Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review & Excerpt: Summer Kisses by Melinda Curtis

Welcome, or welcome back to Harmony Valley!

This small town at the northernmost edge of Sonoma County wine country is in trouble. It's so remote the sagging California economy of the past few years has driven businesses out, and without jobs, everyone under the age of 65 has left town. The 70 or so residents remaining are set in their ways.

Join Harmony Valley residents as youth returns to help save their town.

Summer Kisses

by Melinda Curtis

Adult Contemporary Romance
ebook & print, 384 pages
February 1, 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming
A Harmony Valley Novel #2

Her carefully crafted facade is unraveling…fast

Rebecca MacKenzie's career as a caregiver for the elderly suited her perfectly. Ease their suffering, hop back in the motor home and move on. Caring without commitment. It was ideal for someone trying to outrun her memories…and mistakes. Someone determined to stay detached.

Flynn Harris, her new patient's grandson, is weakening her resolve in every way. His scrutiny, his suspicion—and worst of all, his kisses—are more than distracting. They're dangerous. Because she's teetering on the edge of caring. And revealing her secrets. And…staying.

My Thoughts

Coming back to Harmony Valley had been an incredible journey. In this second book, I grew to love more this beautiful town and its resident. In the process of rebuilding the town, Flynn found his match.

Flynn Harris was worried about his grandfather who just came back from the hospital. He needed a caregiver fast, so he can build the winery properly. But he never expected the beautiful Becca to come right in front of his house offering the perfect solution. He didn't trust her though. There's something about her that made him hesitant to offer her the job, but Grandpa Edwin wanted no one but her. So he asked her about her past that she desperately tried to hide from others.

Rebecca MacKenzie was a young widow with a caring and compassionate heart. She endured lost in such a young age that she vowed to help the elders with their dying wish, but it got her into many difficult predicament. She tried not to get close to her client that much to save herself some pain and grief when they passed away. She didn't like it and it broke her heart over again every single time. So when fate gave her this job, it was perfect since the client wasn't dying, where she got a great character reference and she won't say goodbye in the grave.

When Flynn's sister brought her son to stay with them, Flynn was terrified that something had happened, but he tried to trust his sister. Truman, his nephew, stayed with him and he got close with Becca's dog, Abby. Abby was a precious dog. I've loved him from the very first time. Becca continued to shower him with love that Truman felt more at home in Harmony Valley than anywhere else.

Flynn and Becca's chemistry was sweet and I love each one of their encounter. Flynn was sneaking kisses here and there and it was very adorable. But unfortunately, Flynn had a difficult time to trust her and she tried to convince him. They don't have an easy relationship because they were both stubborn and hurt.

Summer Kisses is a very complex read discussing many issue so close to our heart. I've experienced loss too, so what Becca felt was dear to me. I admired her so much from her true character. It's difficult to find someone so young to feel so strongly to elderly.

Again, Melinda had done a great job with the characters. This small town is somewhere I want to live now. There are some twists in the story and an unexpected ending. Bring your tissue close by too.

An unforgettable and compelling story about trust, hope and forgiveness ...

Highly recommended


Becca saw the little hurt boy behind his eyes and a part of her she needed solid and strong softened. Her hand twitched with the urge to reach out and comfort him. A light touch to the arm, the shoulder, his cheek.

Not helpful. So not helpful. She shoved her hands into her hoodie pockets and started walking.

He matched her pace, until they nearly bumped hips on the narrow trail, until she had to stop before they toppled on each other.

Becca drew a breath. “Really, I’m grateful—”

“I need help, Becca. You’ll make my grandfather happy.” The sincerity in his tone made hope, that treacherous thing, whisper in Becca’s ear. Becca’s gaze rested on the ground, where, presumably, she’d find her lost common sense. Instead she saw a glint of copper, barely visible in the dirt beneath the toe of Flynn’s sneakers.

It couldn’t be a penny. It had to be a leaf or a rock or something.

She could feel Flynn’s gaze upon her, gauging her character. “Old Virginia didn’t write a will or anything?”

“I have no proof. Only my word.” She tried not to sound bitter, but she was afraid she failed. “It doesn’t seem like you have much faith in people.” And yet, there was the penny, clearly visible when Flynn shifted his feet, an indication that she should accept.

“Since I became wealthy, my faith in my fellow man has been put to the test.” Flynn tipped up the brim of his baseball cap. “However, I am good at offering second chances. Are you good at accepting them?”

Becca searched his face to see if this was some kind of cruel joke.

He wasn’t joking. His blue eyes reflected a combination of sorrow and regret. He wanted to believe the best in her. Wanted, but couldn’t quite. “For my grandfather, if not for me.”

Her determination to refuse him wavered. If she took this job, she’d see Flynn every day. A daily opportunity for attraction to bloom and cause complications. Complications to the lawsuit, to her equilibrium, to her heart.

Copyright 2014© Melinda Curtis

Other Books in the Series

Dandelion Wishes
by Melinda Curtis
Adult Contemporary Romance
ebook & print, 379 pages
October 1, 2013 by Harlequin Heartwarming
A Harmony Valley Novel #1

Sometimes wishes do come true, she'd heard it said...

