Complex Kisses: A Small Town Romance (Stirling Bay) Kindle Edition
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"Complex Kisses is a fantastic debut novel by Kim Bailey. It truly is all things angsty emotional and sexy all tied up in a contemporary romance bow." ~ Allison, The Reading Escapade Book Blog
"Kim Bailey's debut novel has me in complete awe of her talent. Her tale of heartache, of reconciliation, and of love left me emotionally raw and truly exposed so many ideas about life that will resonate with any reader truly looking to live. Complex Kisses is an absolute must read!" ~ Sarah, Musings of the Modern Bell
"I loved this book. This does not feel as if it is a debut...it feels as if the author has her crafting down and knows her voice. There is a confidence and an understanding that what has been written will touch the reader...I know it touched me." ~ Wendy, The Star Angels Reviews
From the Author
- File Size : 1769 KB
- Print Length : 356 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : North Mile Books; 2nd Edition (December 29, 2016)
- Publication Date : December 29, 2016
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Page Numbers Source ISBN : 1989112129
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B01N6HVBUM
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #479,705 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Jamie’s life changed in a big way when she was a teenager. It left her already rocky relationship with her father significantly lacking. When he finds himself ill, even with their tumultuous relationship, she finds herself back in her home town and by his side. Even if that’s the last place he wants her to be. While at the hospital, Jamie meets two people who have a huge impact on her. A charming guy named Caleb, and his handsome older brother, Eric. There is something special about these two. She can tell right away.
Eric’s life is in a tailspin right now, but meeting Jamie- it feels like things just might be okay after all. They meet by chance, and it’s sort of like they’re both in the right place at the right time. They both need someone, and they start out developing a friendship. It helps to have someone to talk to and lean on when things get rough. It really does start as just friendship, but there is a undeniable spark between the two.
Even though Eric and Jamie only know each other for a short time, the time they do spend together is meaningful. More meaningful than any relationship either one of them have experienced. They have this connection through what they’re both going through and they just get each other. I truly love them both- I loved watching their friendship, and I loved seeing it turn into something so much more.
It’s not very often that a book can have serious subject matter, but can also make me laugh and smile. When it happens, I’m one happy reader. This story did that. Complex Kisses is extremely witty, sexy and gave me all those feels that I crave when reading. I loved all the characters and Bailey’s writing is strong. There was nothing about this book I didn’t love. I give it a full 5 stars and it’s going on my favorites shelf!
I believe that a spark is needed for love to ignite. That spark doesn’t have to be based on looks, it could easily be a spark of admiration or a spark generated by a meeting of the minds. That instant spark, lets you know that there is a potential for connection. You can then take that instant lust / love / connection /admiration and turn it into an everlasting lust / love / connection / admiration. Insta is just the start, everlasta is whatever you make it be. You just have to let the spark ignite.
Complex Kisses has a spark that ignites from the very beginning. Jamie and Eric are at the same hospital watching a family member suffer. Jamie is watching over her dying father whom she has been estranged from for the last 10 years. Eric is here to support his baby brother Caleb who is fighting cancer. Both Jamie and Eric are struggling. Hospitals are not pleasant places to be especially as you watch someone you love or have loved suffer.
When a little flirty spark named Caleb meets a beautiful spark named Jamie and tries to make her smile, it’s the big and generous spark named Eric that ignites.
Caleb is 14 and thinks Jamie is one of the most beautiful women he’s ever met. With big brother Eric behind him, he flirts up a storm to make Jamie smile. Eric admires his little brother's confidence in approaching this beautiful woman and is fascinated with the beautiful woman who doesn’t treat his little brother like he is only sick. Jamie is touched deeply by Caleb who while facing his own issues, takes the time to try and make her smile. Caleb, with his baldy head and sickly pallor, teaches two grown-ups to make the most of every day.
Complex Kisses is not just a story about dealing with sickness and death, it’s also about coming to realise that you may not have been living the life you were meant to. Eric has lived his life following the path set for him. He had a successful career and a woman in his life who he thought suited his lifestyle. When Caleb’s heath issues were diagnosed, Eric realised his life was shallow and not at all what he wanted for himself. With the job gone and the woman out of his life, he’s looking for a new path.
