It Only Takes a Kiss

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

Hero is considered on the shelf and as such is living with her doctor father in his place in Cornwall.  She wants to be a doctor herself and has learned almost everything she needs to know from her father.  She’s woken up one night by locals who found a beaten man by the side of the road.  He is completely built, and Hero can’t help from noticing how beautiful his body is (how unprofessional, Hero!). 

The man eventually wakes up and doesn’t remember his past.  When he returned from the war he had pretty bad PTSD so that might be a good thing.  He eventually remembers and figures out that he is the third son of a duke and was arriving in Cornwall incognito.  He was to check the books of the land steward of his very own holdings.  Because the land steward isn’t on the up and up, they attacked the “bookkeeper” and left him for dead.  

The land steward turned out to be a very bad guy and was threatening to evict people from the land if they didn’t help him with his smuggling ring – this included part of Hero’s family.

I liked this story. I found the whole smuggling/land steward/amnesia story really worked for me.  I thought that Counts did a great job with all of that. She wrote a story that kept my attention and I wanted to keep reading.

 Unfortunately I didn’t feel as strongly about the romance in the story.  While I liked both Hero and Alex, I wasn’t feeling it between them.  Hero knew Alex by reputation, since he’d never actually been to that particular holding since he’d inherited it.  She knew the owner was a drunkard and a rake, and thought him the lowest of lows.  When she found out that Alex was the owner, she was pissed.  Of course, Alex had lied to her, but still, she should have listened when he’d said he’d changed.

In the end I found the book to be satisfying, but not as satisfying as I thought it would be at the beginning.  I was disappointed that the second half of the book wasn’t as good as the first half.  I still think it’s worth reading if you like smuggling stories.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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This was an engaging read that was hard to put down.  These are characters that you just have to get to know.
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Hero has worked along her physician father for several years and has learned through his tutelage how to heal. When a beaten and broken man is brought to them, after being left for dead, Hero takes over most of his care. When the man comes to after several days, he doesn't remember who he is so they call him Adam. Over time, he remembers that he is Lord Alexander Sterne and the lord of the Abbey in this small town in the English countryside.

Alexander is a seasoned soldier who suffers from nightmares from the battles and the men he lost and the horrors of war. Hero has her own nightmares that weigh heavily on her mind, also. The more time Alexander spends with Hero, the more he wants to be with her, maybe forever. Hero is skittish, though, and he realizes that maybe someone has hurt her and he wants nothing more to make the hurt go away. But, he is lying about not remembering who he is in order to get intel on his corrupt and evil land steward. Will Hero ever be able to forgive him when the truth comes out or will his lies destroy what could be between them?

I enjoyed the development of the characters in this book. There was some sex, although not terribly graphic. Their story is more about their budding relationship and their relationship with others in the community. There is smuggling, bullies and a lot of intrigue going on.

I was given an arc copy of this book by netgalley and I offer my review willingly.
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Set in Cornwell during difficult times for the lower classes, this historical gem centers around Hero, who has good reason to be bitter but instead is a well-loved assistant to her father, Dr Whitby. When a handsome man is brought to them after being badly beaten, she restores him to health. Although he has lost his memory, he knows he is a soldier and suffers from nightmares. The two help each other to heal and open their minds to new possibilities, especially love.
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I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is book 2 in the Once upon a Bride series. I enjoyed the story a great deal and just couldn’t put it down. I loved it a great deal but Hero towards the end was a little annoying. I hope that the next one is a good read as well.
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#IT ONLY TAKES A KISS,  #NetGalley  #attempted murder.  #smugglers.  #dispicable villains. #heroism
By Wilma Counts

Hero Whitney works with her father as his medical assistant in Devonshire. Her dad is getting elderly therefore he relies on Hero to do many things he cannot do any longer such as surgical procedures. One day two men carry in a third man who has been beaten terribly. He was found on the side of the road apparently attacked by highwaymen. As Hero and her father work on the unknown man, they realize he must have been a soldier at one time because of all the scars on his body. The clothes he was wearing were of fine fabrication, so they assume he must be fairly well off. But that’s all they know.

