4 Hearts · Adult Contemporary

Forbidden Kisses (Blushing Bay #1) by Annie Rains

Forbidden Kisses
Blushing Bay Series
By: Annie Rains
Published April 11, 2017

 For years, Jack Sawyer’s family has been running their upscale seafood business like a finely tuned machine. But every machine breaks down eventually, and suddenly Jack needs a new office manager, a new kayak launch, and a new lease on life. Then Grace Donner shows up again. She’s smart, motivated, and perfect for the manager position, but if she’s anything like her mom, she can’t be trusted. And Jack has never been able to trust himself around Grace.

Grace hasn’t seen her former stepbrothers since their parents’ messy divorce, but she never forgot them—especially Jack. She misses being part of the big rambunctious Sawyer clan, and if there’s an opportunity to set things right, she means to do it. But she can’t ignore Jack’s irresistibly kissable lips, or the searing way he looks at her when he thinks she’s not looking. Their chemistry is more explosive than ever. And if the Sawyers can forgive and forget, anything is possible.



               Received an ARC from Netgalley for an Honest Review 

 Do you know how to fish? I mean real fish, on a boat in the deep ocean. I have never done that before. I have fished; well… I have casted a line once in my life and that was it. Getting some insight to the way fishermen are and their life style was interested. This story was full of fishiness.

Annie Rains, finished her series A Hero’s Welcome and is now debuting Blushing Bay. Still taking place in North Carolina, on the coast. The series will surround a family of three brothers. Sam, Jack and Noah. They each have their positive and negatives, but they are fishermen to the core. Book one, Forbidden Kisses is about Jack and Grace.

Grace’s mom, Tammy, used to be married to Pete Sawyer, the father of Sam, Jack, and Noah. For a few years they were a family. Step-siblings and all; but, Tammy ruined that by selling off Pete Sawyer’s deceased wife’s items. Such as her wedding ring and a boat named after her. The father and sons could never forgive what Tammy did. Divorced and no longer a Brady Bunch family, with bitterness between them.

Grace loved living with the Sawyers. Pete became the dad she never had. Noah and Sam were the best brothers. Jack on the other hand, she never had brotherly affection for. It was more a physical attraction that lead to one forbidden kiss at when she was 15. They were still step-siblings at the time. That kiss began the long drawn out yearning for each other that they knew would never be. After Jack and Grace’s parents divorced, they never spoke again. They avoid each other at all cost.

Now Grace is desperate for a job, and she heard that the Sawyers are looking for a new office manager at the companies building. She knows it would be perfect, but can be an employee of the Sawyer family work? Can they look at her and not think of Tammy’s deception?

Jack knows hiring Grace will ruffle feathers between himself and the rest of his family, but his long-time attraction to Grace has been one of the most difficult things for him to forget. Now that she has dived back into his life, he is not planning on letting her go. As long as he doesn’t have to be around Tammy, Grace and he can have a beautiful relationship together.

Grace wants her mother and the Sawyers to get along and forgive. The only way Jack and her could ever work would be if he forgives Tammy.  Grace comes to realize that Jack may never forgive Tammy. The more she hears what Jack says about her mom, and witnesses his negative demeanor towards Tammy, her heart aches for having everyone get along. Choices must be made. Choose love for her mother or affection for her long-time yearning crush?

Factors play into Grace’s choice. Jack and Tammy both don’t know if they agree with her finale decision. Grace’s heart is in the right place, but sometimes we need to allow people to find their own way back.

Jack and Grace’s story is bitter-sweet. There are some parts you just want to hit Jack over the head with two-by-four. I say that because Jack has his own obstacles he is facing.

He lost his best friend to the sea. That loss has crept into his life and left him unable to continue aiding the family business within the water. His goal is to open a construction company as a branch of the family business. But with guilt over the loss of his friend, the complications with Grace, his father’s and brothers counting on him; Jack isn’t sure at times what he should do, and who he should do it for.

These two are fighting themselves through most of the book. It is when they let everything go and just allow themselves to be with each other, is when they begin to release their demons.

I truly enjoy Annie Rains writing. She puts enough story, plot, and characterization within her stories that you get a good meaty book. Don’t worry, she writes romance. Of course there is some hot and heavy scenes as well as playful flirting.

I give it a 4. Not my favorite of Rains but I am looking forward to the other two brothers in the story.


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