by Jo Goodman

September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-425-24390-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Comfort Kennedy is blindsided at a birthday party for Bode DeLong. When Bode doesn’t show up his brother, Bram, tries to salvage the party by announcing his engagement to Comfort. The trouble is that they are not engaged and Comfort doesn’t like the idea of deceiving Bram’s mother. After a fair amount of begging, Comfort agrees to a time-limited engagement. At the end of the set time, Bram must announce the engagement is over.

She has been in love with Bram DeLong since she met him at her coming-out party. If he loved her in return then Comfort would have been overjoyed at the prospect of becoming his wife. Instead, he is using her to his own purpose. If she were not friends with his family it would have been easier to refuse Bram’s plea.

Bode arrives at the party the worse for wear. He was attacked on his way to his mother’s house by a gang of thugs known as Rangers. But that isn’t the only surprise of his night. He learns that Bram is engaged to Comfort Kennedy. Bode doesn’t trust his irresponsible brother. He suspects Bram has an ulterior motive for engaging himself to Comfort and Bode is determined to find out what that is. Comfort deserves to be with someone who appreciates her and loves her. Someone like him. How can he convince Comfort of that when she is already in love with Bram?

Kissing Comfort is Jo Goodman’s newest book. The heroine was found at the age of five by two men at the site of a massacre. Those men took her with them and raised her as their own. They named her Comfort Elizabeth Kennedy because she’d been clutching a tin of lozenges with a similar name. Her ’uncles’ became very rich men and opened a bank of their own. They loved her and taught her well, but they could not stop the nightmares that tormented Comfort for years to come. Because of her unusual upbringing, Comfort has no interest in society’s games. She’d rather be working at the bank than attending balls. Her uncles don’t share Comfort’s love for Bram. They see him for what he is: A womanizing ne’er-do-well. They team up with Bode to find the reason for Bram’s firm decision to make Comfort his wife. When Comfort is exposed to harm, the men realize solving her past may be the only thing that will save her future.

This book has so many twists and turns it is sometimes hard to remember the original goal. It starts out slow because the author gives the reader in-depth character histories but once the actual story begins the pace quickens. Kissing Comfort is character driven but I failed to notice any character growth. The story is interesting and suspenseful, the scenes between Bode and Comfort are smoking hot; an overall good read.

Reviewed in October 2011 by Rho.

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