A quick and lighthearted novella, this story was, for me, very reminiscent of other story lines. Julie is a smart and bright woman, a reporter who is personally addicted to the ‘firsts’ in a relationship: first kisses, first dates, and the potential they provide. Far less invested in a ‘relationship” she writes a column on dating firsts: first dates, first contacts, first kisses. Content with her column, it isn’t until she is assigned a story to document the steps of a relationship that her personal cracks start to show. Working for Stiletto (think Cosmo ) she and her two best friends have a feel of Sex in the City to me, with a touch of advice columnists thrown in.
Mitchell was a cleverly penned character with the ability to push every one of Julie’s buttons and still manage to show her where the woman’s magazine advice was less than useful, if not downright ridiculous. Still, he managed to play coy and keep her off balance, which made for some terrific banter between the two. It wasn’t until the very last quarter of the book, however, before their connection started to feel at all real or plausible.
The story has good and bad points: emotional investment in the characters was uneven and hard to come by early on. Perhaps that was part of the familiar feel to the story and plot, the only big twist coming in the protagonist’s feelings and assertions about relationships.
It could also be that they both felt very immature, despite their obviously older than early twenty year old selves. Secondary characters popped in and out, adding some points for conflict in the main story and maintaining the banter, and the conversations were beautifully written with a pacing and imagined delivery that felt natural and real.
Title: After the Kiss
Author: Lauren Layne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Loveswept
Published on: 26 August, 2013
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour
In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.
Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.
Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.