That First Kiss by J.C. Valentine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Piper Donovan is thrilled to land a job that will keep her living in the city she loves and prevent her from having to go back to a life she doesn't want in rural Alabama. While out celebrating her new job with friends she has a very intense encounter with a man she meets at the club. She starts her new job only to realize that the incredibly challenging frustrating man she is now the assistant to is the same man she hooked up with at the club.
Tate is an author who is very demanding and has caused a number of assistants to quit rather than work for someone like him. Piper is able to stand up to him and deal with his moods and demands- but both of them find it difficult to deal with the serious sexual chemistry between them. Both have been hurt in the past, and both struggle to decide how to handle their feelings about one another, which are growing ever more complicated.
Based on the author's description of the book, I expected to like it- but I didn't expect it to hook me so quickly or to like it as much as I did. There are elements of the storyline that are familiar to this genre, but the characters felt fresh and there were many elements of the relationships that were unique. I really liked Piper and her girlfriends right from the start. They seem like a lot of fun and obviously create a good support system for each other. Tate was frustrating and screwed up a lot, but it didn't take long for him to hook me too. Piper and Tate had a lot of challenges to face- both personal and professional. Even with the serious chemistry they shared, it wasn't clear how or whether they were going to be able to sort everything out. This was a book that I had a hard time putting down. I found myself thinking about the characters and their situation when I was away from the book. Also- it is funny in a great way. A lot of books I've read lately have seemed a little too aware of how funny they are, and sometimes it seems that the author is trying too hard to be constantly hilarious and it ends up feeling a little fake. The great thing about this book was that a lot of the funny stuff caught me off-guard. I would just be reading along, and then all of a sudden one of the characters would totally crack me up. It felt great to experience.
This book is the second in a series, but I have not yet read the first. This book can easily be read as a stand-alone. The writing was good, and I will definitely be reading more from this author.
*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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