Kiss It Better by Jenny Schwartz

In brief: Cassie has returned to Jardin Bay to heal, but she’s interrupted by Theo Morrigan, who is in town to buy the family business.

The good: It’s sweet and heart-warming with some funny moments.

The not-so-good: It’s going to be hard to let Theo go now I’ve finished the book.

Why I chose it: Really enjoy Jenny’s Jardin Bay novels. Thank you to Escape Publishing for the eARC.

Year: 2014

Length: 150 pages

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Setting: Australia (primarily south west Western Australia and Melbourne)

My rating: 9 out of 10

I always enjoy Jenny Schwartz’ novels. I know that I can rely on her books to provide me with a sweet, touching romance and a unique storyline ending up in a sigh worthy happy ever after. Kiss it Better is no exception – the heroine is dealing with a quarter life crisis (something I haven’t come across before in a book, despite nearly everyone I know admitting to one) and the hero is having boardroom battles that involve his family.

The story opens as a broken Cassie Freedom sits on the beach outside her family’s business. Cassie’s aim in life was to be a nurse and travel to Africa to help the people there. Now she’s done it, but it’s left her broken and burnt out, wondering if she can ever go back to nursing. Dr Theo Morrigan then roars into her life and Cassie feels the first stirrings of emotion she’s felt for a long time. But when her father reveals he’s going to sell the business to Theo, CEO of the big company Brigid Care, Cassie doesn’t know what to think. Despite everything, Theo and Cassie become friends and perhaps even more. But neither of them reckoned on a Brigid Care board meeting ending up in a battle for power and Theo needing Cassie’s support. Can this pair who have given so much to others help each other to heal? Will they discard their medical careers for something else?

I loved the combination of medicine and high powered business in Kiss it Better. The balance is just right, and the business dealings are tempered with fun moments with Theo’s extended family, all who have several things to say about Cassie and her role in the Morrigan family. The balance of sweet moments and conflict is also just right – while there are arguments and misunderstandings between Cassie and Theo, there are no ‘arghh!’ moments where you wonder how the couple will ever get through this heinous bump in their relationship.

The Melbourne setting (particularly St Kilda) was lovingly rendered – I could feel myself wandering down the streets as Cassie was. It’s awakened a desire in me to visit there again! I also enjoyed how Cassie and Theo jumped from state to state to either hide from their demons or confront them; it was a nice push-pull battle as they fought to overcome their fears. Theo also has a lot of sage advice for Cassie (interestingly, he doesn’t always apply this advice to himself) and as Cassie recovers, she helps Theo to come to the conclusion of his future career direction. I liked how the relationship between them was equal as well as sweet.

Kiss it Better is a fun, light read that will remind you of how you pulled through your own quarter life crisis or remind you that there is always better to come (even your own Theo). It’s a lovely story that would make a great holiday read.

 

Disclaimer: I do know Jenny personally, but this hasn’t affected my honest review of this book. It just means that I’ll be begging her to write more very soon!

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