Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery

Just One Kiss


He won't hesitate to put his life on the line…but will he ever risk his heart?

Falling for Justice Garrett was a high point in Patience McGraw's otherwise awkward adolescence. Even after he disappeared, Patience never forgot the boy who captured her heart. Now he's back in Fool's Gold, California, and her passion for him is as strong as ever. But how can she trust that he won't abandon her again—and her daughter, too?

When bodyguard Justice Garrett was a young man, witness protection brought him to this idyllic town and he never forgot its warmth, or the sweet beauty of his childhood friend. He's returned to open a defense academy, and the Patience he once knew is all grown up. He can't resist her smile, or her curves. But Justice's past doesn't make him husband, or father, material.

Patience and Justice think they'll succumb to just one kiss… Then one more… Okay, just one night together. But they might learn that falling in love is beyond anyone's control.


After reading the first two Stryker brother's books I had high expectations for Just One Kiss. It was an interesting story, but I couldn't help but want more. I felt like it ended too quickly and I wish there would have been more of the suspenseful parts.

This is the story of Justice and Patience. When they were younger Justice lived in Fool's Gold briefly. Patience was 14 and was best friends with Justice until one day she realized she liked him as more than a friend. On the day she was going to tell him she gets interrupted by someone else. She decides no matter what the next day she is going to find the time first thing in the morning and tell him, however the next day he is gone. Everything is gone from his house. It is like he was never there. She always remembered him, though she did get pregnant and was briefly married. Now many years later he is back.

All those years ago Justice was in the witness protection program. His father is not a good guy and when Justice sides with the cops instead of him he vowed to kill his son. They put him in witness protection and the day they left suddenly was the day after his father was sighted near town. He always remembered Patience, but thought maybe he had made her better than she was in his mind. When he sees her again he knows he didn't make her larger than life. If anything she is better than he remembered. He still has some issues with who he is and who he will end up being. He thinks he will be just like his dad and he cares about Patience and her daughter too much to let anything happen to them. He really can't control himself when she is around, but he tries to as he doesn't want to hurt her.

Justice also thinks he sees his dad around a few times even though his dad is supposed to be dead (burned beyond recognition in a prison fire). That is where the suspense aspect comes in, but it is just quickly resolved and over with. One thing I have found with these Susan Mallery books, they end very quickly. The guy and girl are always drawn to each other, but don't really feel like they deserve the other (or at least one of them feels that way). They end up together, everything is fine, then the guy freaks out and leaves only to realize what he had and come back and the girl instantly takes them back and it is a happy ending two seconds later. After reading all of these I can't help but want just a little bit more. Then endings are always so sudden and this was a great example of where there could have been more to the story but the author didn't make use of the plot she had written. This would have been amazing as a romantic suspense novel, or take out the suspense part since nothing really happened with it. It was over too quickly. Still a good read, I liked Justice and Patience, I just wish there would have been more to the story.

Rating: 3.5/5

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