Forbidden Kisses: Blushing Bay #1 by Annie Rains

Forbidden Kisses: Blushing Bay #1 by Annie Rains

Annie Rains is on the blog today with the first in her new Blushing Bay series. Please read on for my review and excerpt, check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  But first 

Forbidden Kisses

Annie Rains returns with the first in a new series, and the angst and drama are perfect for readers who can deal with the ups and downs of a messy family situation. See, Grace was once part of a large blended family, until her mother made several bad choices and broke the family apart.  Her divorce not only effected Grace, but removed her from the large and boisterous Sawyer family, and a budding crush on her step-brother Jack. Still in the same town, Jack has been running the family business and he and his brothers, Noah and Sam, have never really recovered or lost the anger they feel when thinking about Grace and her mother.  Unfortunately for Grace, she’s never forgotten the Sawyers, or her attraction to Jack. But, the situation is sticky. Like flypaper sticky.  And it will only get more complicated when Grace has to find a new job that will allow her to support her now ill, mother.

Jack has hit a crossroad in the business, while things were running well, they were really good, but now little things are starting to fall apart, and he needs an office manager.  So much so that as he’s interviewing a potential candidate in the local coffee shop, Grace overhears the interview and decides to throw her hat into the ring. Imagine her surprise when she sees that it is Jack, her former step-brother, from the family her mother betrayed, doing the hiring.

From here, you can almost guess the plot: hidden / forbidden attraction still strong, revisited anger over events long passed and plenty of tension as Jack and Grace work toward a ‘new normal’ and allow the relationship to grow.  And that would be simple if only Grace hadn’t insisted on ‘secrets and lies”.  Lies to those she claims to care for, lies to hide their relationship, lies to herself about just how much Jack means to her.  It was a TON of lies. And still, Jack is there – a bit too patient, a bit too unwilling to allow her to guide the path of the relationship and not taking charge and just discussing all of the resentment, betrayals, anger and oh so much baggage that comes with years apart. Secondary characters bring plenty of the small-town feel, while adding their own special sauce to the mix of drama and unacknowledged emotions, angers and hurts.  Oh there is drama, enough to fill wheelbarrows with old unresolved issues but the thing is – you can actually see it as possible and probable. We’ve all known people who take forever to deal with hurts and snubs, hiding that hurt behind anger, strong statements and brash acts until the actual ‘forgiving’ moments have them so tied in knots that things never proceed smoothly. There are bumps, holes and a few steps backward along the road forward, but the connection between Grace and Jack is so palpable, and they both were more victims in the family rift than actual participants, that the desire for the relationship and a second chance with a new outlook is strong.   Different from the first books I’ve read from Annie Rains, the characters bring you to this story and reveal their secrets carefully, first to readers and then to one another as the story progresses.


Forbidden Kisses: Blushing Bay #1 by Annie Rains

Title: Forbidden Kisses
Author: Annie Rains
Series: Blushing Bay #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Loveswept
ISBN: 9780399181122
Published on: 11 April, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 237
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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The USA Today bestselling author of the Hero’s Welcome series introduces a trio of swoon-worthy North Carolina brothers fighting for love in this novel of sand, sea, and seduction.

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.

See the Blushing Bay Series on < Goodreads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.



Jack reached for a folded blanket beside the cooler and laid it down on the open floor of the boat. “I know it’s not the most comfortable surface for lying back, but I thought we could look at the stars. It’s a favorite pastime of fishermen, you know.”

“Oh yeah?”

He reached for her hand to help her lower to the floor. She held on to his tightly, surprised at how off balanced she felt. Then they lay back together, close enough that they touched. The soft hair on Jack’s arm resting against hers aroused her senses.

Were they really just going to look at the stars?

Yes, it was all very romantic, but so was doing other things under the stars. Things she’d been thinking about since stepping aboard.

Jack pointed up at the sky and started to speak. Grace was tired of talking, though. Tired of resisting what she wanted, and right now all she wanted was Jack.

Unable to help herself, uninhibited by the wine and the romantic environment, she rolled on top of him and crushed her mouth over his.

Judging by the stiff protrusion that met her inner thigh, he wanted her just as much.

“Well, hello there,” he said, smiling against her mouth.

“I’m sorry,” she said, even though she didn’t mean it.

His hand slid down her back and settled on her bottom, pulling her snug against him. “I’m not. I’d decided tonight was for romance only, but I can’t think of anything more romantic than making love to you on this boat.”

White-hot heat tore through her. She was so hot that maybe it was time to start stripping.

As if reading her mind, Jack tugged the hem of her shirt up on her back and then over her head. The rest of her clothes fell away in the wake of his needy hands until she was tipsy and naked on the floor of his pontoon boat—on a boat ride to nowhere in particular, except his body was promising to shoot her to the low-hanging full moon.



About Annie Rains

Annie Rains is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America's largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn't writing, she's spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors. Represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA).



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