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


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

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 #bookArchives 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.  


Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Publisher Provided – thank you!
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere: Goodreads
Add the Book: 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.


  1. 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.

    1. 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. :)

  2. 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.

    1. 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. :)

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