- Title: A Kiss By Design
- Author: Christy Hayes
- ISBN: 1625720084 (ISBN13: 9781625720085)
- Series: Kiss & Tell #1
- Published: November 27th 2013 by Cah LLC (first published November 21st 2013)
- Format: eBook
- Genre/s: Contemporary Romance
- Print Length: 244 pages
- Source: Netgalley
- Rating: B-
A Kiss By Design is a story about a girl, Emily, caught between two brothers. Dylan is her best friend and his brother Zach is her high-school sweetheart. Dylan has been given the task, by his brother, to hold onto for safekeeping the engagement ring that he plans on giving to Emily. Hi-jinks ensue when Emily innocently stumbles upon the ring and mistakenly assumes that the ring belongs to Dylan and that he is getting ready to propose to someone. Faced with the sudden realization that she might lose her best friend to another woman that she hasn’t even met sends Emily on a path to stop Dylan from making the biggest mistake of his life.
Strengths: Christy Hayes did a great job starting off this love triangle using the classic scenario of mis-communication to kick-start what quickly becomes a realization for Emily that perhaps she’s with the wrong brother. She begins to question why she’s with Zach as she examines her changing feelings for Dylan. Meanwhile, Dylan is torn between his feelings for Emily and loyalty for his brother, while he desperately tries to put distance between him and the woman that he loves. Hayes does an excellent job of setting the stage for what will inevitably will be the hard choice, should Emily stay with Zach or move on with Dylan?
Weaknesses: Where I think Hayes’ story falls apart is in the last five chapters or so in the novel. I think that if she had wrapped up the story at the point where Emily makes her final choice between the two brothers, it would have been a more natural ending for the story. Instead, Hayes continued with the story adding in unnecessary characters and dialogue that really did nothing to improve or move the story along. Instead, I found myself wondering why I was suddenly reading about peripheral people who weren’t important and sifting through conversations that were simply not needed (particularly during a bedroom scene). I’ve been told that this seems to be a new trend in the New Adult genre, where describing everything that happens during intimate moments is fairly common. I don’t get it myself, but if this is truly the case, than perhaps this type of story is just not for me.
Next Steps: My final comment would be that the author has told a great story for the bulk of the novel. I really did enjoy it… until I didn’t and that my last bit of advice would be to remember that “less is more” and that readers are smart, they will be able to read between the lines if allowed to.
Christy Hayes and her husband outside Atlanta, Georgia, with their two children and two dogs. She has a journalism degree from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) and is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Women’s Fiction Chapter of Romance Writers of America. She has been writing seriously since 2004 and made the decision to indie publish in 2011.
Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher for an honest review.