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Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men #1), by Linda Kage

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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.

__________________________________________________________

“Every woman treats me that way, Reese. I’m not a person to them. I’m just…a good time or something vile to be avoided at all costs. And then you came along and you…you hugged me. You are the first person who sees me, Mason, not sex for sale.” 

Oh how I like those controversial topic books! I mean, after reading a synopsis like that, who could not want to read this book?

These days, I’m in a phase where either a book grabs my attention and I can’t stop reading, or, I just can’t get into it. So it makes it a little hard to pick a book and start reading because there are a lot of false start. In the case of Price of a Kiss, I was hooked from the epilogue. Oh let me tell you about this epilogue! It gave me the heebie jeebies! I know, it doesn’t sound good when I say that but it’s actually a good thing. Bear with me.

“It had to be the most surreal, embarrassing, awkward moment of his life, standing petrified in his mother’s backyard in front of a broken lawn mower, sporting a woody and discussing sex for sale with the landlady.”

The book starts with Mason (our gigolo) on the fateful day where his life changed for the worst. His family is pretty much broke, his little sister is sick and so the medical bills are very expensive and his mother has a tendency to forget to pay any bills in general. And, little detail that has its importance, Mason is gorgeous. And unfortunately for him, their landlady’s morals are pretty low and so, she has set her sights on him.

“His sense of responsibility toward his family was everything to him. Everything. He didn’t care if his obligations made him do things that caused him to feel trapped or had him feeling dirty until he hated a part of himself. He wasn’t going to stop taking care of Dawn and Sarah in the only way he knew how. He had sold his soul to ensure every bill his mother forgot to pay was taken care of”

This epilogue was so well written that when Mrs. Robison, er sorry, Mrs. Garisson comes on to him and threatens him of evicting him and his family if he doesn’t sleep with her, I actually felt like I needed to take a shower. Therefore, the heebie jeebies.

“I couldn’t wait to meet his cherry-popping, cougar pimp landlady again. Said no one ever.” 

This is the only part told from Mason’s POV in the book and it happens two years before Reese comes in the picture. Now Reese, she cracked me up. She’s completely crazy but her craziness is what makes the book so enjoyable. She says the weirdest things, is crazy clumsy and has the biggest heart. She was really nice to read about. I loved her character and how she was with Mason and his family.

“Holy guacamole. Was that a double entendre? I swear that was a double entendre. Someone hold my panties on for me because Mason Lowe was freaking flirting with me, using double entendres.”

I really like Mason and Reese’s relationship. Their friendship and the fact that she was pretty much the only girl treating Mason as a person and not either a sex toy or a walking disease. Their relationship is very cute to see, and watching it grow into something more was very nice too. The sexual tension between them was very much present and I love it when there is sexual tension, so I was a happy girl. I felt a lot for Reese because of her attraction to Mason and the impossibility of a relationship between them. I kept thinking, “Oh who cares if he’s a gigolo, kiss him already!” and then I would think of the heartache that was bound to come if they indulged in their attraction to each other.

“You might not have charged me a fee, but kissing you is too big of a price for me. I didn’t sign up for this.”

Although the subject of this book is very much about sex, and there is a “warning” of sort in the synopsis, I thought the steamy parts where mild. There are steamy moments and they are good ones, and I especially liked the one that happens at about 50% into the book, but I didn’t think they were overly explicit. It was more on the sweet side of steamy I think and I enjoyed that very much but it was still very hot.

“If I touch you right now, that’s it. I won’t be able to stop. I wanted to make sure you have all your playtime in before I get started.”
“Aww … Thinking of me first. That’s so sweet. Thank you.”
“Yeah, I’m a frigging saint. Now will you please touch my dick like you mean it before the damn thing explodes?”

But even though I very much liked this book, the writing and the plot were a bit over the top. That’s why I had a hard time rating and have a hard time reviewing this book. On the one hand I had a blast reading it. It was fun and interesting and kept me engrossed in the story but at the same time it was a little overdone and that kept me from really believing in the book and the story. So I read the story and was curious about what would happen to the characters next and how it would all enfold but at the same time it wasn’t like I was biting my nails with stress for the characters or hurting for them. It’s hard to say how I feel because I already have a hard time figuring it out in my head. I liked the book, and  I had a great time reading it and I would actually recommend you read it but at the same time, it didn’t blow my mind. I smiled and laughed a lot and even squealed at times (yes, actually squealed) but it wasn’t a life changing kind of book. Some things actually made me roll my eyes. Not in a oh-come-on-are-you-freaking-serious-right-now-? kind of way but more in a don’t-you-think-it’s-a-little-too-much kind of way. It probably doesn’t make much sense. I don’t want to give examples because I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I’ll just say that it’s the kind of too much that made me smile instead of making me groan. It’s a little bit like when a child tell you that he threw a ball in the air and it went so high it touched the sun. You know they’re exaggerating but you smile anyway instead of telling them that it’s not possible.

This aspect of the book made things like Reese psycho stalker ex-boyfriend business not seem that dangerous anymore. So that’s the only “problem” I had with the book even though it wasn’t really a problem for me since it didn’t keep me from reading the book.

“Can I touch you?”
His lashes closed, resting on the tops of his tanned, sculpted cheeks as his smile grew broad. “You don’t have to ask.” I reached out immediately but paused within inches of contact. He must’ve sensed my hesitation because he reopened his eyes. “What’s wrong?”
I swallowed, utterly overwhelmed. “I don’t know where to start.”
Mason’s gaze warmed . He wrapped strong warm fingers around my wrist and drew my palm forward, leading me where he wanted my hand to follow. When he set it on the center of his chest, right over his heart and pressed my flesh to his as if fingerprinting my soul to his. I blinked back gratified tears.
“Start here. No one’s ever touched me here before.” 

This book is a fun, light read that has some dark moments. Reese brings life and color to the story with her smart mouth, quick wit and crazy personality and even though Mason’s a bit more serious, he is also funny and swoon worthy. I really enjoyed this book and the “problems” I found in the book really didn’t bother me at all in my reading and in how I felt about the book. I finished reading this book with a big smile on my face and laughed my way through this book.

“You’re the warm sun that shines when everything else is dark,”

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