He can’t wait to leave…
Mac Draper finally has everything he’s always wanted: An amazing career. A New York City apartment. He’s this close to being free of his past forever. But a mind-blowing encounter with the sexy yet tough-as-nails Lily St. Clare has him delaying his plans to put Crystal Lake in his rearview mirror for good.
She’s finally found a place to stay…
For Lily St. Clare the charming small town of Crystal Lake is her haven – a place she can hide from her famous, back-stabbing family. It’s as close to happy as she’s ever been. Until an unforgettable night with tall, dark and tortured Mac Draper gives her a glimpse of what true happiness feels like.
Lily can’t help but melt a little under the sizzling heat of Mac’s touch. But Mac’s scars run deep, and Lily’s afraid she may be falling for the one man who can never return her feelings...
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
The Day He Kissed Her by Juliana Stone
Last New Year’s Eve, Lily St. Clare (unfortunately not her pen name) had a one-night-stand with a man she met in a cab. She never got his name and never thought she would see him again. But when she last expects it, she’s standing face-to-face with him, finding out that he’s friends with one of her best friends, and realizing that initial spark they had together hasn’t burned out.
But… While the premise was certainly interesting, and I liked the other books in the series, it took a lot for me to not bail on Lily and Mac’s story as I got to know them. These two have so much baggage and are capable of creating so much drama that they were both pretty difficult to like for a while. Fortunately, I stuck with it, and it turned out to be a pretty good book, but it’s worth noting to new readers that these two will have you wanting to slap them upside the heads for a good long while.
The Verdict: The Day He Kissed Her by Juliana Stone is probably the darkest of the books in a not-so-lighthearted series, but Stone does a wonderful job of confronting severe character flaws without making the story feel too heavy.
Crystal Lake holds almost nothing but bad memories for Mac Draper, who’s done his best to avoid the place where he suffered through such a terrible childhood. But his friend Jake needs help getting a new housing development off the ground, so he’s home for the summer, determined not to put down roots. Lily’s childhood in Crystal Lake wasn’t much better, and to cope with all the disappointments she’s lived through, she’s perfected something of a mask, a way of appearing indifferent to everything around her.
Lily and Mac make a great couple even before they’re really together. Mac’s hardened exterior and anger at the world are things Lily understands and doesn’t question; they both try to convince themselves that they can be involved without their emotions getting in the way. But even though they’re both in denial, little bits of feeling show through in their interactions and reactions to each other. As a result, their romance is sweet, sexy, and all kinds of complicated, but Lily sticks by Mac as he works through all the issues standing in his way.
More than just a romance, The Day He Kissed Her is also a story of overcoming the past and opening up to the scary idea of a future dependent on someone else’s love. It’s a crazy, whirlwind story that tugged at my heart and had me rooting for Mac and Lily despite my initial reluctance to even like them. But despite the angst, there wasn’t any unnecessary, fabricated drama, and in the end, it turned out to be just the kind of romance novel that makes this genre so fun and fulfilling.
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