The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen is NOW AVAILABLE! This was a fantastic story which made for such a sexy, angsty, and entertaining read!
The Kiss Thief by L.J. SHEN
Release Date: January 7, 2018
Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser at RBA Designs.
~ Synopsis ~
They say your first kiss should be earned.
Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.
They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.
Mine were broken before we left church.
They say your heart only beats for one man.
Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.
I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.
Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.
They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.
I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.
And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.
If there’s one thing I know I can always count on, it’s that L.J. Shen will deliver a book that I can’t put down, and true to form, The Kiss Thief was such a sexy, angsty, and entertaining read!
Can we talk characters? Hands down, Shen always creates the most complicated, terrible, and then completely lovable alphas. In this story, she definitely achieved that, but all of the characters were great!
Angelo Bandini was charming and perfect in every way. He was Francesca Rossi’s dream come true, and I could definitely see why!
Underneath Francesca’s beauty was a really cute and quirky personality. I mean, how can you not love a character that talks to her plants? Innocent and naïve under the protection of her family’s wings, she was sweet and very kind-hearted. However, when it came to a certain someone, Francesca was a firecracker, and I loved her sass and quick wit!
Senator Wolfe Keaton was angry and bitter with a vendetta to avenge. The man was so brash, calculating, and his approach on life was so cynical. The crazy part? I kind of loved him! His sarcastic and dry humor was really funny, and I kept thinking that surely there had to be a kind heart to be found in that body of his somewhere!
Now, on to the arranged marriage of Francesca and Wolfe, otherwise known as Nemesis and Villain and told by their point of views…
The Nemesis and her Villain didn’t hold anything back when they waged war on each other. They were both so competitive, stubborn, and just plain awful to each other, but it was so entertaining to follow! The Nemesis was every bit as cunning as her Villain, and they sparred with a ferocity that exploded into a passion and desire. Slowly but surely the Villain’s walls began to crumble and revealed that underneath was a humongous heart!
‘I was dreadfully in love with her. Ruthlessly, tragically mad about the teenager with big blue eyes who talked to her vegetables.’
I loved the mafia feel of the story with Francesca’s family and their Chicagoan Outfit of Made Men. I really enjoyed the secondary characters in the story as well, and as I said earlier, Angelo was totally swoonworthy! The Rossi clan was a tough one to beat, but I was definitely on Wolfe’s side for him to dish out what they deserved!
Shen did an amazing job creating such a unique and complex plot! It was very intriguing, fast paced, and suspenseful, keeping me guessing at what was next in store. I only had one niggle with the storyline, and it was only because I didn’t believe it was in the heroine’s character to not speak up in a particular situation. It was a pretty big deal, so it bugged me that it was held over the hero’s head throughout the story, but it wasn’t enough to sway my overall thoughts at all.
The Kiss Thief was a fantastic story, such an enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it!
ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
AVAILABLE NOW – FREE IN KU!
“Are you sure you’re on my card?” I turned to the man with a polite yet distant smile. I was still disoriented from the exchange with Angelo when the stranger pulled me against his hard body and pressed a possessive hand lower than socially acceptable on my back, a second from groping my butt.“Answer me,” I hissed.
“My bid on your card was the highest,” he replied dryly.
“The bids are undisclosed. You don’t know how much other people have paid,” I kept my lips pursed to keep myself from yelling.
“I know it’s nowhere near the realm of what this dance is worth.”
We began to waltz around the room as other couples were not only spinning and mingling but also stealing envious glances at us. Naked, raw ogles that told me that whomever the blonde he’d come to the masquerade with was, she wasn’t his wife. And that I might have been all the rage in The Outfit, but the rude man was in high demand, too.
I was stiff and cold in his arms, but he didn’t seem to notice—or mind. He knew how to waltz better than most men, but he was technical, and lacked warmth and Angelo’s playfulness.
“Nemesis.” He took me by surprise, his rapacious gaze stripping me bare. “Distributing glee and dealing misery. Seems at odds with the submissive girl who entertained Bishop and his horsey wife at the table.”
I choked on my own saliva. Did he just call the governor’s wife horsey? And me submissive? I looked away, ignoring the addictive scent of his cologne, and the way his marble body felt against mine.
“Nemesis is my spirit animal. She was the one to lure Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection and died of vanity. Pride is a terrible illness.” I flashed him a taunting smirk.
“Some of us could use catching it.” He bared his straight white teeth.
“Arrogance is a disease. Compassion is the cure. Most gods didn’t like Nemesis, but that’s because she had a backbone.”
“Do you?” He arched a dark eyebrow.
“Do I…?” I blinked, the courteous grin on my face crumpling. He was even ruder when we were alone.
“Have a backbone,” he provided. He stared at me so boldly and intimately, it felt like he breathed fire into my soul. I wanted to step out of his touch and jump into a pool full of ice.
“Of course, I do,” I responded, my spine stiffening. “What’s with the manners? Were you raised by wild coyotes?”
“Give me an example,” he said, ignoring my quip. I was beginning to draw away from him, but he jerked me back into his arms. The glitzy ballroom distorted into a backdrop, and even though I was starting to notice that the man behind the demi-mask was unusually beautiful, the ugliness of his behavior was the only thing that stood out.
I am a warrior and a lady…and a sane person who can deal with this horrid man.
“I really like Angelo Bandini.” I dropped my voice, slicing my gaze from his eyes and toward the table where Angelo’s family had been seated. My father was sitting a few seats away, staring at us coldly, surrounded by Made Men who chatted away.
“And see, in my family, we have a tradition dating back ten generations. Prior to her wedding, a Rossi bride is to open a wooden chest—carved and made by a witch who lived in my ancestors’ Italian village—and read three notes written to her by the last Rossi girl to marry. It’s kind of a good luck charm mixed with a talisman and a bit of fortunetelling. I stole the chest tonight and opened one of the notes, all so I could rush fate. It said that tonight I was going to be kissed by the love of my life, and well…” I drew my lower lip into my mouth and sucked it, peering under my eyelashes at Angelo’s empty seat. The man stared at me stoically, as though I was a foreign film he couldn’t understand. “I’m going to kiss him tonight.”
“That’s your backbone?”
“When I have an ambition, I go for it.”
A conceited frown crinkled his mask, as if to say I was a complete and utter moron. I looked him straight in the eye. My father taught me that the best way to deal with men like him was to confront, not run. Because, this man? He’d chase.
L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.
Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.
She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.
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