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Hopefully you are already familiar with the Hero’s Welcome series and are just as thrilled as I am to know that Annie Rains is introducing us to a new group in a new city!


Forbidden Kisses

Blushing Bay #1

by Annie Rains

Releasing 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.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32717694-forbidden-kisses

Goodreads Series Link

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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.



I loved, loved, loved Rains’ Hero’s Welcome series and I was very happy that many of the things that made those books great translated well to a new series.  I enjoyed the relationship that develops between Jack and Grace.  The whole former step-sibling thing isn’t icky at all and I think their friendship from years ago helps to give them a good basis for something new.  The bond among the Sawyers is great and Grace befriends a couple of women that are definitely getting their own story soon.  Characters and connections are a couple of things that Rains does so well – they feel  real and work together in a natural way – and I was thrilled that they show so strongly here.

I did have a couple of issues that were specific to this story (and have nothing at all to what a fantastic storyteller Rains is) – the death of Jack’s friend and the dealings with Grace’s mother.

We know that Chris and Jack were out on a boat fishing together and that he … disappeared, I guess?  Did they actually find a body?  As I understand it Jack doesn’t know when or how he went overboard, that he never heard him cry out or any kind of impact.  Everything is so vague about what happened to Chris that I never really figured it out.  I don’t know if it is intentional and will come into play more later on or if we’re just supposed to make assumptions.  But I really wanted some kind of closure to it  🙂

The other is all tied up with Grace’s mom and how she treated the Sawyer’s all those years ago.  Grace has had years living with her mom and can see that she’s not the woman she was then but the two families have been avoiding each other all this time.  To expect that the guys will just forgive and forget in about two minutes isn’t realistic.  They’ve been nursing their wounds for a while and it is going to take them a bit to get over them, even if Jack is sleeping with Grace.  I see her side of it but I also understand his and it’s not a good situation for either of them so a little patience on everyone’s part is needed.  It adds some extra drama to what is already a pretty troublesome situation.

Like with her other series, there are a lot of secondary characters that help drag you in and keep you turning pages.  I’m definitely looking forward to what comes next for Jack’s brothers.  I’m pretty sure those two are going to have some more hardship to deal with before they can find their own happy ending.


Author Info:

Annie Rains is a USA Today bestselling 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 three children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.




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