BURNED BY A KISS Tina Leonard
The Star Canyon Series , Book one
Diversion Books
Print ISBN: 978-1-68230-082-4
eBook ISBN: 978-1-68230-081-7
May 2016
Contemporary Western Romance

Star Canyon, New Mexico, November/December

Emma Glass had been a serious student, working for a college scholarship and helping her father in his veterinary clinic . . . until graduation day. That's the day the sexy Santana Dark, dressed in cap and gown as was the whole class, stole a kiss from her. She was in love with him from then on, not that it went any further. Santana soon left Star Canyon and became a Navy SEAL. Now, years later, Doctor Emma is the local vet after taking over the practice she shared with her late father. And Santana is back in town.

Returning home from Afghanistan after four overseas deployments, Santana's head is not in a good place, nor is his heart. Scarred but physically well, he needs time to get over his service and the fact his father recently died. Sonny Dark was a firefighter; his body was never found after a huge fire in the area. More trials are to come.

The Dark family is down to five: Santana is the eldest at 29, then come brothers Romero, Cisco, Luke, and sister Sierra, 22. They live at home on the 2,000 acre family ranch . . . until suddenly it all comes crashing down around them when the lawyers explain the terms of their father's will. It seems not only did Sonny have a brother he owed a fortune to, his estate devolves upon that brother's son, Nick Marshall. Sonny was an excellent, loving father, but he had lots of secrets, including his real name.

Nick Marshall has plenty of money of his own left to him by his super rich father; however, the trust forbids him to give the ranch to his new-found cousins. He must keep it for himself or sell it.

What do you suppose Nick's welcome will be when he visits the ranch? I'll only say the Dark who voices the most resentment is Sierra, whom Nick much admires. As for Santana, he's stunned, but tries his best to be mature, but what does he have to offer Emma now that she has come to mean so much to him? She gives him peace and hope, and he has nothing to offer in return.

BURNED BY A KISS has a fascinating plot with bits of mystery, interesting characters to care about, and plenty of passion. Ms. Leonard has built a whole story world out of the town. BURNED BY A KISS is a book that is hard to put down, especially at the end. It stops much too soon with lots of threads left dangling. What is to become of Sierra? What about Joe, the Golden Retriever, and the three other Dark family members?

The second book of the series had better come quickly! These 200 pages are not enough.

Jane Bowers