Book: The Kiss Thief
Author: L.J. Shen
Series: a standalone
Release date: 9th January 2019
Main characters: Francesca Rossi, a mob princess used as a political pawn by the men in her life. Wolfe Keaton, a senator and perhaps the devil himself. Angelo Badini, the man who hopes to make Francesca his wife.
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.
Why you should read it: Oh my! Where to start? I’m a fairly recent fan of LJ Shen, so there’s a ton of books of hers that I’ve yet to read. I’ve read Dirty Headlines, Sparrow – which I adored, and now The Kiss Thief. The latter book reminds me in many ways of Sparrow – we have a spunky young heroine who finds herself in an impossible situation, due to the machinations of the men in her life. The lack of control over their own lives and the adversity both Sparrow and Francesca have to face, spoke to me and kept me reading. The anti-heroes of both books had similar character evolutions too – at first they’re surly, verging on sadistic, but little-by-little, they learn to let their guards down and show a more humane side towards the object of their desire.
The Kiss Thief is full of action, suspense and twisted sexual desire. You’ll either love it or hate it. The male characters in LJ’s back catalogue are not loveable rogues – they’re difficult, cruel but always redeemable.
What you may not like: It really depends on what you like a) in a romance and b) in a hero. As mentioned before, it you don’t like twisted, then you may struggle with this warped fairy tale. I found it engaging and thoroughly enjoyed it, however, there was a plot line towards the end which suddenly made Francesca, a hitherto sorted and sensible character (despite her age) act completely out of character. Her actions were stupid and seemed to have been engineered to cause drama. Despite this, I loved the story and couldn’t put the book down.
Rating: 4/5 for a truly heart-stoppingly good read. It was sexy, wrong in many ways, right in others! I would highly recommend it.