Novella Review-Just a Kiss by Ally Broadfield


May Contain Spoilers


Just a Kiss is a very cute story.  The premise is one of my favorites – clever young woman with no dowry has to find a match before being stuck for the rest of her life with an odious acquaintance.  In this case, Charlotte is being pressured to marry the cousin of her sister-in-law.  Both the sister-in-law and the cousin are horrible, selfish people, so it’s a good thing that Charlotte has a backbone and stands up to them.  They keep plotting to compromise her so that she will have to marry Horace (with a name like that, you know he’s going to be an awful toad), but fortunately, Sebastian, Earl of Marley, steps in to save the day.


Sebastian is under some pressure to find a suitable bride.  His grandmother raised him, and now she is frail and often falls ill.  She wants nothing more than to see him wed, and to see her great-grandchildren.  After her latest bout of illness, Sebastian makes up his mind – he will finally marry and make his grandmother happy.  Now, he just has to find a woman who doesn’t drive him nuts with her simpering!

Charlotte has been promised a season by her much older half-brother and guardian, and she intends to make full use of her opportunity.  Elizabeth, her SIL doesn’t even want to sponsor her for the season, and instead accepts Horace’s proposal on her behalf.  Richard puts down his foot though, and agrees that Charlotte will have her season, but if she can’t land a suitable match, she will have to marry Horace.  Yuck! The pressure is on! 

Sebastian is intrigued by Charlotte, but he realizes that he must find a better match for himself.  With his wealth and title, only Princess Tarasova will do.  Because he feels sympathy for Charlotte’s position, he has a proposition for her.  If she helps him with his suit, he will pay attention to her, and thus improve her chances of making a match herself.  Only as time goes along, Sebastian begins to wonder if the princess is really the woman for him, because he is draw to Charlotte like a moth to a flame.  None of the eligible bachelors meet with his approval, either, because they all have one fault or another.

I felt bad for Charlotte for most of the book.  When her  parents died, leaving her in Richard and Elizabeth’s care, she lost every possession she owned.  It all was transferred to Richard and his evil hag of a wife.  Charlotte was never made to feel welcome in their home, and if it wasn’t for their children, she would have been in dire straights indeed.  Her nieces and nephews showered her with the love her guardians did not, and her oldest niece, Amelia, was her best friend and confidant.  Because Elizabeth was so awful to her, I was counting down the pages until Sebastian came to his senses and declared his love for Charlotte, and how wonderful it was when he finally did.  Take that, Elizabeth,  you pathetic excuse for a human being!  That ward you treated like crap is now of a much higher station than you!  Though Charlotte was far too nice to get any kind of revenge on Elizabeth for treating her so poorly, it’s nice to know that she could have if she really wanted to!

Just a Kiss is a fast read, with likable characters that you want to see find their HEA.  This is a great weekend read, so load it on your eReader – it’s only .99!

Grade:  B/B+

The trailer for Just a Kiss is so cute and creative! Watch it if you have some time –

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Charlotte Lightwood has one season to find a husband or she’ll be forced to marry her guardian’s loathsome cousin. With no title or dowry, she doesn’t have much hope of making a good match. Sebastian Wilkinson, the Earl of Marley, has been the most eligible bachelor on the marriage mart for more years than he cares to count and is very aware of his duty to marry a woman who will add to the wealth and stature of his title. Sebastian makes Charlotte an offer she can’t refuse: he will pretend to court her to help her attract more suitors in exchange for her advice about which ladies he should pursue. As they work together, their mutual attraction grows. When they realize they just might be perfect for one another, they must decide whether to bow to the dictates of society or follow their hearts.