Type: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: Sent
With a kidney transplant behind her, Avery Adams is determined to channel her inner adventurer and explore everything life has to offer. Only problem is, the closest she’s ever come to a real-life adventure was sixth-grade science camp. So to seize the summer in her rustic Sierra Nevada town, she takes a job as a guide at the local adventure lodge. But Avery doesn’t realize her biggest challenge will register at six-plus feet of rugged good looks and alpha-male charm.
As a member of the Sequoia Elite Mountain Rescue team, Tyson Donovan has made a life out of cheating death and rescuing weekend warriors from the treacherous terrain. “The world is my home” is more than just a motto; it’s what scares off women who would otherwise try to tie him down. When his dad’s health lands the family’s adventure lodge in serious danger of going up in flames, he moves home—and quickly remembers why he left. Until he meets Avery, the irresistible new guide who makes him want to stay.
Tyson gives the inexperienced Avery a lesson in romance that her books could never teach her. And with her undeniable spirit for life, Avery shows Tyson the healing power of love. But with one misstep, everything comes crashing down, and they’ll both have to take the biggest leap of all—into the kind of adventure that lasts a lifetime.
I had to put this book down, pick it back up a few times and get about a third of the way through before Marina Adair caught me, but she did… hook, line and sinker. A slow start and seemingly familiar characters kept me from becoming engrossed in this book right away, but as always, Adair’s writing drew me in and won me over with another emotional, heartwarming romance.
Avery Adams has spent most of her life dealing with kidney issues: first her mother’s and then her own. Having lost her mother as a girl and enduring years of treatment and eventually a transplant surgery, Avery is finally healthy and hopeful, and determined to finally live her life. The first step in doing that is taking a job as a guide at the local lodge in hopes of bringing some adventure into her life. And boy does it ever.
Adventure comes in the form of rugged water rescue alpha guy Ty Donovan… a.k.a. son of the lodge owners. Ty is sexy, strong and so confident that Avery takes one look and falls head over heels. It doesn’t matter that he’s only in town temporarily, or that he has a rule about romance with the employees. The chemistry between them is off the charts and they can’t seem to fight it. At all. In fact, that was one of the things I loved about this book. Even though there were warning signs and roadblocks along the way advertising the heartache you just knew was coming, Ty and Avery both dove in and gave up their hearts because they couldn’t do anything else.
There were some wonderful secondary characters (I can’t WAIT for Liv’s story, and Harris) that helped deliver the hometown feel that I’ve come to expect from Marina Adair. Ty’s relationship with his family was so complicated but written so realistically, I wanted to hug him and make everything ok the way Avery did. Ty wasn’t looking for a reason to stay, but he found that and more in Avery. The courage that each of them showed in working through their feelings for each other was so incredibly touching.
It Started with a Kiss is the first in a new series and I can’t wait for the next one. Marina Adair’s books are chock full of heart, heat and happiness and this one was no exception.
I give It Started with a Kiss by Marina Adair 4.5 stars!