Just One Taste by Kimberly Kincaid is the next book in her Pine Mountain series. While I still haven't found time and read the first two, the ones that I have read keep getting better and better. After reading, Fire Me Up, I was impatient to read Jesse's story and was really thrilled to find that it was up next. I was slightly sad to discover that it is a novella but it certainly holds up.
Here's the summary:
Jesse Oliver was a medic in Afghanistan, but back home in Pine Mountain he's happy to switch gears as the Double Shot bar's new sous chef. When his apartment floods and his old Army buddy offers the family's dilapidated lake house as temporary quarters, Jesse thinks a little remodeling on the creaky duplex sounds like a fair return favor. That's before he sets eyes on the gorgeous woman moving into the other side of the cabin—and discovers she's his buddy's kid sister, a.k.a totally off limits.
Kat McMarrin has fought hard for her space, and she's not too interested in sharing it. Of course, her job as a physical therapist means she won't see much of Jesse, even if he's a few thin floorboards away—unless she seeks him out. And with his sculpted body and slow-burn gaze, she might be tempted. Maybe the fixer-upper projects she has planned for the cabin will keep her mind off him. Or maybe her instincts to strip the place down will get out of hand…
This little story was really perfect in every way. Kat and Jesse are both strong, independent people. They are capable and happy in their own way, and when they get together they hit that perfect note of loving each other, but not being dependent on each other. They both have a fairly sad childhood (what is with that lately? All the Maisey Yates characters had a sad childhood too!) but while they are shaped by it they aren't hiding it away or trying to use it as an excuse.
The very best part of the book tho, is the relationship between Jesse and Kat's older brother. They are military buddies and trust each other to the core. Gabe's trust is such that he insists that Jesse share a duplex with his baby sister, and Jesse is determined not to break that trust. This is always always a favorite theme of mine, and it did not fail me here. If I had any quibbles with the book, it's that it takes place over a very short time period (but then, it IS a novella.)
I'm really happy to be finding new contemporary authors to glom onto and can't wait to read the next in this series.