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The Kiss Thief
Author: L.J. Shen
Publication Date: January 9, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
They say your first kiss should be earned.
Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.
They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.
Mine were broken before we left church.
They say your heart only beats for one man.
Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.
I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.
Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.
They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.
I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.
And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.
When I decided to read The Kiss Thief I hadn’t read the synopsis. I just saw that gorgeous cover with L.J. Shen’s name on it. I have been a fan of her writing for while now, and I was content to pick up anything she writes. That being said, I might have hesitated more had I realized there was a love triangle aspect to this one. I am not really a fan of that trope, but I’ll come back to that more later. Anyway. I went into this one blind, for the most part, and I am glad I did. I ended up enjoying The Kiss Thief. I might have missed out on reading it had I read the blurb first.
The Kiss Thief is the story of an arranged marriage between a mobster’s daughter and a senator. It’s not that simple, though. Said daughter was supposed to marry someone entirely different until the senator barges into the picture. The daughter is not thrilled with the change, nor is the original suitor. The betrothal of the daughter and senator starts a series of events that will change the three lives involved forever. (Pretty much what the blurb says, yeah?)
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the arranged marriage part of The Kiss Thief. Francesca and Wolfe started out at odds and I loved seeing their resolve slowly melt away. Francesca was young and a little delusional when it came to how life works, but I could forgive her that based on how she was brought up. It allowed for her to be filled with wonder at the perfect times in the story. Wolfe was an alpha jerk. He had his reasons, but he was hard to stomach at times. What else would you expect from L.J. Shen, though? Francesca would become the one crack in his armor, and I loved the way she chipped away at it. I only had one problem with their relationship. That problem is a spoiler, so I’ll just say there was a scene I couldn’t forgive Wolfe for. It made me mad and uncomfortable.
But wait, you say. Isn’t this a love triangle? Yep. Like I said before, I’m not a fan of love triangles. I wouldn’t say this one read like a true triangle, but close enough to irritate me at times. Mostly because I wasn’t an Angelo fan. Angelo is the man Francesca should have married. He’s the man she’s loved, the man willing to put everything on the line for her. There is a tenderness between them that Francesca doesn’t have with Wolfe. Angelo is everything Francesca has wanted. He causes problems for her with her husband to be, and makes Francesca question who she should be with despite what her father has arranged. I liked what Angelo added to the story, but I cringed a lot when he was involved. I just wanted him to go away so I could get back to Francesca and Wolfe. I picked my hero early despite his disposition.
The mob aspect of this love story added some interesting fun and even more intensity to this story. I loved how Wolfe became involved with Francesca’s father. It was entertaining to see how it all played out.
Overall, I found The Kiss Thief to be an addicting, dark romance. It is exactly what I have to come to expect from L.J. Shen. She manages to make me fall in love with characters I should hate.
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About the Author
L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.
Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.
She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.
Connect with L.J. Shen