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With This Kiss by Bella Riley

Hello, and welcome back! Summer is finally officially here, to go with all the hot sticky summer weather we've had for weeks. Clearly, our air conditioner is going to get a workout this summer. I need to restock my tea supply so I can set the pitcher outside in the hot sun and at least have something good from it. While I'm working my way through my backlogged TBR stack, the iced tea tastes really, really good.

Bella Riley's With This Kiss (Grand Central, received from publisher) continues her "Emerald Lake" series, with innkeeper Rebecca Campbell starting fresh after the end of her engagement, though her fresh start includes keeping an enormous secret that is not her own to share, even if she wanted to. Sean Murphy has come home to Emerald Lake for a wedding, and he can't believe the attraction he feels for his brother's former fiancee--and he's very surprised that she's a former fiancee, since his brother never told him the wedding was off. Everyone in town likes Rebecca, thinks she's the sweetest thing ever. Which makes Sean wonder just what kind of secrets she keeps, especially since he keeps his own, and they're buried deep, so deeply he's stayed away from home for a long time and never, ever wanted to share his darkest secrets. Until Rebecca. It's hard, though, for him to trust her fully when she won't tell him her own secret (though readers will figure it out if they're paying attention). And even though they're falling hard for one another, it might not be enough to overcome secrets, hers or his. I liked Sean very much. He's wounded, but not so tormented or damaged that he's cruel. It's easy to believe that he'd fall in love with someone so kind and good. I had a slightly harder time believing that Rebecca could be that kind and good. Then again, this is fiction. This one was a pleasant way to while away a hot summer afternoon, but I didn't find it a keeper. I'm borrowing only three of Cupid's five arrows for this one.

Until next time, happy reading!

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