Kai's Healing Smile by Vivi Anne Hunt

'My own hurt seemed like nothing compared to his. I hoped we could help each other heal.' - Kai, Kai's Healing Smile.

From the blurb:

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 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?

Tropes: age gap, hurt comfort, Daddy/boy kink
Content warnings: mature sexual content and language
Trigger warnings: sexual assault, grief

Laora's Review:

I was intrigued by the title, and after reading the blurb, I was wondering how the story would develop.
I was drawn to the queer fact and finding attraction and love again after losing a partner/spouse and how to keep hold of both loves in Silas his life.

Silas and Kai both grew on me throughout the book grew on me. I did not enjoy Kai with the fudging etc and I however, felt slightly let down by Kai his behaviour at Ellie her death day, both felt immature. And Silas by seemingly placing both Ellie and Kai on a pedestal, due to their smiles. 
I however, liked that Silas as well as Kai saw more facets of each other the further I got in the story.  And I liked the daddy/ boy dynamic, which was especially prevalent in their 'heated' scenes.

I also particularly enjoyed the side characters ; Jason stoner yoga guy & protector, May fierce friend & witch and Wes BFF, not afraid to tell the truth and even adorkable  & slightly strange Nathaniel.  
Simon was the villain in the plot and kinda disappeared from the story without knowing what exactly happened to him, but that is not a major issue for me.

Overall, I found this a balanced age gap mm romance with enough humour and both a gay and a bisexual main character.

Rating: 4 Stars

Reedkaye's Review:

This is a new author for me. Kai's Healing Smile brings out a number of different emotions. Silas is centered on the loss of his wife. He does things that make him still feel close to her, such as his visits to Starbucks. Since this is a daily occasion, he starts talking to the barista Kai.

Kai has noticed Silas and felt an attraction to him. He gets flustered as they have small talk conversations. As Kai’s life changes and Silas actually sees Kai as more than his daily Starbucks barista they start hanging out. The flow of how this relationship develops and how Silas’s dealing with his loss of his wife also changes I could not help but want to see them together. There are a few twists to them getting there.

This author has a way of describing the situations and emotions that make this story so appealing. I’m looking forward to reading more of her stories.

Rating: 4 Stars

Janet's Review:

Kai's Healing Smile was a sweet story to read! 

This was written by a new to me author and I’ll definitely be looking for more by them.  Silas has been struggling since his wife died. He starts talking to Kai, a barista. Kai smiles at him and slowly starts to bring Silas back to life. I felt Silas’s grief, it felt palpable and realistic. Kai and Silas are well developed with some great character building. They are surrounded by some fantastic friends! 

The story was well developed and engaging, kept me engaged. Overall, a fantastic read! Well written with great pacing. Highly recommend it.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Kai's Healing Smile is currently available as an e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription