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.
Oh, my expectations were set high for this one. I´m talking sky high. And because this book has been so hyped and praised I was also terrified of being disappointed.
Beautiful cover and a decent synopsis? I just had to give it a go.
To make a long story short: I wasn´t as disappointed as I thought I´d be. I´m truly not mad at this one because the story almost has everything I want in a contemporary romance novel.
Personally, I thought the story was a tiny bit less dramatic than the synopsis suggested. I was thinking there would be an open Chicago love triangle war in `The Kiss Thief` by L. J. Shen. I didn´t have the impression there was one at all.
That´s not to say this book didn´t have other qualities. `The Kiss Thief` had many things I usually appreciate when reading romances.
What I Appreciated Most
- Character depth. For me, there´s nothing worse than having to read about characters who don´t offer something that makes them special. Wolfe Keaton and Francesca Rossi are powerful main characters who are entertaining from start to finish.
- Unpredictable actions. I´d be lying if I said the book was unpredictable, because… Well, the ending was sort of a given. But some of the events were actually unpredictable. I certainly never saw certain scenes happening but I´m really glad they did.
- The dialogue. Very intelligent and quick. I like when characters have something to say to each other rather than having them repeat their thoughts.
- Enemies to lovers romance. I´m a sucker for this trope.
What I Would Have Liked
- It says in the book description
“… mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.”
“One kiss. Two men. Three lives.”
This is not entirely misleading but I did feel like it suggested there would be an actual love triangle going on. There wasn´t. Yes, there were two men involved in Francesca´s life but one of those men wasn´t present enough to be considered as a third party.
- A more powerful ending. After so much that went down in this book I did expect a little more CRASH BOOM BANG in the end. There was a really fantastic build up and at some point there was a constant and stable peak. Then the nose dive.
- More graphic scenes. This isn´t, by any means, a necessity but for a mafia romance I would have appreciated more mafia brutality.
All in all I can´t really complain, though. `The Kiss Thief` is a mafia romance that has lots of angst, a decent amount of sex, and drama.
Would I reread this book? Sure. Why not? The parts I loved are definitely worth a reread.
Would I recommend this book? I would. `The Kiss Thief` is well written and the story is full of surprises.
The Cover – 5 Stars: Hands down- I´m a fan.
The Story – 4 Stars: Not too shabby. It´s ruthless, unforgiving and also romantic.
The Characters – 4 Stars: While I did love Wolfe´s ruthless side and Francesca´s strength I missed a little of Angelo and would have liked to have seen some more engagement from the sub characters.
My emotional state after finishing this read: Happy.
This book can be purchased on Amazon.com