Friday, May 29, 2015

Excerpt and Review: 21 Stolen Kisses by Lauren Blakely


When I first met him I resisted.
Like any forbidden love, I told myself he was a crush, and it would pass.
That was a lie. It never faded.

And I never expected he would fall for me just as hard. 

There were so many reasons that should have kept us apart, least of all, the decade that separated us.
Growing up in New York City, I learned early on that love is a double-edged sword.
Love broke up my parents, love took away my friends, and love -- the big, intense, never-been-like-this-before love -- landed me in therapy.
Now I'm heading to college, and it's time to give love a clean slate again. But, can I really start over when he's still in my life?
Because the one man I've always wanted, is also the only guy I absolutely can't have…
And he wants me just as fiercely.

Can I settle for anything less than the love of my life?

5 Star Review by Natasha Gentile

Where do I begin with this book? I’ll start with this, it is by far my favorite love story this year. I don’t think that gives it justice. It was an all-consuming, heart pounding, wholeheartedly beautiful love story between a man and a woman. It was also a story about acceptance, forgiveness, sacrifice and knowing the difference between right and wrong. Even if the only things you have ever known are lies.

Meet Kennedy, a seventeen year old soul. When most 17 year olds are going out attending proms she is trying to right her wrongs. She has been a pawn in her mother’s social games for years. 

Yes, I am that girl. The messed-up, mixed-up seventeen-year old child of well-to-do divorced parents who sees a shrink in Manhattan. It’s a bit of a caricature, and caricature is something I aim to avoid in life.

Lies -that is all she has every known; it’s what was instilled in her, protect the one you love by lying. Until l him. 

I drink none, and instead I run my finger absently along the rim, wanting one thing, wishing I could want nothing. But I can’t.
I want him.

What starts off as a friendship between two people, slowly turns into something else. Something that they both know isn’t good, something that they both know shouldn’t happen, but something they know they can’t fight. It is a force greater than them.

His eyes meet mine. His are dark blue, the color of the dawn before the day takes over. They give me my answer when he doesn’t look away, and my heart tries to spring free of my chest and bound over to him. Being in the same space-even with him so many feet away-is hard. So hard. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Noah had everything that he thought he wanted. A great job at a respected talent agency, good friends and most of all a friendship with his biggest client-Jewel Stanza's daughter. A daughter that understood him like no one else. A daughter who laughed with him, shared his interests and most importantly, who loved him.

But before she can give herself to him wholeheartedly she decides to seek forgiveness. Forgiveness for her wrongs. In doing this she decided that she will send the people that have been touched by her mistake a love letter anonymously.  

This is where the story took my heart and never gave it back.  

This beautiful soul made a list of all of her mistakes, tracking down each and every person she touched, leaving them beautiful love letters.  

The most beautiful one however was her own. It was to Noah and it was the story of her love for him and his beautiful kisses.

I’m here because of a letter.
Not the kind with hearts and lipstick marks, but the kind that takes your breath away. I wanted it to have that effect on him, and so it was the story of how we fell in love told through our kisses. Both kisses we’d had and kisses I wanted to have, and places I wanted to kiss. Places like Paris and Amsterdam, along the river or by the canal, or Kauai under waterfalls.
It was an epic love letter, and it was all I’d ever wanted in my life-to feel that kind of epic love.

What happens when you start off a love affair with a secret? For some it clearly means nothing, but for someone that wants to purge all her secrets away- it burns everything that she is. 

Kennedy was pushed to grow up way before her time, but that is actually a gift. A gift to know what love really is. A gift to know when something is right and when it is wrong and it is with this gift that she understands how to love.

This story has left a mark on my heart as one of the purest love affairs of all time. It is rare these days that you get a story that is purely about one thing and one thing only- Love. Thank you so much Lauren for bringing this love into my life.


She started to walk to the door, and some kind of emptiness took hold, rooting around in my gut at the prospect of her leaving. I reached out and placed a hand on her arm.
“Are you going to come by again?” My voice was crackly and dry. I wasn’t sure if I should be asking the question. But I was doing it anyway.
“I don’t want to complicate things,” she said, her voice low and breathy.
“They’re already complicated,” I said, my chest rising and falling as it did when I was a little bit nervous. Right then, I was a lot nervous.
“I’ll come by. Do you have papers for me to have signed?”
She smiled, reeling me in more. “I will, Noah.”
“You know that no one calls me Noah, right?”
“Are you saying you want me to call you Hayes again?”
I shook my head. “No. I want you to call me Noah.”
She stepped closer, the distance between us halving. She was so near, I could have wrapped my arms around her and tugged her in for a kiss. I clenched my fists, as if that would keep all my desires in check. The matter became more complicated when she whispered my name once more, letting it slide off her lips, like she’d lingered on every letter.

About Lauren Blakely:

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and she has had seven books on the New York Times Bestseller list and eleven on the USA Today Bestseller list. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Caught Up in Love, Seductive Nights, No Regrets and Fighting Fire. She recently released Forbidden Nights, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. This summer she'll release Consumed by You, her next title in her NYT Bestselling Fighting Fire series about sexy firemen and the women they love, and Sweet Sinful Nights, the first book in her new series Sinful Nights. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375(please use the actual + sign).


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