Just A Kiss

Denise Hunter
Jul 28, 2017

Riley Callahan and Paige Warren were best friends and spent many summers together growing up in Summer Harbor. One summer Paige came back from camp all grown up, and Riley fell in love with her and was determined to tell about his feelings. But then Paige fell for his older brother, Beau. Riley could not watch the love of his life go to his brother, so he joined the Marines. Riley would often remind himself that a Marine needs to improvise, adapt, and overcome. And he has to do just that upon returning home as a veteran and amputee with PTSD. He has to face everyone from his past--most of all Paige Warren.

Paige is now the owner of Perfect Paws, a financially struggling animal shelter. Paige remembers how many times Riley was there for her when she was younger: when she lost her mother and father, when she struggled to deal with her insensitive stepmother. Riley is her hero and she is proud of him, so she agrees to his family's suggestion that she take care of him during his convalescence. Riley struggles with the aftermath of war and the events that caused him so much pain. Riley stays with Paige for a while, but has difficulty adapting to his life as an amputee. He does not want anyone to feel sorry for him, especially Paige. Riley feels running away is the best option, and he ends up visiting a friend in another town, where he starts a conversation with a local veteran and pastor and realizes the most important things in life were right in front of him.

Although I think Hunter could have expanded on Riley's experiences during his time in the war, and maybe have written about the friendships he made in the Marines, this heartwarming story will not disappoint you. 

Reviewed by Library Staff