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Review: Kai’s Healing Smiles – Vivi Anne Hunt

Kai's Healing Smiles - Vivi Anne Hunt

Genre: Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Tony

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About The Book

Can a smile heal a broken heart?

Silas is mourning the loss of his wife. Every day, he is going through the motions and barely managing to keep the excruciating pain from overtaking his life. There is precisely one ray of sunshine in his days — Kai — the smiley, awkward barista at Starbucks. For some reason, Silas finds comfort in being around Kai and soaks up as much light as this sweet boy could give him.

For the short time Kai has worked at Starbucks, he has secretly watched one man from afar, hoping that one day he would notice him back. He looks all mature, business-like, and always sad. One day Kai finally gets the chance to speak to him. And this is where their story begins.

Will Silas be able to let go of the past and start fresh? And will Kai be able to heal the gloomy man with his smiles?

The Review

Kai’s Healing Smiles is a love story between two guys from different backgrounds and life experiences.

Silas is a wealthy architect in mourning for his wife. He also has a billionaire stalker / client who is his nemesis and is making unreasonable requests.

Kai is a Starbucks barista who has become the only light in Silas’ day, even though his choice of coffee concoction is more a penance than a celebration of his dead wife’s love of coffee.

Kai’s background is vaguer, although he is otherwise a well-rounded character with nicely weird friends and flatmates. He does have his own stalker, who gets to play his hand, and in doing so helps to cement Silas’ and Kai’s relationship.

There are fun moments, and also some darkness to counterbalance the sweetness. Both main characters have their faults and their good points, but I was uneasy about the way their first romantic / sexual encounter plays out.

Silas is still not over his wife and has been slow in opening himself up to having another relationship when, all of a sudden, he becomes a ‘daddy,’ declaring his attraction from the first time he saw Kai. This is far from what I was led to believe from Silas’ early behaviour and internal monologues.

Still, Silas is definitely in need of Kai’s healing smiles, and he is very lucky to have them directed at him.

The positives here far outweigh the negatives making this an entertaining read.

The Reviewer

Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on 

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