Review: Kiss It Better by Linda Kage

kiss it betterReviewed by Shelly

I’m a big fan of this author’s work, I think her ‘Forbidden Men’ series is brilliant – she’s the first author who steered me into reading the YA category. It’s with that faith that I read Kiss It Better.

While at work one day, Reed Walker gets a call that changes his life. His sister, Danni’s been the victim of an assault. He knows it’s bad, but he doesn’t understand how bad it really is nor how bad it’s going to get. Rushing to his sister’s side starts a chain of events that will forever change him – for the better.

Sophia Eschell works for the same company as Reed. She actually works in the same accounting department and has always had a bit of crush on Reed, even while she’s going out with loser after loser. Sophia’s love life has always been a bit of a mess; she seems to find and attach herself to the guy who’s a fixer upper – every single time. I was really worried about Reed falling into this ‘loser’ category because there were signs.

Reed and Danielle Walker’s childhood left a lot to be desired. They never knew their father(s) and their mother was, the best word I can use in polite company is, absent. She had some tendencies that suggest that she should never have had children, or if she did, give them up because there’s a chance that someone would actually want the children she gave birth to – she didn’t.

The siblings have moved on from their childhood circumstances, which I was very happy to read. There’s no blame game here, they’re doing the best they can. Reed’s a relatively successful accountant and Danni’s a writer of children’s book along with being a college student. So these two are doing fine, or they were, until someone attacked Danni. That’s the part of the story that I wish I knew more about, Danni’s story. I didn’t get anywhere close to enough of that.

Reed’s suffering from a strong case of guilt. He can’t help his sister because he’s caught up in his own personal memories: Reed was raped by one of his mother’s boyfriends when he was a child. I’m not convinced the way that Reed handled his personal feelings about his secret were actually productive to him. I’m not saying therapy was the only other option, but I’m not convinced that holding all that so close to the vest was the right thing to do. And his hands-off approach with helping Danni didn’t seem right. I mean, his sister who he loves from one side of the moon and back just had something terrible happen, and he can’t even look her in the eyes, hug her and let her know that he’s got her back and everything will be alright. That didn’t feel right or flow that well for me.

Sophia…Sophia…Sophia… I couldn’t have liked this heroine any less. There’s no way on God’s green earth I would have kept after Reed the way that Sophia kept going after him. For the amount of time from when they became friends to their romance, she became vested very, very quickly. I actually thought the first time she went to his house, it was a bit stalkerish. She showed up without an invitation; he didn’t even give her his address. That smells like stalker behavior to me.

As persistent as Sophia was to fix Reed, I didn’t feel the romance between these two. There were moments when Reed would proclaim that Sophia is his forever woman, and in the next scene he would push her away, but Sophia wouldn’t allow him to say no. She just kept coming back. She just kept taking all the crap Reed would say and do. I was ready for her to stand up to him so much more than she did. This was a relatively short read, and I think it would have been better, for me anyway, if the story was longer and the characters were much more developed. But then again, maybe it’s just me, because I’ve read some really amazing things by this author and this wasn’t one of them.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: C-/D+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Kiss It Better
by Linda Kage
Release Date: July 1, 2013

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