Last First Kiss
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Date of Publication: June 23rd, 2015
Number of pages: 249
A kiss is only the beginning...
Pinterest Perfect. Or so Annie Carson’s life appears on her popular blog. Reality is... messier. Especially when it lands her back in one-cow town, Brightwater, California, and back in the path of the gorgeous six-foot-four reason she left. Sawyer Kane may fill out those wranglers, but she won’t be distracted from her task. Annie just needs the summer to spruce up and sell her family’s farm so she and her young son can start a new life in the big city. Simple, easy, perfect.
Sawyer has always regretted letting the first girl he loved slip away. He won’t make the same mistake twice, but can he convince beautiful, wary Annie to trust her heart again when she’s been given every reason not to? And as a single kiss turns to so much more, can Annie give up her idea of perfect for a forever that’s blissfully real.
He tilted back his Stetson, running his intense gaze over her face. “You haven’t changed much.”
The simple statement threatened to fell her. He had no idea everything was different. The dreamy, hopeful girl she’d been, the one he’d known all those years ago, had her atoms obliterated and her soft underbelly refashioned, armored with titanium plates. She didn’t run barefoot through meadows or jump blindly into rivers.
“Thanks for the repair job,” she said, stepping back, blinking rapidly. He’d fixed the coop, but no one could fix the cracks in her confidence and imploded self-esteem. She needed to do that—if only she knew how. Was there a Self-esteem for Dummies?
Then he moved. Close. Closer. Way too close. The old magnetic pull between them hadn’t lost any potency. The air charged. So much so that when he reached out, cradling her cheek, she expected a zap. “I missed you, Annie Girl.”
Her heart beat sideways at his use of the old nickname.
“I . . . ” missed you too. God. So much. “I have to go.” She took another step backward and then another. “And anyway, I’m not staying, at least not for long. My family’s decided it’s time to sell the farm.”
“Sell?” His body went rigid. “But this place has been in your family forever. All your history is here. How can you let it go to a stranger?”
Who was he to come around at an ungodly hour, in those tight faded jeans that showcased his ... everything, touching her cheek, giving her unsolicited guidance? Her chest heated. Is that why he was here—being the good cop to Grandma Kane’s bad cop? “I appreciate your help with the coop, but let’s not pretend you’re giving impartial neighborly advice. Your family wants the property back. Trust me, I get the situation. I was raised with it, but we can get more for Five Diamonds than your grandmother could ever offer.”
He dropped his chin, leveling a penetrating stare. “That’s not what I meant, it’s not about the feud. You know I don’t care about any of that.”
She used to believe that, had once fooled herself into believing they were kindred spirits. “I don’t know anything about you anymore, Sawyer. Maybe I never did.”
She pivoted and strode toward the house, clenching the scotch bottle. Why did he come, force her to feel things better forgotten? She was almost at the stairs when a large, powerful hand closed on her upper arm, not a grip, but a gentle touch that halted her mid-step. Her heart pounded, her belly breaking into wild flutters.
Slowly, so slowly, she turned.
He held her gaze squarely, as if daring her to look away. “You know who I am,” he said.
She couldn’t reply, even if she knew what to say. She couldn’t blink or swallow or think. The only sound beside the wind came from their shallow breaths. She and Sawyer might be water under the bridge, but it looked like that water was churning, roiling whitewater.
Today, we welcome Lia Riley to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!
Thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog!
Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?
***cracks knuckles*** I’m ready! Just don’t ask to see my internet history.
Is your writing style more plotter or pantser?
I’m 100% a pantster. If I plot too much, I tend to get bored by already knowing the story. For some weird reason, not knowing what will happen next keeps me entertained and if I’m having fun, hopefully my reader will too. However, pantsing is not without perils. It’s not unusual for me to find myself stuck, crying into my coffee mug, but I’m nothing if not scrappy. A book hasn’t bested me yet ☺
How do you deal with Writer's Block?
Keep writing! Even if I don’t know if it’s any good or makes sense. I deal with the stress by watching clips of Aragorn from Lord of the Rings or trolling for Richard Armitage/Michael Fassbender pictures. They help, ahem, with inspiration ;)
How involved are you with Social Media and self-promotion?
I am an extrovert so social media is fun for me…sometimes too much fun. I am on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest more often than not. I also have made a fun Brightwater Reader Group on Facebook where we chat about books (by me and others) and occasionally share eye candy.
Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
A penguin sat on my lap in Antarctica. Also--Oprah once complimented me on my outfit (I didn’t always wear hoodie’s and yoga pants everyday)
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When not writing, I’m often still immersed in stories, either by reading or watching shows (addicted to Mad Men, Game of Thrones, True Detective, Orange is the New Black and Outlander). I also live on the California Coast so can often be found on a beach or wandering the nearby redwoods.
What was the last movie/concert/show that you saw?
St. Vincent--I love, love, love Bill Murray.
What was the name of the last book you read?
A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
What is your bigges pet peeve?
Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
Bill Murray and Meryl Streep. Bill because he’s hilarious and I’d love to yank his chain. Meryl because she is a goddess. Seriously, who doesn’t want Meryl Streep as a fictional mother? lol
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Don’t look in my fridge! I’m on deadline so it needs to have a sign on the front that says “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.” Can someone please bring me over a gallon of milk?
Elvis or Sinatra? Elvis
Mountains or Sea? Sea
Meat or Veggies? Veggies. I love kale and brussel sprouts. I do not love handling raw chicken.
Summer or Winter? Summer…never make me shovel a driveway again. And black ice? No thank you.
Cake or Pie? Pie, preferably strawberry rhubarb or key lime. Or wait, pecan. But apple? Just all the pie, please.
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Thank you so much for having me by, these questions cracked me up. And now all I want is pie and coffee.
I have to admit that this story caught my eye with the Pinterest Perfect bit in the blurb. I love my Pinterest boards. They were one of my favorite Social Media sites (up until the whole pay to boost pins has recently started.) They remain my go to sites for crafts, books, jewelry, quotes, jokes and much, much more. Plus, our heroine is a blogger. Booyah! Score one for a character I can totally empathize and connect with.
Annie is back in her hometown to fix up the family ranch so that it can be sold and the profits split between her father, her older sister and herself. She plans to move her and her young son Atticus (with a nod to one of my favorite Classics), to San Francisco to be near her older sister, as their father wants to move to New Mexico to be near an artist colony. But being back in Brightwater is tough, especially with the stigma of being a "Kooky" Carson still hanging over her head.
But our hero, Sawyer, has other plans now that Annie is back. He wants to convince her to give him, and them, a real try; an opportunity to see what might have been. And oh, how I liked Sawyer. I especially liked that he didn't try to go all "Alpha" on Annie. It was more the gentle wooing of her with patience, understanding, and true affection. Don't get me wrong, as Sheriff of Brightwater, I am sure that he had his Alpha moments, one with a cousin comes to mind, but not with Annie or Atticus. And that's where the truth strength of this romance was, with Annie and Sawyer's interactions.
There were some very interesting side characters throughout, that I can totally see getting their own chance to really shine in a later book. Plus Grandmother Kane. Oh, I just know we will be seeing more from her. I had a lot of fun with this book and gave it 4 stars.
Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult and Contemporary Adult romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.
A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn't mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about future books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.
To connect with the author online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads