ARC Review: 21 Stolen Kisses by Lauren Blakely

29 May 2015

Book Title: 21 Stolen Kisses
Author: Lauren Blakely
Series: Standalone
Release Date: May 26th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
When I first met him I resisted.
Like any forbidden love, I told myself he was a crush, and it would pass.
That was a lie. It never faded.

And I never expected he would fall for me just as hard.

There were so many reasons that should have kept us apart, least of all, the decade that separated us. Growing up in New York City, I learned early on that love is a double-edged sword. Love broke up my parents, love took away my friends, and love — the big, intense, never-been-like-this-before love — landed me in therapy. Now I’m heading to college, and it’s time to give love a clean slate again. But, can I really start over when he’s still in my life Because the one man I’ve always wanted, is also the only guy I absolutely can’t have…And he wants me just as fiercely.

Can I settle for anything less than the love of my life?



"I'd never forget how it felt to say those words. To be in our place. In love with you, in love with us, in love with our secret, with the island we were building, keeping out the whole wide world."

This author is one my go-to for the steamy reads but when I heard she was switching up to contemporary NA genre, I was definitely intrigued. It also seemed to hinted at the forbidden romance aspect which is a bonus for me. 

  21 Stolen Kisses is about Kennedy, soon to be 18-year old girl who is in love with her mother's TV agent, Noah Hayes. He's 25 and has been a close friend to her mother who helped him kickstart his career. Both Kennedy and Noah bonded over their love for the Broadway musicals and those shared moments remained a secret among everyone who knows them. 

 When it comes to secrets, Kennedy has been engulfed in one almost her entire life especially with her mother having multiple affairs and became a pawn in her mother's social affairs by helping her cover them up since she was young. The guilt that has been weighing finally pushes her to embark on a journey to send love letters as a form of apology to all the women that her mother has wronged in the past. 


 Now the thing is, I loved the crux of this story. This was more than just a forbidden love story, it was also telling about a teenage girl trying to atone the sins for her mother due to her misplaced guilt and seeking forgiveness from those who got hurt by her mother's actions. I also liked the idea that each stolen kiss moment between Noah and Kennedy were placed between chapters and those were written quite beautifully. 

 At times I thought Kennedy was a little childish by some of her actions and more often than not, she was then portrayed for being rather mature for her age with her deep thoughts. I found the disparity there a bit confusing for me sometimes. I also didn't really feel the connection between both MCs other than their shared love for Broadway, it just didn't come off as that passionate or longing love that made me want to die-hard root for this couple, y'know? 

 Another major struggle I had with this book was how the past/present was weaved within the chapters. There was no distinct telling that a certain 'present' scene was then followed by a 'past' scene (which is a rather long scene) and suddenly back into the 'present' scene. This is very much a pet peeve for me if not done right because it disrupts my reading momentum and even worse when I put it down and later get back to it to only forget if it was the past or present. 

 Also this book just wasn't what I expected it to be based on the blurb prior going in. Sadly, the "forbidden" love aspect in this book completely fell short for me. I believed the idea of forbidden here was due to the fact that the heroine is barely 18, coupled with the fact that the guy she loves is 8 years older. Morevoer, the guy is close to her mum and in a way, sneaking behind her back to be together sorta makes it taboo? =\ I really don't know but I wasn't feeling it at all.

 Overall the book can be quite heart-breaking at times, mostly the parts where Kennedy deals with her family affairs. It's almost strange that I love those parts better than the forbidden love aspect. It was still a decent read for me but sadly it wasn't exactly what I was hoping with my expectations being very different from what I imagined this book turned out to be.


  ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

  21 Stolen Kisses is a New Adult contemporary romance read.


Author Photo

About Lauren Blakely: Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Caught Up in Love, Seductive Nights, and Fighting Fire. She recently released Nights With Him, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Her next book in that series is Forbidden Nights, releasing in early 2015. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign)

No comments:

Post a Comment