When he awakens, Lord Alex Stern, cannot remember who he is or where he is from. The doctor names him Adam Wainwright until he can remember his name. As the days pass and his memory slows returns, Alex and Hero become friends and an attraction starts to develop. But Alex knows he must be careful about revealing who he is when he does remember because of two reasons. First, Hero despises Lord Stern because she blames him for not looking after his estate Washburn Abbey or the estate ‘s tenants. Second, Stern knows someone tried to kill him as he traveled towards his homestead. He needs time to solve the mystery, and time to explain to Hero who he is.

This is a beautiful and exciting love story. Hero is a woman to be admired. She is intelligent, well educated, and very kind and understanding with people she meets. All except for Lord Stern when she realizes who he is. Stern,too,is admirable. He served honorably and bravely with Wellington during the war with France. And he genuinely wants to do right by the people who live on and farm his land. He is of the belief that his steward was taking care of things while he was on the continent. He’s come back to the Abbey to find out what has been going on in his absence.  He also works hard to win Hero’s heart.  You will enjoy this book. 

I was given a complimentary copy of this book for the understanding that I would give an honest review.
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A well written historical read, “It Only Takes a Kiss” is a sweet romance that encompasses multiple themes. Among the most notable is PTSD for both genders. 

Every character is well written with the female lead being both strong and intelligent and a dynamic male lead. While readers may come for the romance, it is the characters and story that truly shine in this story. In fact, the romance is the least interesting aspect of the novel, almost as if it’s an afterthought to the plot. While the story is entertaining, it is also an easy novel to set down and return to. 

Overall,  “It Only Takes a Kiss”  is an entertaining novel that is skillfully written with noteworthy characters.
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This is my first book by Wilma Counts.  I enjoyed it and found it to be a fun story.  I will definitely read more by her.  But though I enjoyed the book, it really didn't grab me by the throat; I was able to put it down and walk away for periods of time.

I really liked that Alex was formerly a military officer who fought at Waterloo.  Being from a military family (Semper Fi!), I always enjoy that type of hero.  Alex suffered from PTSD due to his military service.  This made him an interesting character to me.  I also liked Hero a great deal.  She, too, seemed to suffer from PTSD due to a severe trauma as a girl.  She assisted her father in his medical practice in a time when that was an unacceptable thing for a woman to do.  She was a very strong heroine. I thought Alex's brutal attack, his amnesia and the smuggling storyline were extremely interesting.

The romance of Alex and Hero, though, fell a little flat for me.  Though they were very sweet together, I really didn't feel the heat.  Also, the way Alex responded to Hero when she found out his secret rather irked me.  You lied to her, don't have the right to be offended!  It was still a nice romance in spite of that.  I am looking forward to going back and reading the first book I missed in the series.

