by Kim Bailey
Publication Date: December 29, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
4.5 F*CK FEAR CROWNS
Kim Bailey’s debut novel, Complex Kisses, blew me away with its emotional plot, delightful and endearing characters, and its live in the moment with no fear theme!
These characters are completely fantastic! Each one is complex and developed, with many layers to each. The heroine, Jamie, is a single mother who has returned home out of familial obligations. She is self-assured about her roles as a mother, but struggles elsewhere. She struggles between taking care of her estranged father and being there for her son. She is also struggles with reconciling with her father’s memory and who he is now. These issues make her want to run, to return to the safe, the normal, the expected, but she never plans on Eric. He awakens something in her, and makes her want to face all of her fears and hope for something more. Eric has his own set of issues, but what drives him is the carpe diem attitude. He spouts living in the moment, and he entices Jamie to live in the moment with him. For this, we love him. His guidance, compassion, understanding, awaken sides of Jamie that is needed for her to really live. But just as he gives Jamie a reason to face her fears, she gives him a reason to plan and to make plans for the future. His protective nature of his family and friends is another amazing attribute of Eric’s, and who can forget his courage to show and say how he feels! Eric has no qualms professing his love, and that made me love him as a hero even more.
Side note: Caleb and Hunter will steal your heart, and I am so excited for the next story in the series. Caleb’s story will, I have no doubt captivate me.
This plot is wonderfully and emotionally beautiful. The romance between Eric and Jamie is filled with heat and raw emotion. They hold nothing back, often baring their souls to each other. With each declaration, their love becomes stronger, and I found myself hoping for them to find a way around their past pains. There is also the inevitable plot line of the family members in the hospital. Seeing their journey and struggle is painful at times, but it isn’t a
frivolous use of their sickness. Kim Bailey’s uses these diseases to really drive home the message of living every day, of living in be moment, and of living without fear. This idea of balancing living in the moment while planning for the future really spoke to me as a reader. The final part of the plot is the the relationship between Jamie and her father. Kim Bailey does an amazing job at allowing them reconcile in a way that fits who they are as people and as a family. It isn’t forced, and it isn’t all sunshine and rainbow, but it is real and authentic, and his message to his daughter to f*ck fear resonates with anyone seeking to live a life full of adventure and experiences.
Kim Bailey’s debut novel has me in complete awe of her talent. Her tale of heartache, of reconciliation, and of love left me emotionally raw and truly exposed so many ideas about life that will resonate with any reader truly looking to live. Complex Kisses is an absolute must read!
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
When lost and living in the moment …
… can you be found with just a kiss?
Jamie Hartley ran away, leaving grief and heartache behind. Lost on her own. Raising a child. Her plan is simple. Make it through. Find her path. Survive.
Eric Anderson walked away, abandoning plans and expectations. Living day to day. Waiting for miracles. His goal is complicated. Make it through. Find a way. Endure.
In stolen moments of passion and pleasure, Jamie and Eric find reprieve from their complex lives.
Together, they eases the burdens. Together, they soothe the pain.
But can they recognize the future when it finds them?
Here and now.
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About Kim Bailey:
Kim Bailey is a Canadian author. She’s a born procrastinator and sarcasm junkie. She gets her motivation from coffee, the fact that her teenage children haven’t disowned her, and the smile on her husband’s face when she tells him “maybe”.
When she was young and naïve, Kim dreamed of being a documentary filmmaker, and script writer. But when real life happened, she went to a job that actually paid her. Now she’s a customer support specialist by day and romance writer by night.
Writing is something she’s always done – she has about 20 million half-started story ideas. She may also be a slight exaggerator.
Kim promised herself to set her fears aside and make the dream real. She’s working on that, one day at a time.