Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: Kissing Comfort by Jo Goodman

Bode DeLong knows that his playboy brother Bram isn't really in love with Miss Comfort Kennedy, even though it's clear that she's enamored with him. With Bram's motives for the engagement suspect, Bode figures the safest place for Comfort to be is in his arms. Now, Bode just needs to convince Comfort that the childhood fancy she has for his brother is no match for the incredible desire that sparks between them every time they touch.
Jo Goodman is one of the few western historical romance authors whose works I read as soon as they are released. Kissing Comfort turned out to be a different type of western, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The story is set in late 1800's San Francisco and it's all about Comfort and Bode's romance with a bit of a mystery about Comfort's past. They've known each other for years and while Bode has loved Comfort from afar, she has been "in love" with Bode's brother Bram for years, or so she thought. After a fake engagement is announced between Bram and Comfort and later both Bode and Comfort are attacked in the streets of San Francisco, our couple gets closer to each other and sparks fly. There are bar fights, opium dens, gamblers, a kidnapping, some pretty evil villains, love scenes in a ship, and a competition between the brothers that has nothing to do with Comfort. Plus of course there are those family ties that are at the heart of this story -- both Comfort's and Bode's.

I love Bode as the male protagonist with his longing, love and passion for Comfort. And she is wonderful in understanding her old feelings for Bram and then the real feelings she develops for Bode. I like that Comfort doesn't let those old feelings get in the way of new ones. Her honesty and frankness are refreshing, as well as her love for her "uncles," and even for an old friend who betrays her. The scenes between Bode and Comfort are passionate and in some ways full of wonder. I like that.

The secondary characters in this story are quite good, Bram and his mother, uncles Newt and Tucker, and even Bode's assistant and butler all make excellent contributions to the story. I especially like Bram's story arc and am curious as to how or if his life will change. However, the weaknesses in this story come in the mystery of Comfort's past and how that is resolved, as well as the main villain's characterization which I think is underdeveloped. For me it's a case of too many coincidences and too pat an ending.

Overall Kissing Comfort is a solid historical romance with a wonderful setting, excellent main characters, good secondary characters that help the story along, a romance I really enjoyed, and a few weak spots. I understand Bram's story is on the works and look forward to finding out how he turns out.

Category: Historical Romance
Series: None
Publisher/Release Date: Berkley/September 6, 2011 - Kindle Edition
Grade: B

Visit Jo Goodman here.


  1. I liked this one too. I agree; I wish Comfort's past had been looked at more. Still, it was an interesting story in an unusual setting. And a lovely romance.

  2. Still have this on my TBR, but I adore her books. Thanks, Hilcia!

  3. I had no idea this is a western!!
    I love reading westerns of late, so I'll try to check this one out, you made it sound so good!

  4. Hi Phyl! I really enjoyed this romance and loved the setting and atmosphere. I think it has been a while since I read a historical set in San Francisco during that time, and from that perspective, so in a way it was rather refreshing. :) Comfort's past was intriguing and the resolution, although there, felt so... pat. Oh well, I really enjoyed the characters. I can't wait to read Bram's story now. :)

    Hi Lori! I think you're going to really like Comfort and Brode's romance and adventure. I loved the characters in this book. :)

    Alex, yes... this is a western! It's not the shoot-em-up kind, but it's actually a good one. Rangers, bad guys, gamblers and everything. I hope you like it. :)

  5. Interesting review, Hils! I bought this book, picked up to read and put it back down ^_^; Just didn't feel like it.

    Do you think Ms Goodman style has changed because she switched publishing house?

  6. I enjoyed this book Nath. The very beginning (introduction) really doesn't reflect the rest of the story (much), which I found interesting. It's a bit of background on Comfort. The rest of the story is quite good -- lots of romance with adventure.

    I'm not sure why Goodman's style has changed. As I've followed different writers careers throughout the years, I've found that writers change their writing style as they age and with experience. I do believe that they might change publishing houses because their writing styles change. :) I'm not sure how that works, though.

  7. Thanks for the review Hils. It sounds like the good out weighs the bad but even if it didn't, I'd still read it. :) Love Goodman!

  8. Leslie, the good definitely outweighs whatever negative is in there. I enjoyed this romance. Love Goodman too! :D

  9. Oh, that's the only thing I read, LOL, the intro so far... Hmmm, is A Place Called Home the sequel?

  10. Nath, that's what I thought! That you'd only read the intro... lol!

    No, A Place Called Home is a new contemporary. I'm enjoying Thomas' contemps and when I saw it well... decided it WILL be read. LOL! It doesn't look like it's related to any other series at the moment. :)

  11. PS Nath, I meant to say Goodman! Not Thomas... although I AM enjoying Jodi Thomas' contemporaries. *g* But anyway, this one looks interesting. LOL!


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