It's in His Kiss (A Lucky Harbor novel)
Series: A Lucky Harbor novel
Format: Paperback; 368 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 10 edition (August 26, 2014)
Author's Website: http://jillshalvis.com/
Notes: I received and eARC from the publisher.
Becca Thorpe was not just running away from her past, but trying to find her future. For years she'd lived her life in the shadow of her brother, a rising concert pianist, but it was time for her to find her own place in the world. The only destination she had in mind when she set out had been to see the Pacific Ocean. The town she'd finally settled upon for a pit stop was Lucky Harbor. She hoped the name would prove true and become her lucky harbor.
Sam Brody is a shipbuilder and part owner of a Charter company. He's also Becca's new neighbor. Never one to pass up helping a lady in distress, he finds himself coming to Becca's aid more than once. While an attraction is definitely there, he's not big on relationships yet something about Becca draws him to her.
One of the things I love about Ms. Shalvis' books is her ability to capture those magic moments that define romance within her pages. Things that remind us of our own love stories or make us yearn for one. How she manages to keep her stories fresh and real without having that cookie cutter feel that some romances have is a mystery especially when you consider how many romances she can write in a year. It's one of the things that makes her one of my favorite contemporary romance authors.
In It's In Her Kiss, both Becca and Sam have pasts they have to deal with and overcome. It's the emotional baggage each carries that lends gravity to the story and makes it more real. While Becca is trying to find a place where she fits in, she's also trying to come to terms with what happened to her. It's Sam that helps her to do this and that's what transforms the romance into a love story. Likewise, Sam has issues from his childhood that he's never addressed. Becca helps him to overcome his fears and, with a little push from his friends, he finally takes a chance and opens himself to the possibility of happiness. What I loved about this story is that Becca and Sam seem to compliment each other. Individually they might be broken, but together they are able to heal each other and are exactly what the other needs.
While there is a touch of heavy subject matter, Jill manages to counterbalance it and keep the story lighthearted by infusing it with humor and witty banter that keeps you smiling and laughing intermittently along the way. Heartwarming and touching scenes as well as characters one can relate to help to draw the reader into the story. When I finished, I had a sense all was right with the world and felt all warm and fuzzy.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out 5 roses. I loved the contrast between the two families. I enjoyed the way Becca and Sam teased each other. I loved watching each of them grow as individuals as the story progressed and face their fears. I liked how we slowly learned about their pasts and the events that shaped them into the individuals they are today. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.