Kiss the Girl

Kiss the Girl - Melissa Brayden If you could only buy one book among all of this year's romantic lesfic releases, this should be your first choice. With Kiss the Girl, Ms. Brayden steps into that exclusive club of romance-only authors whose every release will be eagerly awaited and snapped up by the hopeless romantics.

Brooklyn grew up being bounced around in the foster home system, eventually finishing her late teens in a group home. Being given up time and again has made Brook wary of love and relationships. Fortunately she has managed to hang on to a steadfast group of friends from a LGBT school club and they’ve gone on to form an advertising firm that’s gotten good enough to go after the big accounts. As Fate would have it, the first woman she’s seriously attracted to turns out to be the head of their fiercest rival.

If I had to describe the book in one word, it would be ‘well-balanced’. It is a feel good story, but not as syrupy sweet as her last book, if you don’t count the Midnight Chocolates, but those are for emergency crisis resolutions. ;) There is angst sprinkled throughout, but nothing feels overwhelming or contrived because the characters act like real people--they actually talk things over. This is a dialogue heavy book and I love the exchanges--witty, but not over-the-top, mature and realistic--but only after I figured out who said what. I needed to backtrack more than once. Is this how they do dialogue nowadays, that we readers need photographic memory to keep track? :D Anyway, I also love how the author dealt with Brook’s family. It was like the author hit every note perfectly--the reactions of every single family member, including Brook herself--were beautifully done.

New York City features prominently in the book. The pretty side of New York, that is. Love the snowy scenes, the soho vistas, even the traffic. :) Come to think of it, this book would make a perfect lesbian movie. I’m sure it’ll be much better than the crap that’s available out there.

P.S. Brooklyn has set the bar pretty high for the author’s Soho romances. It’ll be interesting to see if Mallory, Sam and Hunter can do as well.

PPS. I love, love Jess. But her character feels a bit too perfect. Perfectly good and noble, that is. How do you get to the top of NY's cutthroat advertising world with a heart like that? I need to pinch and remind myself this is a feel-good book.

PPPS. Oops. I almost forgot to mention the plot. There's a reason romances like this book are not at the top of my reading queue because the plots are often recycled a million times over already. But this book's plot feels fresh and is sufficiently angsty, twist-y and original enough to make it stand out from the rest.

5 stars