Book 1 - Blushing Bay

Forbidden Kisses

A Blushing Bay Novel

    • 4.7 • 23 Ratings
    • $4.99
    • $4.99

Publisher Description

The USA Today bestselling author of the Hero’s Welcome series introduces a trio of swoon-worthy North Carolina brothers fighting for love in this novel of sand, sea, and seduction.

For years, Jack Sawyer’s family has been running their upscale seafood business like a finely tuned machine. But every machine breaks down eventually, and suddenly Jack needs a new office manager, a new kayak launch, and a new lease on life. Then Grace Donner shows up again. She’s smart, motivated, and perfect for the manager position, but if she’s anything like her mom, she can’t be trusted. And Jack has never been able to trust himself around Grace.

Grace hasn’t seen her former stepbrothers since their parents’ messy divorce, but she never forgot them—especially Jack. She misses being part of the big rambunctious Sawyer clan, and if there’s an opportunity to set things right, she means to do it. But she can’t ignore Jack’s irresistibly kissable lips, or the searing way he looks at her when he thinks she’s not looking. Their chemistry is more explosive than ever. And if the Sawyers can forgive and forget, anything is possible.

Look for the Hero’s Welcome series by Annie Rains

Praise for Forbidden Kisses

“Annie Rains writes books that don’t just pull on your heartstrings, they yank out all the feels in the best way possible! A fantastic, fresh voice in contemporary romance!”—Codi Gary, author of Things Good Girls Don’t Do 

“A passionate, heartfelt tale with a hint of the forbidden and a lot of chemistry. Forbidden Kisses is a delicious novel that you’ll read in one sitting.”—Jamie K. Schmidt, USA Today bestselling author of the Club Inferno Series

“Rains writes a wonderfully sweet romance every time!”—Obsessive Book Nerd

“The chemistry between these two is palpable . . . as in hot! There is no doubt about the feelings Grace and Jack have for each other and they fit well as a couple. The story was fun with a bit of angst and a heap of forgiveness.”—Aurora B’s Book Blog

“The constant push and pull, mixed with the sky-high chemistry make for an unputdownable book that will kidnap your heart from the very first page and won’t let go until the end.”—Roberta’s Dream World

April 11
Random House Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Agent$$$$ ,

Jack and Grace

Jack and Grace have a history. At one time, they were brother and sister through the marriage of their parents. During the marriage, Grace had a HUGE crush on Jack. They even kissed when she was fifteen, before Jack's family accused her mom of stealing from his dad. While it ended up being true, Grace stood by and defended her mom. The marriage ended in an ugly divorce with Grace "losing" her stepbrothers and stepdad she truly loved.

Skip ahead several years.....Grace is now jobless and struggling to care for her mom. Her mom is ill and needs medication and care. Grace gave up her dreams so that she could work to care for her mom. Grace realizes her mom has made many mistakes in her life, but she loves her and won't abandon her.

Blushing Bay is a small coastal, fishing town. Jack and his family run a very successful fishing business that supplies seafood to restaurants and stores in surrounding towns. Their secretary/Aunt has retired and they are looking for a new secretary. Grace happens to hear a gentleman interviewing applicants while at a cafe. When the last interview is over, she decides to take a chance and offer her services--not knowing it was Jack.

Jack and his family still hate Grace's mom, but Jack is willing to give Grace a chance. He doesn't necessarily trust her though, but feels like she'll do a good job. Now he has to convince his family to accept Grace back into the fold. During this time, Grace's mom discloses whom she sold the Sawyer's boat to. "The Beverly" was named after Jack's deceased mom. It was one of the many items Grace's mom sold off while married to Jack's dad. In order to right past wrongs, Grace's mom asks her to buy the boat back and give it to the Sawyer family. The only way Grace can come up with that kind of money is to enter a fishing contest....

Jack has not been on a boat since his best friend died in a boating accident. Jack never wanted to be a full-time fisherman like the rest of his brothers. He and Chris had dreams of owning their own construction business. They were going to build docks, ramps, piers, etc. Jack still wants to do that, but is not sure he can do it without his best friend.

