The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
THE KISS THIEF BY L.J. SHEN
Release Date: January 9th
Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser at RBA Designs.
Even though it’s been a couple of days since I’ve read this story, I still can’t seem to get the characters and the story out of my head.
I keep replaying certain scenes and the dialogue between the protagonists, and I’m convinced I’m going to have to reread this book in the near future.
It was that good!
This is the first book I’ve read by L.J. Shen, and now I’m kicking myself for not reading her sooner.
(guess I’ll be purchasing her backlist)
“5- You have to fight for what you want Stars!”
The Kiss Thief was an incredible, dark, edgy, engaging story!
I was so invested in these characters and their story, that I couldn’t put this book down.
Wolfe was probably one of the most cold-hearted, calculating, and the cruellest protagonist I’ve read in a long time.
Francesca had no idea what happened in her life.
One minute she was living her life the way she had been brought up to do and everything was going according to plan. She was going to marry her childhood sweetheart, and they were going to live the life they so often talked about, then out of nowhere she’s suddenly told she’s going to marry a total stranger who thinks she’s a privileged, entitled, stupid girl.
Wolfe dispises Francesca’s father with everything he is and he doesn’t hide the fact that he hates her by association.
What Wolfe doesn’t realize at the beginning of their relationship, is that Francesca may be young and innocent, but she’s got a fire and strength to her that challenges and forces Wolfe to rethink, recalculate, and negotiate some of his actions.
In a twisted way, the reader (that would be me) was cheering for this couple because I really didn’t want to believe that this 19-year-old girl would be trapped in a loveless, cruel marriage to a powerful 30-year-old man.
I wanted a happily ever after for Francesca because I liked her so much and also because she was a strong, smart, innocent bystander in this tragic game between her father and her husband.
Amazingly complex characters!
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and can’t wait to read more from this author.
“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 behaviour 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 of this man? He’d chase.
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