Will Jackson was a control freak and a killjoy. He had been since they were kids. He'd made it his mission to come between Emma Willoughby and her best friend--his little sister--all their lives. But why? Until the day of the accident, Emma had always thought of herself as adventurous, not dangerous.... And then her friend had almost died.

She desperately needed to apologize, to try to explain, if she could. Will had managed to keep the two apart while Tracy was in the hospital, but now that she was home in Harmony Valley, the winemaker wannabe had to understand that getting past this was the only way they could heal. And yet even if Tracy was able to, Emma wasn't sure she could forgive herself. And Will had made it abundantly clear: he wouldn't sleep until he'd found retribution.

Season of Change
by Melinda Curtis
Adult Contemporary Romance
ebook & print, 384 pages
May 1, 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming
A Harmony Valley Novel #3

Harmony Valley... not so harmonious after all! 

Christine Alexander needs to prove herself as a top-notch winemaker, and in Harmony Valley she's got a chance to build something legitimate, quality and lasting. What she doesn't need is part-owner Slade Jennings poking his nose in her cabernet. 

Brooding, buttoned-up Slade Jennings won't be making things easy for his new hire.Someone has to worry about the bottom line. Forced into an uneasy partnership, the pair faces two challenges: create a spectacular award-winning vintage within months...and figure out if their tenuous friendship can grow into something deeper and lasting.

One Perfect Year
by Melinda Curtis

Adult Contemporary Romance
ebook & print, 376 pages
March 1, 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming
A Harmony Valley Novel #4

He's coming up on her blind side

How can Shelby Hawkley forgive Gage Jamero for bailing on her when she needed him most? He and her husband, Nick, were the best part of her life. Now her former best friend is back, shaking up the widowed wine harvester's world. The safest bet is to protect herself. Except Gage is awakening feelings that are decidedly unfriend-like.

Shelby is the woman Gage has secretly loved since high school. Starting over—together—could be the best dream he's ever had. If only he can find the courage to say what he should have said all those years ago.

Time for Love
by Melinda Curtis
Adult Contemporary Romance
ebook & print, 368 pages
August 1, 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming
A Harmony Valley Novel #5

A fresh start — for both of them

As a kid from a shattered family, Kathy Harris couldn't wait to get out of Harmony Valley. Yet here she is, back home, determined to rebuild her life and regain her young son's trust. But she doesn't expect to work miracle - unlike Dylan O'Brien, the enigmatic cowboy rumored to be a healer of misfit horses.

As they work to save an injured colt, Kathy starts to believe in a future with Dylan that she never thought possible. But one of Kathy's new rules is no more secrets... and Dylan has a big one. One that could destroy the life he and Kathy are building together.  

A Memory Away
by Melinda Curtis
Adult Contemporary Romance
ebook & print, 376 pages
December 1, 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming
A Harmony Valley Novel #6

For better or worse, she's family now 

Duffy Dufraine just found out he's going to be an uncle. Jessica Aguirre came to Harmony Valley in search of the father of her unborn child, which is by no means him. An accident may have damaged the expectant mom's memory, but he knows his twin is the man she's looking for. But Greg's gone, which leaves Duffy the only family Jess has. And he has to make things right. Offering her a temporary place to stay seems an ideal short-term solution. Until she stirs desires that make the embattled vineyard manager rethink his own long-term game plan. Is he ready to offer Jess and her baby a home to call their own—with him?

A Man of Influence 
by Melinda Curtis
Adult Contemporary Romance
ebook & print, 384 pages
April 1, 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming
A Harmony Valley Novel #7

She isn't giving up—on her town or herself 

An accident cost Tracy Jackson not only her high-profile job but also her ability to easily communicate. Back in her California hometown, she's working at the bakery and painstakingly relearning how to speak. Now she has a new mission: to protect her community from Chad Healy. 

The travel writer is in Harmony Valley to cover the Harvest Festival. And—big surprise—he's helping Tracy make her dreams happen. But his lampooning style could hurt her town's longtime traditions. Filled with conflicting emotions, can Tracy find the words to let Chad know how she feels before he's gone for good?

About the Author

Join Melinda's book release newsletter list and receive FREE reads:

USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Author, Melinda Curtis is the award winning author of contemporary romance that spans the sexy scale - from sweet romance to sweet romantic comedy (written under the Melinda Curtis brand) to fun, sexier romances (written under the Mel Curtis brand).

"...Wonderfully entertaining..." Jayne Ann Krentz (commenting on Blue Rules)

"Reading Slade and Christine's story reminded me of why I enjoy romance. Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf!" Brenda Novak

"Mel Curtis knows romance, sports and humor and she makes all three sing in Amber Rules." Eileen Rendahl
Melinda loves writing romances about women who don't realize how strong they are until a hero comes along to show them, while simultaneously capturing the wry humorous power struggle of falling in love (because, really, who lets the man have the last word?).

Check out her website to sign up for book release announcements (almost always containing offers for FREE shorts), read excerpts, and learn the story behind the story of each book. Check out her Twitter feed (@MelCurtisAuthor). Or "Like" her on Facebook (MelindaCurtisAuthor) for the opportunity to win free stuff.

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