25 January 2017

"31 Kisses" by Chautona Havig

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Part of a series?: No
Genre: Christian contemporary romance; Christmas romance
Format read: Free e-book from Amazon
Sweet or hot?: Despite the premise of daily kisses, this heat level of this book is pretty low

Disclosure: “Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”

The last book I read had been on my iPad for a few months, but this one has been sitting in the Kindle app since 2012! As I suspected, this book fit in with my usual diet of light comfort reading, so I don't know why I let it sit for so long . . .

31 Kisses is a contemporary Christian romance. Our hero and heroine, Carson and Chessie, have a rather comical meeting in the supermarket and then part ways. Carson is new to town but has heard from the neighbors that there is a house in the neighborhood that he has to see because they decorate lavishly for every holiday. He walks his dog down to the house and discovers it is the home of Chessie and her widowed grandfather Gumpy. The grandfather thought Carson was perfect for Chessie when they all met at the store, so when he sees Carson again he gets excited and falls off the ladder he was using to take down the Halloween decorations. This sets off a chain of events that leads Carson and Chessie into a "kiss-a-day" pact for the month of December.

I thought this book was cute and it held my interest, but parts of it were awkward to me. Most of the awkwardness was surrounding how much Chessie fretted over the daily kiss with Carson, even after she agreed to it. In Christian historicals, it is a bit more understandable, but it is difficult to believe that a modern girl would get so upset by such a thing. There is also a scene where Carson asks Gumpy an extremely uncomfortable question (no spoilers!) that just seemed wrong. I know it was in service of getting Carson to a place where he is doing something nice and thoughtful for Chessie, but if any of my daughters' boyfriends had asked my husband that question on such short acquaintance, they would have been shown the door.

As far as the level of Christian content in the book, it is pretty low. My benchmark is Lori Wick, whose work I enjoy but some of her books read like Bible devotionals disguised as novels. In this book, we know that Chessie and Carson both go to church and that they, along with Carson's family, place a lot of importance on remaining physically "pure". There aren't big chunks of Scripture quoted in this book, however. With a little editing, this book could pass for a conservative secular romance rather than a Christian one.

This book has a Christmas theme, but I don't think you need to save it for December. Holiday decorating is used as a device to show how the hero and heroine approach life. The few awkward parts didn't stop me from enjoying the book as a whole. I think 31 Kisses is a good choice for anyone looking for a clean romance that isn't preachy.

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