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February 18, 2020

This review is so hard for me to write, and it's even harder to rate this book!
Well, there's no way around it so let's get straight into it, shall we?

The plot

The story revolves around Rena, a soon to be shop owner of a hair salon and a huge romance lover. She wants her happily ever after. Axel Heller, tall and dark, but blonde and pale (......I know, bare with me!), is the one man her heart beats for. However, he is no romantic lad, and although he has been crushing on Rena for over a year, he can't make a move. At last, he finally decided to step up and win her over with the help of the kissing game, where he kisses her to prove that they're made for each other.

The real issue with this book

It pains me to say that this book was falsely advertised, and because of that, it was literally destroyed by the book community. With a total average of 2.91 stars (out of 5) from 193 ratings on Goodreads, one can see that the book the community was not having it. The book synopsis literally called Axel "tall, dark and handsome" with pale skin and blonde hair. What even?

Another mistake from the advertisement department was the category "standalone" when it clearly wasn't. I never read a book by Marie Harte before, so I had no idea who these characters were! I was tossed into a world with what felt like 50 characters and family connections, and I struggled to connect the dots. As a rule, I try not to read series out of order because it wouldn't make any sense.

Apart from that, the story itself wasn't well developed. It's about two individuals who are attracted to each other but can't confront their emotions, and when they do, there is almost no conversation! The few conversations they had were dull and awkward; this is not how conversations in romance novels work.

The actual Kissing game started in one chapter, and before you could blink, it was over. It was such a tiny part of this book, even though it's literally the book title.

The characters as individuals were fine. But these two together had no chemistry at all. It was so hard for me to feel the love and attraction between these two! Rena was hard to like because of her indecisiveness when it came to her love interest. One minute she was in love with Axel and wanted to marry him and start a family, and the next moment she hated his guts, and she couldn't trust him. It made me scream and bang my e-reader on my head several times (this did nothing to the pain I felt deep down in my soul). Axel was trying so hard, but it’s like Rena didn’t really know what she truly wanted. He was awkward and not romantic (his gifs were weird), but he was thoughtful.

The heroine is also the token POC in a very white town. She is written in a way that is POC in name only, and you just know that this book isn't written by a black person. Just like many, many other reviewers stated: This feels like a jumping-on-the-diversity-bandwagon book

To conclude, I am extremely disappointed in this book. And maybe I wouldn't have been if it wasn't falsely advertised because there were a few things I thought were fine in this story. A few characters were cute, and I actually didn't mind Axel either; the whole idea was nice, but the execution was terrible.

I am finishing this review without even mentioning that racism is apparently a huge problem in this book or the tons of conflicts thrown into this story that was magically resolved in a chapter. Oh, and I found some violence (Axel sure as hell fights a lot), hate slang words, and talks of domestic violence. Just not my cup of coffee. 2 out of 5 stars.

Written by Sylvia

Grab your copy from - Amazon IN Amazon US

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