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley.  I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
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It Only Takes a Kiss by Wilma Counts was a wonderful story with lots of action. This story has attempted murder, memory loss, smugglers, bad stewards, female doctors, love and so much more. It was hard to put down. I look forward to reading more from this author.
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I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and Lyrical Press for an honest review.
This book written by Wilma Counts was not just an Historical Romance but very factual in some ways as it describes the harsh realties of the devastating effects of war has on the soldier and how even now with all the scientific break throughs it can still be effecting upon man and women. The hero Alexander Sterne is one such man who although he is from the privileged class has to try to find out for himself where he fits into the world around him. The heroine, Hero Whitby as also suffered because of an devastating  attack on her by two young men of the higher class. When Alexander is found badly beaten and unconscious by the side of the road and is taken to Hero's home to be seen to by her physician father and  Hero is attracted to him. I found reading this story to be very pleasure and I will be looking forward to more books by this author. I highly recommend this book and this author.
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It Only Takes a Kiss by Wilma Counts is book Two in the Once Upon a Bride Series. This is the story of  Alexander Sterne and Hero Whitby.  I have read the previous book, but feel this can be a standalone book. 
Hero has taken to helping her father who is a Doctor and building her knowledge of his field. Hero had a troubling encounter with the aristocrats has settled into this life she has now.  But when a badly beaten man is in need of care it brings out some feelings in Hero.   Alexander was a soldier in Wellington's army and the third son of Duke of Thornleigh.  But he was set-upon, robbed and badly beaten which has left him with amnesia.  But he is quickly getting the reality of his settings and that there is something special about Hero.  
I have really enjoyed this series so far and was happy that this book just added to that feeling.
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While I do feel as though there were times when the pace of this story slowed to a crawl, and there were other times when details were added that were wholly unnecessary, on the whole, I very much enjoyed it. I liked that Hero was not only encouraged to help her father in the medical field, but respected all the more for it. I loved how strong-willed and independent she came across. This was truly a woman who was in charge of her own life, and who knew her own mind. 

I feel similarly about Alex. He has been through the horrors of war, still in face relives them in his dreams, but even then he is determined to do what is right to help others. Once he learns how dire things are on his estate, he jumps in with both feet to see they are fixed (or least on the path of being fixed). 

Their romance was an interesting one. On one hand I can understand Alex's reasons for some of the things he did, but it was because he didn't share those reasons that I can also understand why Hero reacted the way she did. There was a lot of drama and angst between these two that could have been resolved had they both not been so bloody stubborn.

All in all, I do think this story will be enjoyed by those who enjoy historical romances with strong characters, and intriguing story-lines. I would read more from this author! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
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Hero is an usual woman for this period, in that she plays a very active part in her father’s medical duties. This brings her in contact with Alex. Alex is the duke’s younger son and owns a property near Hero’s home. There are various misunderstandings, a delightful imp called Annabelle and treacherous smugglers and a villain, as well as romance. I enjoyed the strong sense of family and looking out for each other’s well-being. This was an engaging read. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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There are some pretty deep themes underlying this excellently written Regency romance; the hero is a soldier returned from war, and though he’s the wealthy third son of a duke with the world at his feet, some fairly major PTSD has him lost and floundering, like so many who came back both in those days and the current time, he finds it difficult to fit back into the world he once knew. 

Given a ‘mission’ to look over discrepancies in the accounts of a Cornish estate he inherited which he has never visited, Alex decides to head to Cornwall incognito - but not incognito enough. Attacked just before arrival, he is seriously wounded and suffers amnesia. Ending up in the care of the local doctor and his very competent daughter-assistant Hero, he soon finds there is more to this innocent-seeming Cornish village than meets the eye. With the local economy in tatters due to a corrupt steward’s embezzlement, many men are forced into the smuggling trade just to keep food on the table.

Alex has to wrestle with the moral dilemma of who deserves punishment and who deserves help, all the while falling madly in love with Hero, who is a delightful heroine years ahead of her time. Basically trained as her father’s apprentice, she is as competent a doctor as anyone could wish, but barred forever from recognition because of her gender. Seeking her own place in the world, it’s obvious to the reader that she and Alex will make a wonderful match, but of course there are a lot of obstacles to clear out of the way first.

