Last Kiss of Summer by Marina Adair (Destiny Bay #1)

Last Kiss of Summer by Marina AdairAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

Kennedy Sinclair never dreamed she’d own a pie shop and an orchard in a small town like Destiny Bay. But nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it’s the perfect place to cross something off her “Life’s short so eat the icing first” list and start her life over from scratch. Her shop, Sweetie Pies, is famous for its hot, flaky apple turnovers and sinfully delicious deep dish pie. For Kennedy though, nothing is more enticing than the tall, strapping slice of temptation who keeps coming back for more.

Luke Callahan is determined to make his hard cider business a success. With his beloved father’s cider recipe and the opportunity of a lifetime in his grasp, he’ll stop at nothing to get this deal done. There’s just one catch: he needs Kennedy’s apples. At first, he thinks it’ll be as easy as pie to charm those apples right off her trees. But Kennedy isn’t falling for his tender charms or his wicked ways. When the negotiations start heating up, so do the feelings they have for each other. And it takes just one kiss to seal the deal . . .


Marina Adair is quickly moving to my auto-buy list. Every book I read by her sucks me in with the down-home feel, likeable characters and sweet, emotional romance. After reading Last Kiss of Summer, I’ve figured out what I like so much about her books: they are not overly dramatic. While I love a good, angsty read as much as the next lady, sometimes I want to read a book with substance without feeling emotionally wrung out at the end. That’s what Marina Adair delivers.

Kennedy Sinclair needs a break. Abandoned by her mother years ago and betrayed by her boyfriend, Kennedy heads west after using her savings to buy (sight unseen) a pie shop/bakery. Sweetie Pies is exactly the fresh new start she is looking for, and it doesn’t take long for Kennedy to fall in love with the bakery, her employees, even her new hometown. No matter how many obstacles life throws at her, she is determined to come out on top, finally putting herself and her dreams first.

Unfortunately, interrupting her successful career dreams is one Mr. Luke Callahan. Owner of the orchard that supplies apples to Kennedy’s shop, as well as nephew and son of the shop’s former owners, Luke is temptation in a tall, handsome and charming package. He is also the enemy as far as her apples are concerned. She needs them for her bakery – he needs them for his hard cider business. Kennedy wants nothing more than to turn her love of baking into a success by expanding Sweetie Pies, but she can’t do that without Luke’s apples.

Luke is charmed by Kennedy from the first time he sees her. He’s thrilled that someone has taken the reins of Sweetie Pies to lighten the load for his mom and his aunt. He admires her business sense and lusts after her sweet smile and sweeter curves. What he doesn’t count on is Kennedy’s creativity and determination to succeed. She finds a way around every road block he throws at her, even going so far as to climb the trees to harvest apples herself. He knows Kennedy deserves some good in her life, and it doesn’t take long for him to realize he wants to be the one to give it to her. He just can’t figure out how to do that without losing out on his own opportunity of a lifetime.

For Kennedy to keep Sweetie Pies afloat, she needs Luke’s apples. If he supplies her shop with those apples, he can kiss his cider business goodbye. I loved the fact that this conundrum did not put a damper on their romance at all. In some ways, it was like the elephant in the room that they both chose to ignore. Not knowing how to work it out without hurting one business or the other, Luke and Kennedy acted on their personal attraction without letting their professional issues interfere until there was no choice. When time runs out and a decision has to be made, I loved the way the author worked things out for them. This book is a win-win all the way.

I give Last Kiss of Summer by Marina Adair 4.5 stars!

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Kennedy rested her elbows on the counter and leaned forward. “You cook, clean, and make house calls? Be still, my heart.”

“I aim to please.” He dried off his hands and brought two steaming mugs of coffee to the counter. “Which is why I was trying to be quiet, so you could get another few minutes of sleep, before I surprised you in bed.” He grinned. It was a wicked grin. “Again.”

Luke had done more than surprise her last night; he’d spoiled her for other men. Sure, he was an incredible lover, but it was the tender moments in between that made her nervous.

This thing between them couldn’t last. She knew that. She also understood that if he was looking for something more permanent, she wouldn’t be the kind of woman to inspire that kind of commitment. She was unable to do it with her perfect match, or even her own mother. The one person who was supposed to love her unconditionally. Which left Kennedy painfully afraid that she was missing that elusive quality that led to forever.

Finding out that she was right, that she was unlovable, from a man who obviously had an incredible capacity to love, as she’d seen with his friends and family, would be too painful to survive. So she took the moment for what it was, committing to memory the warm aroma of the coffee, the way the sun cast a glassy haze over the kitchen, and the sleepy expression on his face that made him look softer. More relaxed. Like this was where he was supposed to be.

In this kitchen—with her.

Kennedy was becoming more attached—she could feel it. The way he treated her, the way he made her feel, even the way he looked at her, like right now, as if she were special. Which made her feel special.


AdairSUGARISTWICEASSWEETMarinaMarina Adair is a #1 National bestselling author of romance novels and holds a Master of Fine arts in creative writing. Along with the Sugar, Georgia series, she is also the author the St. Helena Vineyard series, and her new Heroes of St Helena series. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and two neurotic cats in Northern California.

As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive.

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