Review: “Kissing Lessons” by Susan Laine

TITLE: Kissing Lessons
AUTHOR: Susan Laine
SERIES: Before… and After
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG.
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Gay For You
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 81 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2017
PRICE: $ 3.99 -e-book
  

BLURB:

A kiss is just a kiss. It doesn’t have to mean anything. Does it?

At seventeen, Merry’s never been kissed. Since he doesn’t want to disappoint his prom date, he asks his more experienced best friend, Boone, for some pointers. Surprisingly, Boone agrees to give him a hands-on lesson.

But they have no idea what they’re getting into.

They explore hundreds of ways to make out, but somehow it isn’t enough. A week later, they’re back together for another session. This time things go further than either of them planned, and their relationship becomes awkward and uncomfortable.

Have they learned enough to salvage their friendship and help it evolve? Their lessons have come to an end. They can either part ways forever… or share a true love’s kiss.


This is the first time that I have read a book by Susan Laine, but it definitely won’t be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kissing Lessons, which is the second book in the Before… and After series. It’s a standalone book. I loved the cover for the book, and the blurb for the book was catchy and made me want to read it. And I wasn’t disappointed in what I read. The book’s pretty steamy with lots of hot kissing scenes and a little bit more. It’s the perfect length for reading just before bed but don’t be expected to be able to sleep afterward. It didn’t have an in-depth or complex storyline which I was okay with, but it might not be for others who are looking for something more complex.

The book’s centered around the main characters Merry and Boone, who are best friends in high school. I found both Merry and Boone to be fun and playful characters that seem to have a history of doing things together in the past. So it’s only natural for Merry to ask Boone for kissing lessons when he’s nervous about his prom night with his date Sarah. And over the next two weeks, they do manage to practice quite a bit of kissing before prom.

I loved all of the different types of kisses that Boone comes up with and how he demonstrates them on Merry and then has Merry practice them on him. My favorite kisses were the neck to shoulder kiss and the Australian kiss, although I liked the full back kiss also.

The book did move quickly with an instant love kind of feel to it as Merry and Boone move from friends to lovers in under two weeks. They had great chemistry though, and I loved their inner monolog as they tried to sort out their feelings for each other. I liked that Boone had previous experience with both girls and boys. However, his experience with boys was limited to making out with two boys during summer camp. I loved how he passed on his experience to Merry without pressuring him to do more than he wanted to do and allowed Merry to be the aggressor. Merry’s completely inexperienced, and I thought it took a lot of guts to ask his best friend for help so that he would make a good impression on his date.

I can definitely relate to this book as I can remember talking and asking lots of questions to my more experienced best friend in high school and how inseparable we were. It brought back a lot of great memories.

I can’t wait to read the first book in the series After the Romance Novel. It’s about a different couple, but it has a very catchy blurb also. And if it’s as good as this one was then I’ll be a happy girl.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “After the Romance Novel” by Susan Laine

TITLE: After the Romance Novel
AUTHOR: Susan Laine
SERIES: Before… and After Book
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Bisexual; Come To Age; Gay For You
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 96 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 22, 2017
PRICE: $3.96 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Romance novels always end with a happy ever after. Right?

Evan and Adam are best friends, but they don’t know everything about each other. For one thing, Adam doesn’t know Evan writes and publishes gay romance novels until he discovers one while snooping on Evan’s laptop.

This revelation changes their relationship in ways neither could’ve imagined. Adam’s reaction to reading Evan’s stories is not what he expected, nor is the new way he’s looking at his lifelong pal. After all, Adam is straight, or so he’s always thought, and that is what Evan believes about Adam as well.

When Evan admits he might be bisexual, Adam suggests he try dating girls to find out for sure, but when Evan follows his advice, Adam is caught off guard by his feelings of jealousy. And when the date proves Evan isn’t bisexual, but gay, Evan’s request that Adam find him a guy might be the last straw.

How can Adam admit he wants that guy to be him? His epiphany will either end their relationship—or change it into something wonderful in their very own friends-to-lovers romance.


jologooptimummThis was a quick read, heavy on the ‘will they, won’t they?’ suspense! What would you do if your best friend read a personal file on your computer? What if that file was gay, erotic fiction that YOU had written? What if the characters had the same names as you and your best friend? Well, that’s the position Evan finds himself in when his best friend, Adam, gets bored waiting for him to get ready to go out and decides to look at his laptop! Adam finds himself in the reverse situation of having broken Evans trust by looking in the first place. Will their friendship be able to survive the subsequent upheaval?

Of course, Adam is a good friend so he has to read all of Evans books. He then has the added complication that Evans books turn him on when he reads them! Evan decides to tell Adam everything, about his writing, his research, watching gay porn and discovering along the way that he thinks he may be gay or at least bisexual.

Adam doesn’t quite know how to handle this new version of their old relationship, and he’s not actually sure of his own feelings either. Is he jealous, afraid of losing his best friend to another guy, or is there more to it? I liked both Adam and Evan and the way they tiptoe around their feelings for each after the truth comes out, it feels right for two seventeen-year-old, teenage boys. The angst and misunderstandings are spot on as is their emotional journey on the road to discovering who and what they are. Look out for the bathroom scene when Adam makes up his mind to act on his feelings, it’s hot!

For a short book, the plot and characters are well developed, and the sex is steamy! The ending ties up the plot lines well, even if it’s a bit predictable, but that was OK. I enjoyed the book a lot, and I immediately empathized with both Adam and Evan. It was easy to understand their emotional confusion and motivation. The plot is original, and it really works with the characters which isn’t easy in a book of this length, credit to the author.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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