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
Publisher/Release Date: Berkley/September 6, 2011 - Kindle Edition
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