The Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage Review

Hiya!

How are you? I am feeling okay, nothing particularly interesting going on. I’m still trying to organise my room with all my uni stuff since moving back home for the summer and I don’t understand how I have gathered so much trash 😂. But anyway, today’s review is of The Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage which I read in the middle of May. Here are my thoughts…

Title: The Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men Series #1)
Author: Linda Kage
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 14th August 2013
Pages: 379

Goodreads Description:
I don’t care what my cousin says; I am not the queen of impossible relationships. I mean, just because my last boyfriend tried to kill me and left a bit of a scar on my neck, then forced me to move across the country and legally change my name to Reese Randall to escape him, does not mean-
Oh, who am I kidding? For a freshman in college, I have to have the worst dating track record ever.
It’s no wonder love is the last thing on my mind when Mason Lowe enters my life. But the chemistry between us is like bam! Our connection defies logic. And he’s just so freaking hot. Being around him makes me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt before. I even like bickering with him. He could be my soul mate…except for one teeny tiny glitch.
He’s a gigolo.
Boy, do I know how to pick them.

My Goodreads Review:
This is not at all what I expected when I picked this up. It was funny. There’s one line that had me in hysterics (maybe because I related so much to it):
Mason blinked at me.
“You’re…insane.”
“Only on Thursdays.”

I don’t know if you need the context to find this as adorkable as I do but I just found it hilarious and I am going to go through life waiting for the moment which I can quote this.
I totally recommend. I expected it to be far smuttier than it was. I think I would have enjoyed it no matter how it was sexualised it was purely because the characters were all so real and loveable and brilliant. Totally recommend.

Characters: The characters were one of my favourite parts of this novel. They were all so full of character. No-one seemed to exist only to further the plot or for any forced reasons. You were given enough information about characters pasts to imply they had a history pre-book without feeling you knew nothing about them or that they were distant. Reese was hilarious and driven and accepting of her flaws and brave and spunky and basically an incredibly realistic idea of a teenager without being cliche. Mason was the right balance between down on himself and hopeful so that he wasn’t a bore to interact with. He was also very funny and I loved his relationship with his family. It was a very interesting dynamic and gave him a redeemable quality to counteract his gigolo actions. I also read his story The Price of Mason (Forbidden Men #10) and I really enjoyed that too, which gave us an incredible insight into his life that you don’t get in the original novel. Eva was another brilliant character. I don’t know whether I will be reading her story, Be My Hero (Forbidden Men #3) but as a supporting character she was brilliant and the tension between her and Mason was so petty and realistic. Very entertaining.
But my favourite character was Sarah, Priceless (Forbidden Men #8) She is Mason’s younger sister and she has Cerebral Palsy. I personally know nothing about CP and I loved that this book gave me a little insight into the lifestyle without feeling like that’s all Sarah is as a person. She is funny but not liked by her classmates and Reese comes in to help and be her friend. I love that Sarah is obsessed with Hawaii-Five-O and Harry Potter because that’s the kind of intertextuality I love. Plus she is so sassy and I love it. In summary, I adored the way Kage wrote her characters.
Characters = 10/10

Humour: This was my other favourite part of the novel. I was in hysterics on multiple occasions. One being the one I listed above in my Goodreads review. Others were some great one-liners such as:
I couldn’t wait to meet his cherry-popping, cougar pimp landlady again. Said no one ever.
And…
Man, I was lame. But I didn’t care. I was eating lunch with Mason Lowe. Squee!
Now I can’t tell you why I find these so funny, just for me that’s my humour. I like when they are aware of their oddities and their inner-monologues are written. I think it’s not only funny but elevates the relatability of the characters. At least for me anyway.
Humour = 10/10

Atmosphere: This is set in the US. At Waterford County Community College for the most part. Now I can’t vouch for accuracy about location as I have never been to the US and don’t really have a clue how it functions. But the college/uni atmosphere was very convincing by my personal experience of uni here in Scotland. I kind of got high school vibes rather than uni but it was still an accurate example of schooling system and I liked it.
Atmosphere = 7/10

Writing Style: I really liked the writing style. Like I touched on above, it was very believable and I authentic to teens/college kids speak. I loved the use of intertextuality and they way the humour was written was remarkable and so funny! There was one scene where the writing of it was so incredible I was literally shaking because of how cringe-worthy it was. Like I was physically cringing at the characters discomfort. Any writing that excites a physical reaction because it was so authentic and well-written has to be incredible.
Writing Style = 10/10

Plot: The plot was very unique and interesting. I loved the two intertwining stories of the protagonists because often it is only one of them that is going through something to hinder their progressing relationship but I loved that they were sharing the load of tough situations to overcome. Both major plot lines had equal weight on the stories progression and it all made a lot of sense and was just really great. I hadn’t really read anything with these kinds of ideas intertwined before so it was a nice and fresh take whilst still having the basic fundamentals of a great contemporary romance.
Plot = 8/10

Intrigue: I read this book in one day because I was so caught up in it. The romance, the laughs and the plot all mingled together in an incredible way that kept me intrigued the whole time. Every word. I can’t think of a single slow section in the entire novel.
Intrigue = 9/10

Logic: The books logic was very realistic. The repercussions of the laws always seemed very real and had you itching to make sure everything was okay, but not only was it out of your control as a reader but the characters were also out of control which gave it that extra inch of authenticity.
Logic = 8/10

Enjoyment: In case you couldn’t already tell, I really enjoyed this. It was well-written, cute and gripping and an all round good read. It wasn’t as explicit as I had been expecting which was a pleasant surprise.
Enjoyment = 9/10

Relationships: Reese and Mason were adorable. I loved the way their relationship developed. It almost had an element of insta-love (which I usually hate but it was kind of done well) They had an instant attraction when they first met, but because of the issues going on in their respective lives they don’t act on it. Instead through happenstance they become friends, all the time both of them like the other without them knowing and they get closer. Eventually they confess their feelings and get all jiggy with it. It was very very well done and adorable. Their banter was the perfect balance of teasing, questioning and admiration.
Relationships = 9/10

Overall Score = 80/90 or 8.8/10
Star Rating = ⭐⭐⭐⭐

That’s the end of the review, no spoilers today. I adored this and I recommend you give it a shot too if your looking for a semi-wholesome contemporary romance that also has interesting plot points. If you give it a try or have read it, tell me your opinions below or tell me on twitter cause I want to know what you think. Anyway, see you tomorrow ❤


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