Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton

Posted September 10, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 26 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton
One Perfect Kiss

One StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Hope #8
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on September 4, 2018
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

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The Delight

As a fan of small town romance, I’ve enjoyed the string of stories set in Hope, Oklahoma with their gentle plots and tender, but slightly spicy romances.  A bit of conflict between two teachers at the local high school and a side of attraction seemed just the thing for the Back to School time of year.


One Perfect Kiss is book eight in the Hope series.  While the characters are rather new and their situations were unknown before this making it seem like it would make an alright standalone, there is a lot of appearances, catching up, and time spent with the previous characters in the series.  All that to say, it might drive one a bit nutso trying to keep up with all the names and situations so it might make a bad place to jump in.

Zach is the football coach and history teacher at the high school.  He’s laid back and remembers what it was like to need football and need to do well.  He had his chance at a football career, but now he’s content with his small town life.  Josie is the somewhat buttoned up high school English teacher.  Being open to friendship and even the attraction with Zach is enough to tie her up in knots.  He’s trying to be patient with her issues even while she shuts him down because of her past.

I like this series and eagerly pick up each new installment, but there have been a couple stories that just didn’t click for me.  One Perfect Kiss will be one of them.  I couldn’t engage with the story and never really warmed up to Josie.  I was expecting more of the football and school setting side.  Zach’s a sweetheart and was the whole reason I kept reading.  Frankly, I got bored and could care less if they got together because I didn’t feel the romance and things just seemed to todder along the surface giving me nothing to latch onto.  Zach makes efforts with Josie while she comes on strong or pulls back in turn with no real reason that Zach caused.  There were some cute and fun moments, even some swoon at times.  It was okay in the end and I enjoyed dropping in with the circle of friends and the setting.

Yep, all in all, it was mild and alright.  Not particularly engaging, but not bad.  Series fans are the group it would target.  Still, I do enjoy the series and the author’s writing, generally so give the series a go when you get the chance.

My thanks to Penguin for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


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About Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 50 books. She lives in Oklahoma and when she isn’t on deadline (which is often), she can usually be found wrestling with her uncooperative garden, wrangling her dogs, watching an unhealthy amount of television, or completely losing track of time reading a great book. She’s a total romantic and longs for the happily ever after in every story, which you’ll find in all her books.. Visit her website at for excerpts, her blog and contest information.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Karen

    I’ve always enjoyed her books. I haven’t read one in years though and maybe this isn’t the one to jump back in on. I’ve read a few reviews similar to yours.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • No, not a good jumping in spot- not b/c of my reaction, but because the larger circle of friends from earlier books do have a strong presence. I guess at least she does write a variety of character types. 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    I don’t know if I’ve read her or not. Thanks for sharing Sophia Rose 🙂 xo

    • I’ve picked up a few of her sports romances and would like to try some of her older motorcycle ones, but this small town series seems to be my favorite. 🙂

  • I did read a few of her sport romances but in the end it was too much the same.

    • I’ve only read two of them so didn’t experience that, but bummer. I have read a few series where it felt like just the names changed. 😉

  • Shari Delighted Read

    I gave up on this series after one book really ticked me off. I find I fall in love with Burton’s new books in a series, but then about book 3-5 I start falling away from them. They don’t seem as original or as engaging. I did the same with her Play by Play series, which I adored the first book.

    • I know the exact book and I skipped it when I saw your review b/c I knew it was the sort of thing to annoy me, too.

      This is the only series I’ve read more than two in so I couldn’t say for the other one, but yes, there seems to be books that sparkle and others just feel like half efforts missing some opportunities to go deeper with some of the situations.

  • That pup is adorable!

    • So cute! Each book has a different doggie star and I enjoy that part. 🙂 I think my favorite is the big burly bartender and the little chihuahua lady dog his ex left with him.

  • I hate when I am unable to connect to the story. I can imagine how you must have felt about this one.

    • Yes, it was disappointing because the setting and set up and even the hero worked for me, but then the actual story just floated along without grabbing me. Oh well!

  • I have heard mixed reviews about this series here. I like her Perfect Play series but haven’t picked these up though.

    • I think the biggest thing is that some of the books don’t have enough real conflict to keep it engaging for 300 pages. Nothing bad about the series and its a sweet one for small town romance lovers, but a few (like this one) are really bland.

  • This is another series that I do want to try. It is good to know that it is probably best to start at the beginning. Sorry this one didn’t hold your interest as well as you had hoped.

    • Oh neat! Glad you are planning to try it, Carole. They are sweet and gentle ones with a good small town friends flavor. Yeah, I love the series overall and haven’t felt strongly against even the ones that were on the tepid side like this one, but definitely go in order so you can keep track of the pile of friends and connections. LOL

  • Sounds like this was a little meh, Sophia. Which is OK for a book in a series, I guess – but it’s also a little sad in a way. I’m sorry you didn’t connect with Josie. That’s the worst for me – if I can’t feel any kind of connection with the main characters, I’m not too happy about the overall story either.
    Great review!

    • Very true! I don’t mind so much when its deeper in the series and I already like it. A little sad b/c I wanted to like it, but felt like I was just marking time until the end through large parts of it. Oh well, next one. 🙂

  • Sounds like it was just ok but that’s better than bad.

    • Very true! I didn’t hate it, but it was bland. 🙂

  • I tried a holiday novella of this author and it was part of a series and didn’t work for me. Too bad the series is hot or miss.

    • Yeah, some series it’s fine jumping in and this one would be back nearer the beginning, but now, there are too many people popping in that you’d wonder who they were and how they came to be involved.
      I’ve read all, but one of these and there have been a couple that I found were misses even if I didn’t really hate them. A couple were super cute and heartwarming though. 😉

  • Northwomn

    I’ve read one of the books in this series awhile ago and just haven’t made it back. I try to never read out of order. I’ve also read a few other things by this author. They were all fine but not amazing. So pretty much what you said. Anne – Books of My Heart

    • I’ve read two from her sports romance series and most of these. I am not a strong contemporary romance fan so I admit that I do have a hit or miss thing going with most of them. I need more than the romance itself to interest me and when there isn’t, I get bored. So, these are so-so ones for me, but I do like to pick them up now and then.

  • Ah I have this one on my missed review pile. Oops! I will tamp down my expectations going in 🙂

    • Yeah, it wasn’t awful or even bad just dull at times. I just didn’t get into her reasons for holding him away and holding up the romance. I think it might have been somewhat personal perception so I don’t want to put you off it if you’re in the mood for the slow pace small town feel right now. 🙂