Then, Again by Karen Stivali

THEN
Then, Again by Karen Stivali
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (233 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sunflower

Sometimes you have to lose it all to find what you really need.

Photographer Kay Turner is dealt a double whammy when she flies home for her grandmother’s funeral to find her boyfriend with another woman. Now with two losses to mourn, she retreats to her newly inherited beach house to clear her head.

Everything at the beach is familiar: the sounds of the ocean, the scent of her grandmother’s perfume—and the irresistible smile of James Margolis. The man Kay spent her adolescence pining for is every bit as charming as she remembers.

James always thought of Kay as “a nice kid”, but he feels something very different for the woman she’s become. Especially when he asks if she’d be willing to part with some of her grandmother’s recipes for his new restaurant—and they wind up sharing much more than culinary secrets.

But as their relationship deepens, Kay finds herself caught between the demands of her dream career as a travel photographer, and a chance for happiness with the one man she’s wanted for a lifetime.

A woman with a thriving career is about to learn life has its own plans, and things aren’t going to turn out the way she imagined at all….

Kay Turner is a small town girl gone big. She’s got a job she adores, which takes her on many travels, camera in hand. It isn’t until she comes home early that a few surprises are in store. You know how sometimes things get worse before they can get better? I find that saying to be true for Kay. Two hits in a row, and she’s on her way back to a place she considered a refuge, full of memories and at this point in time, they’re a little bittersweet. I like that Kay has to confront some things in her past in order to move on with her future. Coming back to town puts her face to face with a good friend from her past, James.

It seems James hasn’t forgotten about Kay. They used to be friends, although his true feelings had always been withheld. Now, James and Kay are free to explore the possibilities of what could be. But Kay’s situation is only temporary. Eventually, she’ll have to make a decision. I like James’ character. He’s a good guy, has had a few of his own problems in his past, but he’s a good friend to Kay, and would love to be more.

Their attraction starts of slow and then suddenly turns into a sizzling fire that’s hotter than fireworks. The pacing of the story is good, slow in a few areas, and while I enjoyed the sparks and attraction between Kay and James, I felt like there was a lot of extra sex as filler. I think the story could have been fleshed out a little more with a few less sex scenes. There’s a good build of conflict, as Kay struggles with what to do with the house that’s now up to her to work on, and James has a woman from his own past that keeps coming in and wanting favors from him.

I enjoy Ms. Stivali’s work, and while Then, Again isn’t my favorite read of this authors, it’s still a fun, sexy read that can be enjoyed by the pool side or any other time. Why not grab yourself a copy?

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