Series: The Kisses #1
Published by Inc. Source: Purchased
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Romance
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When small-town girl Emma LaRue won a vacation to an exclusive tropical island, a last minute cancellation meant she would be going by herself. Shy and studious, she never had time to fall in love, and often wondered if she was just meant to be alone. However, that all changed when a handsome stranger literally walked into her life while on the beach and sparks began to fly.
New York's most eligible billionaire bachelor Jack Saunders thought this vacation would be the perfect escape, one last hurrah, before taking full control of his father's company. When an innocent Emma didn't recognize him, he figured that he might get a chance to have a vacation from being rich. He didn't tell her about the cars, the yacht, or the penthouse. All he did was let her fall in love with him.
Soon, Jack found that he was the one falling in love with Emma. When they enjoy a fantasy marriage ceremony on the beach, they thought it was a bit of harmless fun before returning to their normal lives. A bittersweet goodbye was supposed to be the end of their perfect vacation romance, but when photos of the ceremony were leaked to the press, everything changed.
Feeling lied to and thrust into a world of wealth and privilege, Emma must choose between following her dreams or following her heart. Will she be content at being nothing more than the billionaire's wife, or will she return to her normal life with only memories of saltwater kisses?
I picked up this book on my own to read, it kept showing up in my search results, so I took it as a sign and went ahead and bought it. It was a really quick read, and I enjoyed reading it. I picked this book mainly because I was looking for romance, and this sounded like story with a cute premise, I mean who hasn’t thought about meeting the man of your dreams of a fantasy vacation?
Emma is a very sweet character, she’s a little on the naive side as well in my opinion. Normally when there are characters I describe as naive in a book, especially if they are the main characters, I tend to not enjoy them as much. I didn’t feel like this was the case with Emma. Emma is definitely someone you feel for during the course of the book, she is thrown into the limelight, hounded by photographers and people for literally doing nothing but meeting a guy on vacation. There are some scenes that take place when she tries to go out into public and the way the public treats her is so disheartening, it’s really a commentary on how the media and paparazzi have really gotten out of control in this country.
Jack as a character is great in the beginning, in those first experiences on vacation with Emma. Him being on vacation, and his interactions with Emma (who has no idea who he is) allows him to really be his true self. I like his true self. But once we enter the real world away from fantasy land he just completed shuts off. I understand why he shuts down, he’s under a lot of pressure and he lives a hard life that really doesn’t allow for anything other than work 100% of the time, but it did leave me with a strong desire to see more of the guy I met when he was on vacation.
As a couple Emma and Jack work so well on vacation. And it’s obvious that Emma and Jack have feelings for each other. But so much of the story is about their inability to really get together and have a true relationship. The only thing that real a little inorganic to me was that Emma just completely left her life behind without a second thought, she just completely abandoned her life, job, and family to completely move.
There were more than a couple moments where I wanted to shake Jack and just yell at him to take a step back. But he does have an assistant who really helps both him and Emma in more than just her role as an assistant, she’s a true friend. I actually enjoyed the friendship dynamic between Emma and Rachel a lot more than the relationship dynamic between Emma and Jack.
Overall, the story definitely kept my attention, and I enjoyed the characters, Emma more so than Jack though. I was pleased with the ending, thankfully. I did have a couple of issues. 1) the first part of the story is much more compelling then the second part 2) the marriage on vacation was so not legal, it’s even mentioned a few time throughout, so it’s a little bit confusing as to why it’s a big deal, and since it’s the entire premise of the second half it definitely bothered me 3) I did wish the characters had developed a little bit more together versus completely on their own. That being said it was an easy read, which I completely appreciate. If you are looking for an easy romance read this may be the book for you.