REVIEW: The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen
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
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"We fell in love fast and slow. Hard and soft. With everything we had in us, yet we both refused to give anything away."
The Kiss Thief was intoxicating, angst ridden and at times heart wrenching. L.J Shen is one of my go to authors when I'm looking for something thats unique and full of angst.
An L.J. Shen character in her book 'Vicious' once said that 'Love and Hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances. The Passion is the same. The Pain is the same.' This quote has always resonated with me and helped me understand why my favourite types of reads have always been the hate to love kind of read, they're passionate, angst ridden and always addictive and The Kiss Thief was no different.
Set in modern times, TKT had such a unique Historical vibe to it and was a breath of fresh air in what has been a previous year of stale reads for me. While the genre is nothing new, the intricately woven storyline was very much something new.
An arranged marriage? Check.
A Virgin Bride & A Lothario Groom ? Check
Starcorssed Lovers? Check.
TKT had everything I didn't know I was looking for in my first read for 2019.
"I sucked in a breath, realizing for the first time what we were. A story of a Nemesis and a Villain with no chance at a happy ending. Where the prince doesn’t save the princess. He tortures her. And the beauty doesn’t sleep. She’s stuck. In a nightmare."
Francesca was an interesting herione, at the beginning of TKT I found her incredibly hard to connect with. She seemed like a docile lamb that couldn't make a decision for herself and made all her choices based on what her parents wanted. She was 19 and quite content to marry her fathers friends son she had known since childhood and spend the rest of her life being a mother with no ambition for herself. Francesca's character development was incredible, she went from a teenager to a woman who knew what and who she wanted from this life and by the end of TKT had taken strides to get what she wanted. She learnt her worth and would not cower to anyone.
“You said I taste like a villain, but you taste like the victim. Now, save whatever’s left of your self-worth and leave.” - Wolfe
While Francesca was the lamb, Wolfe most definitely lived up to his name. He was the Big and Bad they told stories about. Wolfe's character development was subtle and staggering at the same time. I don't think I ever fully warmed up to Wolfe until the last 20% of the book. He was arrogant, commanding and blinded by his past. In that last 20% he was the complete opposite. There's one point in the book where he makes an ultimate sacrifice for Francesca and that was where I finally understood him and fell for him.
TKT was a tortured, heart wrenching love story that was written so beautifully that even with all the hate between the pages you could feel the love and passion between these two characters.
L.J Shen is a flawless writer of angst and the enemies to lovers genre. Her passion for writing shines through in every word she writes. Her writing style is poetic and excruciatingly exquisite. She's fast becoming a favourite author of mine with her unique takes on typical themes in the romance genre and is an absolute breath of fresh air! TKT has fast become one of my favourite Hate to Love Romances and will always hold a special place in my heart.
“No love is fully requited. No love is equal. No love is fair. There is always one side that loves more. And you better not be that side—because it suffers.
About The Author: L.J. Shen
L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.
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 peoples’ 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.