REVIEW: No Place Like Home by Jennifer Kacey
The easiest—and hardest—decision she’ll ever make starts with a kiss. Coming Home, Book 1
In high school, Bianca Charleston was a nobody. An overweight wallflower, so invisible that Cole, the boy she had a crush on, never even knew she existed. Things have changed, and she’s finally ready to show off her new bombshell look. Sort of. Maybe. After a one-sided pep talk with her cat, she takes a deep breath and flies home to help out with the annual hospital carnival. Cole is there, too—and he still has no idea who she is.
FBI field officer Cole Johnson doesn’t have an easy job, and his nights are usually booked solid. Then in walks Charlie, a blonde with killer…everything. Suddenly he’s mentally clearing his schedule for a rare night out. While Charlie doesn’t do one-night stands, somehow after-dinner dessert is served up against the wall of her hotel room. But happiness will have to navigate an emotional minefield of preconceived notions—and a couple of not-so-secret stumbling blocks.
Warning: Contains a former ugly duckling, and a big-hearted FBI agent who knows how to get his money’s worth at a kissing booth. Plus, a little black dress that comes off a whole lot easier than Dorothy’s ruby slippers.
Dear Ms. Kacey,
OMG squee! Can I say how much I loved this novella? All right, let me get started. Cinderella theme? Got it. Heroine who can walk and talk at the same time? Yes and more on that later. Hot, sexy hero who goes for what he wants and has a secret weapon at his disposal – and I’m not talking about his service weapon or hand cuffs- ? Oh yeah. Plus great friends and fun times. This is a happy smile story.
It starts with delightful best friends dialog between Charlie and her friend from high school, Kia. I hope to see more of Kia in the future. Charlie might have been a wallflower back then but she and Kia made a lasting connection and Kia’s the kind of friend who goes all out when it’s needed.
Cole also has friends in his fellow agents including Grant. I hope to see more of him in the future too. Are you taking authorial notes as I put in my requests, hmmm? There’s just a teensy bit of “as you know, Bob” exposition here but we’re setting the stage in a novella so, okay, it’s all right.
I like that Charlie has other reasons to go to the fund raising than showing off her new awesome. I’m happy that Cole is immediately bowled over by Charlie and that she’s witty and collected back. She isn’t made to spaz for their initial remeeting. Gawd, I hate it when heroines have to fall over or trip or do something silly when “the meet” happens. Charlie keeps her head and manages to maintain her poise while they flirt through their first dinner. But they actually talk too, about serious stuff. Did I say how much I love this story?
Their sex flirting and hot sexing is even better. The chemistry is amazing and my ereader was sort of sending off steam while I read this bit. I’m usually not a fan of instalove but here? – totally on board with it.
“But… It’s more. Somehow.”
“What’s more? The sex is more?”
She nodded once and blinked as her mouth opened on a pant. “More.”
There are moments in a person’s life where everything comes together. Where they are in the perfect place, with the perfect person, and they were both exactly where they were supposed to me. Planets aligned and all that astrological hoopla.
This was one of those moments. Cole just knew it.
Then, Cole’s secret weapon of amazingness was revealed and I was with Charlie in being totally smitten. Definitely no plot moppet and these parts were so fricken’ cute I wanted to read them again as soon as I’d read them the first time. And a cat! Charlie can haz cute kitty and Cole prefers cute kittez. I’m in love. Sigh. The pink elephant in the room does get discussed and I’m okay with how that went. As Cole said, no he still really didn’t remember Charlie from high school but he knows who she is now and, you know, planets have aligned and all that astrological hoopla. It’s all good.
But wait! The proposal scene. Arrrgh, it’s wonderful. The gravy on the engagement ring slays me. Just slays me. And no, I won’t explain that. So total A grade here. Love it, mean it.