willaful's Reviews > Kissing Comfort

Kissing Comfort by Jo Goodman
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Goodman’s specialty is writing tormented heroines who are survivors as well as victims. Comfort Kennedy was named after a tin of lozenges she was clutching when she was found by prospectors Newt and Tuck, the only survivor of a wagon train massacre. Twenty years later, Comfort and her beloved “Uncles” have built an extremely prosperous life for themselves as bankers in San Francisco, and no one is surprised when Bram DeLong announces their engagement -- except perhaps Comfort, since he never asked her.

Comfort is far too clear-sighted about Bram’s faults to ever marry him, despite the fact that she loves him, but she reluctantly agrees to a short fake engagement. But as Bram’s brother Bode discovers, Comfort and the DeLongs have been drawn into a complicated scheme, and it will take his strength and hers to save all of them from disaster.

The characters are the stars of this book. Bode is quietly strong, a steady and responsible man with a ruthless streak. Comfort is smart and capable, but sometimes crippled by PTSD and occasionally misled through her own need for comfort. The uncles are particularly lovable, homey old friends who know each other inside and out, and who can turn just about any situation into a wager between the two of them.

Although I enjoyed the story overall, and Goodman’s intricate, elegant writing, I couldn’t help feeling that the book was prone to anticlimax. There was a lot of build up that needed more follow through, and I was disappointed that we never do find out much about Comfort's past. But the characterizations and wonderful chemistry between Bode and Comfort and the uncles make it still a very good read.
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