After the Kiss by Lauren Layne
Series: Sex, Love & Stiletto #1
Published by Loveswept on January 1, 2013
Buy at Amazon •
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.
Ugh. DNF at 50%.
I decided to try After the Kiss because the author was recommended for readers who enjoyed Julie James. I loved Julie James’ FBI/US Attorney series and I was excited to read something similar.
Sadly, this was not to be.
After the Kiss is – without a doubt – 100% a book where deception between the main characters is the entire plotline. As already noted, I have a major issue with deception based plotlines. They almost never (ever) work for me.
In After the Kiss, the heroine Julie loves casually dating: flirting, first dates, exploratory kisses, etc. She gets out before she gets bored. The hero, Mitchell, is the exact opposite: he longs for a secure and committed relationship. Both MCs have bets with their respective friends/coworkers that they can do the opposite of their norms: Mitchell is supposed to date casually and Julie is supposed to get into a real relationship. In order to make [these bets] work, the MCs pretend to be different people. Julie pretends she likes “movie night” at home instead of going out for drinks and Michell pretends he likes clubbing instead of staying home for movie night.
UGH! SO. Uncomfortable!
How can a real relationship start when the couple begins with lying to each other? I had to throw in the towel at 50%: the MCs still hadn’t come clean and I didn’t want to play anymore.