Needless to say, I made time to read The Goodbye Bride, and remedy the oversight. Though these books can be read as standalones, the reader gets so much more out of out of the book when read in their proper order. This novel, the final Summer Harbor, is magical.  

BOOK REVIEW | ‘The Goodbye Bride’: A Contemporary Romance about Finding Home and Forgiveness
‘Just a Kiss’: A Marine, a Best Friend and A Kiss. A review of the contemporary novel by Denise Hunter. All text © Rissi JC

It’s impossible to pick a favorite in this series, because each one becomes the new favorite. Such was the case here. When reading ‘Bride,’ I wasn’t sure this novel could surpass it. Happily it keeps pace with its companion and either met its high standard or perhaps, surpassed it. The characters of this novel are teeming with authenticity, are real, and still find a way to seek joy. Even amidst the emotion and challenges of the story, there is a stable point that guides the story to only good results and happy smiles.

In particular I find Riley’s journey interesting. Perhaps it’s the wounded soldier angle or the distance he places between himself and Paige, either way, he’s a noble, worthy and wonderful hero. Similarly, Paige doesn’t let Riley run rough shot over her or the importance of her emotional input towards his recovery. Their interactions have a lot of tension and stolen memories which keeps their time together brimming with longing.  

‘Just a Kiss’: A Marine, a Best Friend and A Kiss. #Romance #Fiction #FWArchives Click To Tweet

Aficionados of the contemporary romcom genre will adore the journey Riley and Paige (how fabulous are these characters names!?) take. Those of you who’ve read Denise’s novels won’t want to miss Just a Kiss. It’s a heartwarming story of finding hope when you feel everything is falling apart.  


(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Publisher Provided – thank you!
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon ǀ Goodreads | WordPress
Shop the Book: Amazon ǀ Bookshop.org ǀ Goodreads
Series: Summer Harbor, book 3
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

All posts


  • Kara Lynn September 22, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    I'm in LOVE with this superb book – it honestly tops one of the best in the contemporary romance genre, and it a new favorite of mine for sure and certain. Previously I'd only read Falling Like Snowflakes and now the Goodbye Bride is certainly on my to-read list.
    I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did Rissi – awesome review as always.

    • Rissi September 28, 2016 at 5:13 PM

      It IS indeed superb, Kara. I loved everything about this series. I hadn't read The Goodbye Bride but managed to read it prior to this because, well, I simply *had* to. Hope you can read it soon – and thanks! As always, I'm glad you stopped by. :)

  • Abbi Hart September 25, 2016 at 11:41 PM

    I am desperate to be able to read this series! I love Denise's books and this series sounds so good! I have Falling Like Snowflakes but review books have kept me from getting to read it.

    • Rissi September 28, 2016 at 5:12 PM

      It's SO good, Abbi as is Falling Like Snowflakes (which, hopefully you can read soon since we're heading into the perfect season for it). You'll love it. :)

  • […] BOOK REVIEW | ‘Just a Kiss’: A Marine, a Best Friend and A Kiss […]

  • […] BOOK REVIEW | ‘Just a Kiss’: A Marine, a Best Friend and A Kiss […]

  • Leave a Reply

    (Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

    Bonjour and Welcome!

    Welcome | thank you for visiting and reading. if you like, you are invited to join our conversations and follow along – join us.  You’re most welcome.
    Read more about us

    Find Us Elsewhere

    Find us on Gab, Gettr, and MeWe! Plus, join our Reader Group page on MeWe!

    Culture Characteristics in your Inbox!

    Subscribe! Have our new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here. Please note, this does require a sign-up confirmation via email, and that email may be sent to a junk or spam folder.

    RSS Feed

    Enter your email address:



    Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive (a small) compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you.

    Rissi JC (RissiWrites.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    All written content (unless noted) is © Copyright Rissi JC and RissiWrites.com.


    %d bloggers like this: