Review: Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage

price of a kissReviewed by Shelly

I’m a big fan of Linda Kage’s work but I’ve stayed away from the YA/NA categories in the past because the age just seems a bit young for me especially with what I perceive the content to be. After reading this story, I’m thrilled that this is one of those times when I’m, yet again, glad to be wrong. Reese Randall has just moved to the area and is a freshman at the local college where Mason Lowe also attends. After legally changing her name and moving across the country to get away from her stalker/abuser/ex-boyfriend Jeremy, Reese feels that she’s in a safe place living above the garage of her aunt and uncle. Her cousin, Eva, who also attends the same college tells Reese that not only is ‘Hotness’ Mason out of her league – he’s also a gigolo.

With that I expected a bit of frivolity and some chuckles, but there’s actually a story to be told here. Kage made me care about both Reese and Mason, especially Mason because of the position that he’s basically trapped in. What are his choices this young in life? He’s made being a gigolo his only marketable commodity. What’s it going to take to get him out of what he sees as his lot in life and start living for himself? And Reese, how’s she going to handle these feelings that she swore that she would never act on again? She has to figure out if Mason is worth taking a chance on loving or will the call of the money win his affection.

Considering she’s so young and I’m **cough** years older than her, I’m not sure what it says about me, but I adored Reese. I liked her voice and I was happy to get plenty of her as the majority of this story is told from Reese’s POV. Both her inner thoughts and dialogue are words I myself use on a daily basis which lead to me believe that most of us women, regardless of age – when it comes to guys – think the same way. The more interesting (or you could even substitute bad-boy) they are the more you want them and the more you think that you can change them by hook or by crook to bring them around to your way of thinking. And by no means am I accusing Reese of manipulating Mason but the tears did flow – heavily.

This is the thought that Reese had that had me in her corner ‘But seriously, no one had tried to kill me here, so I guess I couldn’t whine and complain too much. Pity party cut short’. That’s personified her character. She doesn’t have time to whine, moan, or complain because hey, when you’ve already had a knife at your neck and you’re only 18 years old, every thing else can be considered downhill. I really appreciated her independent nature and her spunky go-get ‘em attitude and not waiting around for things to happen to her. I don’t know if that had to do with her immediate past or if she was always like that, but that aspect of her personality added to her likability. There were a couple things about her that I wasn’t sure about – such as her family’s lack of involvement/intervention when her teenaged boyfriend was beating her. There seems to be a lot of love and affection between her and her parents so I didn’t get that part.

Mason and his troubles, I almost felt sorry for him in the first chapter when he had his own Mrs. Robinson moment – that made me cringe a bit and I might have been slightly disgusted. Yikes! His love for his mother and sister was very sweet. He would literally take the shirt of his back for them and who could judge or blame him? Certainly not I. Isn’t there an old saying about a man who treats his mother right? But I digress. Mason was a good man and at this age, good is hard to find. Of the two, his character underwent the most change and growth because he really had to learn how to look at himself as something other than a sex toy. His affection for Reese was cute. You could see that school yard kind of teasing when the boy does something to the girl to make her notice him – Mason liked to eat Reese’s lunch.

Their chemistry and yes, the sex was good. I didn’t know that this genre actually would go that far but maybe it was because they ar each of age (Mason, 20) and they were both in college. Overall, I thought this was a good way to spend the afternoon and if you’re in the mood for some good college angst and love you should give this a try. I’m eager to read the next one in the series.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B+

*Book provided by author

 Click to purchase: Amazon

Price of a Kiss
by Linda Kage
Release Date: August 15, 2013

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