Grace convinces Jack to enter the race with her, but doesn't tell him why she wants the prize money. When Jack finds out, he feels betrayed and lashes out at Grace and wonders if she's like her mom. Jack and his brother withdraw from the fishing contest leaving Grace without a boat or crew. Grace's friends volunteer to help her out. While out practicing/learning how to catch the "big one", there's an accident...

This is the first novel in the Blushing Bay series. This is a stepbrother, stepsister and second chance love story. I loved it! I loved that Jack could find the strength to continue with his dreams even after losing his best friend. I loved Grace's loyalty to her mom. I also loved that forgiveness wasn't easily given, but eventually earned. I read a gifted copy and all opinions stated are my own.

bh313@hotmail ,


I really enjoyed this one and I can't wait to read more in this series. This is a good small town romance centered around a fishing family. Jack Sawyer has been working in the office of his family's fishing business even though that's not really what he wants to be doing. Now he needs a new office manager and he can't believe it when Grace Donner applies for the job. Grace and Jack were step siblings for about a minute many years ago. Even then he was attracted to Grace, now even more. The history between the two families isn't good and Jack's not sure if Grace will be accepted by the rest of his family. Grace has always felt bad about the way things ended between her Mom and the Sawyers. Normally she'd never want this job but she's desperate. Will they be able to put the past behind them and move forward? She hopes so and she'll do whatever she can to set things right.

An excellent read that I recommend to everyone.

glhince ,

perfect for readers who can deal with the ups and downs of a messy family situation

Annie Rains returns with the first in a new series, and the angst and drama are perfect for readers who can deal with the ups and downs of a messy family situation. See, Grace was once part of a large blended family, until her mother made several bad choices and broke the family apart. Her divorce not only effected Grace, but removed her from the large and boisterous Sawyer family, and a budding crush on her step-brother Jack. Still in the same town, Jack has been running the family business and he and his brothers, Noah and Sam, have never really recovered or lost the anger they feel when thinking about Grace and her mother. Unfortunately for Grace, she’s never forgotten the Sawyers, or her attraction to Jack. But, the situation is sticky. Like flypaper sticky. And it will only get more complicated when Grace has to find a new job that will allow her to support her now ill, mother.

Jack has hit a crossroad in the business, while things were running well, they were really good, but now little things are starting to fall apart, and he needs an office manager. So much so that as he’s interviewing a potential candidate in the local coffee shop, Grace overhears the interview and decides to throw her hat into the ring. Imagine her surprise when she sees that it is Jack, her former step-brother, from the family her mother betrayed, doing the hiring.

From here, you can almost guess the plot: hidden / forbidden attraction still strong, revisited anger over events long passed and plenty of tension as Jack and Grace work toward a ‘new normal’ and allow the relationship to grow. And that would be simple if only Grace hadn’t insisted on ‘secrets and lies”. Lies to those she claims to care for, lies to hide their relationship, lies to herself about just how much Jack means to her. It was a TON of lies. And still, Jack is there – a bit too patient, a bit too unwilling to allow her to guide the path of the relationship and not taking charge and just discussing all of the resentment, betrayals, anger and oh so much baggage that comes with years apart. Secondary characters bring plenty of the small-town feel, while adding their own special sauce to the mix of drama and unacknowledged emotions, angers and hurts. Oh there is drama, enough to fill wheelbarrows with old unresolved issues but the thing is – you can actually see it as possible and probable. We’ve all known people who take forever to deal with hurts and snubs, hiding that hurt behind anger, strong statements and brash acts until the actual ‘forgiving’ moments have them so tied in knots that things never proceed smoothly. There are bumps, holes and a few steps backward along the road forward, but the connection between Grace and Jack is so palpable, and they both were more victims in the family rift than actual participants, that the desire for the relationship and a second chance with a new outlook is strong. Different from the first books I’ve read from Annie Rains, the characters bring you to this story and reveal their secrets carefully, first to readers and then to one another as the story progresses.

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

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