Kiss and Tell (Sunrise Key #1) by Suzanne Brockmann
Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: April 1st 1996
Pages: 290 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
I read this book in the Kindle edition. Its editing and formatting are excellent, making it easy on the eyes.
Over a decade ago, Leila Hunt abandoned her home on a small island called Sunrise Key, near the Western Panhandle of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, for the bright lights of the big city. There are only a little over 600 residents on Sunrise Key, and everyone always knows everyone else's business. Leila much prefers the bustle and anonymity of New York City where she has a thriving, private practice as an accountant. Leila is thirty, and her biological clock is ticking. She's almost decided to commit herself to marriage to her workaholic boyfriend, even though she doesn't love him and hasn't slept with him. She's not convinced anyone better is ever going to show up--until she returns home during the winter holidays to stay at her brother Simon's home at Sunrise Key, and is kissed at midnight by an unknown "ninja" at a New Year's Eve costume party.
It's the most all-consuming, unforgettable kiss of Leila's life but, like the fairy-tale princess Cinderella, Leila's mysterious ninja flees immediately after their kiss, and in spite of promising to return soon, he doesn't come back. Leila is obsessed with figuring out who the ninja was and tracking him down, never suspecting that he's actually Marshall Devlin, Simon's best friend, a gorgeous, thirty-six-year-old, British expatriate who is the island's resident doctor and sometime veterinarian. Dev has been her verbal sparring partner the entire 18 years she's known him, and Leila has absolutely no idea that her explosive ninja kiss resulted from Dev's 12 years of frustrated attraction to Leila, whom until his unplanned kiss, he'd always assumed regarded him in the light of merely Simon's irritating friend.
I'm a big fan of Brockmann and I'd previously thought I'd read all her early contemporary romances, but somehow I missed this one. It is the first book in a romantic comedy trilogy. It really astounded me that Brockmann, who is known for her romantic suspense, would even consider writing comedy, let alone that she'd be so talented at it. The sexual chemistry is great, and the repartee between these attractive protagonists is witty and entertaining.
I have one small complaint. Though I do like Dev, he's often almost too perfect to be real. Brockmann portrays him as an old-fashioned, 19th Century country doctor, kind-hearted, generous, and utterly sacrificial. It's a bit over the top in credibility, for me anyway. I have a hard time imagining any doctor in the USA in this day and age willing to accept payment in pork and vegetables--they won't pay his bills for all the many things in modern life that require money. However, this is such a fun comedy, and the residents of Sunrise Key are so adorably grateful to Dev for all he's given them, I happily suspended my cynicism and enjoyed the ride.