One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton Release Date: September 4, 2018 Publisher: Berkley Book #8 of the Hope series Number of Pages: 320 Kindle Edition Source: borrowed from MCL Contemporary Romance M/F Rating: NC-17 Read 11/10/18 to 11/12/18
Josie Barnes has always craved a sense of home. She’s found that in Hope, Oklahoma–she bought a house, has a new job as an English teacher at Hope High, she’s made wonderful friends, and she’s taking in stray animals that no one else wants. Now she’s flirting with fellow teacher and hot high school football coach Zach Powers. But he’s almost too good to be true, and Josie learned long ago not to trust in the too-good-to-be-true, because it has always let her down.
A former pro football player, Zach had to pull back when a career-ending knee injury forced him to rethink his future. Now he’s happy calling plays as Coach. If he could just get Josie Barnes to stop benching his players for their poor grades, life would be perfect. Instead, she drives him crazy as the stern teacher at school and the sexy woman of his dreams outside of the classroom. He knows she’s been hurt in the past, but he wants to be that guy she can trust.
The one thing Josie has never been able to count on is the people closest to her. But Zach intends to show her that what they have between them is a textbook case of love.
I’ve started and stopped writing this review a few times now. I think it’s because I very much respect Jaci Burton and enjoy many of her books. Some I have loved and praised, some were just so-so. But I don’t believe I ever felt she was phoning it in…until now.
The storyline is great. I love the concept and really had high hopes for this story. There’s actually no reason it shouldn’t work. In fact, if I remember correctly, I enjoyed seeing Josie and Zach interact in a previous book or two. Yet in this story it all fell flat. Even scenes that should have had the chemistry hopping off the page I felt nothing. Not to mention the sweet scenes that should have had butterflies taking flight in my stomach. Nada. I can only guess there was too much telling and not really any showing.
Zach is an amazing character. There are some things about his past that are kept vague, which may have messed with the way his chemistry came across. But really, he should have had me swooning over him. In some ways I was. Especially when he was interacting with Wilson. It’s pretty sad that the most reaction a story gets from me is the interactions between the hero and his dog and not the hero and heroine.
It was very hard for me to get behind Josie. Where I understand her thought process, it was hard for me to care about her internal struggle with her feelings when I never felt those feelings coming off the page. I hate to blame her, but I do feel she was the downfall of this book. I couldn’t connect with her character at all and everything after that just didn’t work.
I want to stress again that I have loved many of the stories this author has written. This seems to be an anomaly. Since I’ve enjoyed most of the books in this series I will be reading the next one when it’s published in the hopes this was a fluke.