Jamie has not had an easy life. She lost her mother and sister when she was younger and her father never really recovered. When Jamie and her father should have been there for each other to help and support through their grief, He turned to alcohol and She turned to her boyfriend who she thought she loved. At seventeen Jamie finds out she has a surprise entering her life and when she needs support from her loved ones, they desert her in her time of need. Her new path was forced upon her but it made her stronger and ended up being one of the best things to happen in her life.
Jamie and Eric are attracted to each other physically, but it’s the support they give to each other that really helps them connect. It’s not easy to start a relationship when your father in lying in a bed dying or when your mother spends her days crying over your sick brother. The little time outside of the hospital that they spend together is time to get to know each other better. In a short amount of time Jamie and Eric’s feelings deepen but both of them are too scared to trust them.
I really enjoyed Complex Kisses. Considering this is Kim Bailey’s debut novel, she has done an amazing job. I will admit that there were a couple of times that I felt it was a bit bogged down with inner-monologue but then again, this was a story about looking into yourself. I also had a WTH moment when I thought it was going to end in a cliffie, but of course, it was just me being silly. Jamie does do something towards the end that I wanted to smack her silly for, but luckily Eric gave her a talking to and fixed it right up lickity split.
I loved the characters, the storyline made me think and the steamy scenes showed a great connection between the characters. I definitely recommend Complex Kisses and will be reading more of this authors work in the future.
So I usually stay away from books that are too heavy or emotional. I read to escape into lala land and give myself a break from real life stress. Complex Kisses, while dealing with some pretty heavy subjects, was an awesome mix of heavy and light, emotional and funny, sexy and romantic.
I felt all of the feels!!!
What I love about this book:
~Caleb. Man oh man, I love Caleb. His charming flirtatious ways, his bravery, his optimistic attitude. I can't wait for Caleb's book. PLEASE GIVE ME CALEB's BOOK NOW.
~ Eric. He was a hot, strong, sweet hero. I love the way he was there for his family and for Jamie.
~ Jamie. I felt for her from the start - a single mom, doing the best she can without parental support, always putting her child first. I wanted her to find love and was rooting for her from the start.
“This is life, beautiful girl. This is truly living and feeling. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it hurts a --- of a lot. But that’s only made me appreciate it more when it doesn’t.”
If you want angst with sarcasm and heat, ONE CLICK NOW!!!
This is Ms. Bailey's debut book but it doesn't read like one. It was written like someone who knows what makes a good romance. I’m really excited for everyone to read this book. I'm looking forward to more books by Ms. Bailey. She rocked my reading world!
Top reviews from other countries
For a debut novel, not bad, not bad at all.
I am a bit conflicted with this one but when I remember that this is Kim's first published book, then I think that's ok. Because for all my concerns, I'll be the first to admit, it's all personal taste. Also, it could've been just the time when I picked this up. It was over the holidays and I suppose I wasn't ready for all these angst... dunno...
While I may have had some issues with this one, I enjoyed enough where Kim took me.
While I didn't fully connect and fall in love with the H&h, they're decent MCs. I think for starter, the timeline of the story was too short. I realize the circumstances they found themselves in tend to magnify emotions but for them to be that connected in such a short amount of time still didn't feel real enough. I also couldn't reconcile their personalities in and out of the bedroom. I think the transition was missing for me to buy the micro-aggressions (delish, if I may add) I witnessed in the bedroom. But of course, once in the bedroom, um, hello, melike! And outside of the bedroom, they're good people. See what I mean about conflicted!
While the pace dragged for me at certain point, especially in the middle, and something seemed to pull me out of the story at certain points, I just kept reading once I found my groove. It wasn't hard at all as Kim had a way for the events to flow smoothly. The whole story, outside of the prologue and epilogue, took place in a span of pretty much a week. So it was about the buildup to what they're dealing with, interspersed with details of their respective pasts.
And while some of the dialogues felt stilted, the writing as a whole was beautiful. Otherwise, I wouldn't be highlighting the way I was.
"I wonder if random points of synchronicity ever all add up to one big moment of transcendence? Maybe it's not meant to be just a single moment of perfection, maybe it'll be a series of moments of better than average."
Again, see why I'm conflicted?
Overall though, as mentioned earlier, this is a very nice effort for a debut novel. As you'll see on GR or Amazon reviews, I'm in the minority and happy to be so. I know Kim will only get better, I can already see it. She'll hone her craft and find her niche just fine.