Britain in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars was a country trying to find her way, with wealthy absentee landlords oblivious to the needs of their tenants, returning soldiers desperate for work, the Luddites fighting the rise of mechanisation and much more. The author cleverly weaves all this into her story, showing the empathy of the two (wealthy) protagonists by making them care about those around them and seek to improve the lot of the many rather than just the few. This is a really good, enjoyable read with a lovely romance atop a richly layered, thoroughly researched backdrop. Five stars.
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As always, this is a fair and honest review in exchange for this ARC.  Misconceptions, a temporary memory lapse, a heroine with a past fraught with distrust and a hero who must make things right.  Well told story with a bit of heat but not salacious.
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Best friends since their schooldays, Henrietta, Harriet, and Hero are wise and witty young ladies, embarking on the sometimes bumpy road to happily-ever-after, each in her own brilliant way . . . 
Hero Whitby her passion to be a doctor, working alongside her father, a respected physician. But when a badly beaten stranger is carried in to his practice,  he’s been robbed and left for dead, Alexander Sterne, third son of Duke of Thornleigh  has no memory of his past as a soldier in Wellington’s army—or as a carousing playboy. But as he becomes aware of his surroundings and the plight of the locals, Alex realizes only he can break the corrupt hold of an evil land steward. And when Hero’s tender kiss awakens him from sleep and restores his identity he knows that he must regain not only his strength but a newfound .them both.
This is the second of the three H’s stories but can easily be read on its own. Another well written engrossing read that I really enjoyed. It was well paced & had amnesia, secrets, smuggling, an evil steward as well as romance. Alex & Hero are very likeable, they are thrown together when Alex is beaten, they become friends but secrets threaten to separate them until they realise what truly matters. I'm looking forward to Harriet’s story

My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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It's a shame to say, but I didn't enjoy this book at all.  I loved the previous book and was looking forward to reading this one.  Unfortunately, there were a few things that went wrong that lead to me not recommending it.  

One, it didn't have enough development of the romance.  I felt like the reader was told they liked each other but wasn't shown.  There was nothing to indicate Hero and Adam were becoming closer, they just all of a sudden were kissing.  A lot of time kept passing by in the story, where they would be together for over a week, but that passage of time was just glossed over.  One minute you're in the present, and then ten days have gone by.  What happened during those ten days? 

Two, the history of sexual trauma.  This is a really sensitive subject and needs to be handled well when brought up in a romance novel.  Hero was assaulted as a teenager, but the way it's addressed in the book doesn't do a great job of conveying the gravity of what happened to her.  It was horrible, but she seems to be relatively calm after telling Adam about it.  That's just not how it would go in reality.  If you have been raped and not told anyone about it for years, the first time you do is not going to be smooth. And you're certainly not going to be right as rain after telling someone.  It just seemed odd and made me feel it wasn't well researched.

I definitely won't write off this author - I still like her.  It's just this book that is not one I enjoyed.
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It Only Takes a Kiss, book two of Once Upon a Bride series by Wilma Counts, is a good story. Most definitely worth a read. Three and a half stars.
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Wilma Counts does it again with another great Regency story.  In this, the second in the series, our heroine Hero is another of Ms. Counts's forward-thinking young women I find so endearing.  In an era when women are second-class citizens with few career opportunities outside the home, Hero has carved a niche for herself in her father's medical clinic as a physician in every way but name.  She can't get the education her father and brother receive, but she does the same work they do.  Sometimes better.

Absentee land owner Lord Alexander Sterne arrives on Hero's treatment table broken and unconscious after a roadside beating.  When he awakes, he has no memory of who he is, but he does know that Hero is the angel who woke him and kept him from the permanent sleep of the great beyond.

The author does a wonderful job of weaving the mystery of Alexander's identity with the historical aspects of Regency-era medicine, the government's crackdown on smuggling, and the challenges faced by soldiers returning from the war on the peninsula.  Addressing the social and societal problems of the era that are the hallmark of the author's many novels, and here she tells a layered, nuanced tale with a satisfying conclusion.  The author quite obviously has no patience with fainting heroines, providing her readers with strong-willed bluestockings of the highest order.
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I was totally engaged with 'It Only Takes a Kiss' until I was derailed with the sexual content.  With no spoilers, it just didn't ring true, and that was disconcerting in an otherwise lovely Regency story.  There are great villains, suspense, humor, likable characters and great location descriptions.  I was on a Georgette Heyer vibe high and was disappointed with the direction it went.  If you can skip over this problem I think you will enjoy the book.
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