“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Let me just say—”
“Luke, don’t.” Tiny tears clung to her lashes, gutting him again. “I don’t want your pity—I couldn’t stand it. Not after…” She stopped like she couldn’t say the next word. “Not after everything.”
“Pity?” he repeated, wanting desperately to understand, but falling short like he always did with her. She turned to him, looking pale and so unhappy. “I know that’s how you feel, and I know what you’re thinking.”
She knew what he was thinking? He didn’t know what he was thinking, or what he was feeling. When he looked at this woman in the short dress and rubber boots, her hair blowing in the breeze around her tear-streaked face, he tried to pinpoint his feelings, name them. But there were so many he couldn’t grab hold of a single one.
All he knew for sure was he admired the hell out of her. No, it wasn’t admiration he felt. It was something else, something that made his heart pound when he looked at her, when he thought about her kindness, her stubborn determination, the way everything she did made him want a bigger life than even he’d planned, while driving him absolutely out of his head…his screwed-up head that wasn’t ready for a relationship.
Or was it?
A cute, light, and sweet story! Kissing Her Crush is a clean romance (there’s a little swearing and a whole lot of the expected kissing given the title, but that’s it)–the hero and heroine do planto sleep together, but rom-com style events conspire to push the big event to past the novel’s conclusion. Parts of it felt a bit more forced than book one in the series ( Love Bites )–the solution to both the heroine’s work and relationship dilemmas, for example, came a bit out of left field and at the last minute–but it was an enjoyable read overall.
Who doesn’t love a story when an unrequited teenage crush becomes a real adult relationship later in life? Natalie describes her crush on Luke as having been “since birth”–though of course he barely remembers her at all. It turns out they actually had a (very brief) encounter way back then, which Natalie still holds a bit of a grudge over, even though it was apparently 1) in complete darkness and 2) involved no talking and 3) she wasn’t the person who was supposed to have met him there, so I don’t really understand how she can feel like the injured party in that case. Still, it was hard not to root for her here, on both the relationship and the scientific study fronts, and the two of them are very cute together, whether they’re kissing each other or trying very hard not to. Chocolate almost felt like a secondary character in its own right here as well, which it’s hard to complain about. 😉
(Warning: reading this book may make you crave chocolate! You might want to have some close by as a preventive strike.)
I like Luke a lot, despite the fact that he’s a health nut and doesn’t let himself eat chocolate. (I don’t know if this makes him untrustworthy, exactly, but it is highly suspect. Either way, you can see how being a member of the first family of Hershey, PA might make this an issue.) Though he doesn’t have a lot of memories of Nat from their teen years, he more than makes up for it with some very sweet romantic gestures in the present. He does end up making a complete 180 in the last few pages of the book about something that was really important to him for the previous 200 or so though, and it doesn’t quite feel as if the change is justified–it comes off as more of a quick and easy fix to a tricky situation, which bothered me a bit.
Still, this was a fun way to spend an afternoon or two.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.