Title: The Kiss Thief
Author: LJ Shen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Amazon (US/UK/CA/Aus) | Audio
Rating: ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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.
Excerpt . . .
“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.
Angelo and Wolfe are basically complete opposites: light and dark. The hero and anti-hero. But are they really? Maybe I've prejudged them before I really know them. But I do know that I'm Team Wolfe. Claimed him. He's mine. No question about it ;)
Tensions are mounting and some characters are spiraling out of control. Not to mention secrets are slipping out and truths become known. Francesca is a great character despite her youth. She is strong and resilient. She learns some hard facts of life and my heart squeezes for her. But then I was screaming, What are you doing!!!
"Besides," he hissed only for me to hear, his warm, minty breath tickling the side of my neck, "if my bride knew me even a little, she's know I never kneel."
This isn't your typical love story and yet it was the greatest thing I've read. I'd give it more than five stars if I could. I won't go into too many details because the joy of reading is experiencing all the feels for yourself. What I will say is that LJ Shen has set the standard and the books that I read now will have to pull all the stops to win my heart. #TeamWolfe
About the Author . . .
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 people's’ 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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