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The latest giveaway book this pedometer geek read was Last First Kiss, a contemporary romance novel. It was received directly from the author, Lia Riley, as a consolation prize for another giveaway, but then while cleaning out computer files, this reader accidentally deleted it, and thus purchased another copy to be able to read it, but I digress. This is the extended review.

Last First Kiss

by Lia Riley

Published by Avon Impulse, 2015

ISBN: 9780062503773

As the back cover blurb of  Last First Kiss states: A kiss is only the beginning…

This sweet and sassy contemporary romance finds Annie Carson, a mommy blogger, sugarcoating her reality of life as a single mother to four-year-old Atticus. Writing blogs complete with photos show her life with Atticus to be picture perfect, but the reality is anything but. Returning home to Brightwater, California to prepare her family’s rundown property for sale isn’t what she had in mind for her life. Her idea is to fix it up, sell it, and move to San Francisco, and create that perfect life that includes living near her sister. Frankly, she never wanted to return to Brightwater since her heart was once broken by her next door neighbor, Sawyer Kane.

Yet in a backwater town, it is hard to avoid Sawyer, and the sparks between them are reignited. He has never forgotten her and still regrets letting his first love slip away. Longstanding feuds, particularly with his formidable, feisty grandmother (think Hatfield and McCoy or Capulet and Montague), get in the way even as he is patiently trying to get her to stay permanently. He wants that first kiss to be the last first kiss.

Still, there are old hurts to overcome, which may destroy new happiness. Ultimately, will Annie stay or will she and her son move? Is there a chance for happily ever after for Sawyer and Annie (and her son)?

It is a modern day tale of Romeo and Juliet without the tragedy of death. This romance is relatively free of graphic language and contains relatively tame sexual content. The romance purposely has slow romantic buildup between the pair, which adds to the enjoyment of the story.  Secondary characters like the coffee shop owner, Annie’s sister,  Sawyer’s brothers, and Sawyer’s grandmother are just another reason to check out the story.

This is the first of Riley’s novels that this pedometer geek has read, but it probably won’t be the last. Last First Kiss is the first in a series of romances all set in the town of Brightwater and each has a title that seems incongruous in nature.

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