Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The First Kiss by Grace Burrowes

Oh, happy day! My second contemporary romance, The First Kiss comes out today, and it's a story particularly dear to my heart.

James Knightley is the good-looking youngest brother, full of charm, competent at whatever he turns his hand to. Because his older brother Trent (A Single Kiss) is the family law expert, and older brother MacKenzie (Kiss Me Hello) is the criminal law expert, James has made a niche for himself in the family firm as a business lawyer.

Whether he enjoys business law or not.

James is also the gorgeous guy the ladies call for a rebound night on the dance floor, or when they want to flaunt a handsome escort before their exes. He accommodates the ladies, even if he's been on his feet all day in the court room.

James keeps all the family vehicles running smoothly, because every family needs a shade tree mechanic, whether he has time to change the oil or not. When a need arises, James obliges, even if he'd rather stay home and read the Farmer's Almanac, because he's kind, and because taking up the slack, taking care of business, doing what needs to be done is what James does.

Vera, James's new neighbor, is a younger sibling like James, also a piano prodigy. She too, fell onto a path in life because others expected it of her. When she and James connect, both of them have a chance to re-evaluate their choices, and what they want out of life.

Vera and James have to walk away from other people's expectations of them, and that's hard, especially when the other people are family, and we've let them rely on us for a long time to fill roles we're not really keen on. Each finds strength in the other's regard, though, and it turns out family can be our biggest supporters when we're ready to make a change.

When I love writing a story, I know there's a good chance the readers will love that story too. I'm the sixth out of seven children, and a helpful sort. James and Vera's dilemmas spoke to me, and I think they'll resonate with readers too. If you'd like to read an excerpt from The First Kiss or order a copy, click here.

Many of you will already have a copy of this book, so I'll send the reader's choice of The First Kiss, or the first prequel novella, Kiss and Tell, along with its Scottish contemporary successor, Must Love Highlanders, to two commenters.

When have you have to step back from a longstanding role, and how did other people react? Is there a role or a job that's not such a good fit, and can you see a time when you can leave it?


  1. Congrats on the release! I just had to step down from a blog I loved. It was hard, but I had to admit I can't do everything.

    1. I will never forget the struggle I put myself through with an accounting class in college. I could not get that material, hated the class, but would have to stay for another quarter if I dropped it. Talked to my adviser, who cut a deal with me: Drop the class, but try constitutional law instead. And thus the twig did bend. I've always wondered: Did I enjoy that con law class, or was I just soooooo relieved to get out of accounting?

  2. I haven't mastered the technique of letting some things go when it's time. I worked at the same company for over twenty years. Near the end of that time, new management made many changes and demands. Working crazy long hours, and working with people I didn't respect, much less like, was taking its toll on me, yet I hung on. The company ended up going bust, so fate helped me out. In the long run (and after the shock) it worked out for the better.

    1. That's been true with me, too, Bonnie. The couple of times I was laid off, from jobs I liked, I ended up in a better situation, though the transition was scary. Hats off to you for landing on your feet!

  3. Hi Grace--congrats on the new release! As for me, I haven't found my dream job...I seem to like anything that I have the chance to do. In other words, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up (better do it soon since I'm 45!)...I have had, however, to put my foot down with certain family members. I am the family confidant and I am the family referee--even when I was a kid (I'm a middle child), I was always the one who had to stop people from killing one another. When finished community college I decided to move away to go to college out of state. The entire family--especially my parents--threw a hissie fit because I refused to everyone's human shield.

  4. I usually stick things out to the bitter end lol. I may not sign up again for something but I don't think I've ever totally walked away unless it's something life changing like quitting a full time job when I had my children or when I went to another state for a while when my husband was in the service. I can remember the first company I worked for that moved out of state. I had lost my seniority for moving when I left with my husband but went back to the same company. Everyone got bonuses for how long they had worked multiplied by how old they were. I got nothing but instead of looking for another job right away I stayed to the end. I guess I didn't like change lol.

    Congrats on your contemporaries - I'm still catching up on your backlist :)

  5. A few years ago I had to step back from leading a church group I loved. It was just time. I needed to take care of several home responsibilities and the group needed some new blood. Everyone was very supportive and, happily, I am now back with the group in a lesser role.

    I am looking forward to your newest book, Grace. (As always!)

  6. I am staying home with the kids and working only part-time. I think that surprised a lot of people because I am usually a workaholic. Not that I enjoyed the stress but I see work as a 'duty' and a 'purpose'. I still think that work helped me set a purpose but it's not my only purpose. Working part-time for now is a good solution for me.

    Congrats on your newest book! It's a change to see you writing contemporaries but I am looking forward to it. :)

  7. haven't really encountered that

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  8. Two years ago, I resigned from a fundraising position that I had held for over seven years with my dog club. I loved the job but realized that I was taking a weeks vacation and working and paying for a hotel room! I wasn't enjoying myself.
    It's hard to break away from a pattern especially if you do enjoy the work.
    Am enjoying these contemporaries very much and hope you have many more planned! :)

  9. I was very career driven for many years - very much a type A personality especially when it came to school and work.. Even back in middle school, I planned on having a career and not having kids. Then I met my husband and my priorities changed. I was a stay at home mom and full time school volunteer for many years. I don't regret quitting my job to focus on my kids. :-)

    I'm trying to hold off on reading the series until all 3 books are out, but it has been very difficult! I'm hoping February passes quickly.