21 Stolen Kisses by Lauren Blakely


Release Day is May 26th!
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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+ stars!

They say time heals all wounds. But does it close the gaps too? Maybe it can. Maybe in a year it turns an eight-year time gap into dust. Maybe it turns a girl who didn't know what she wanted into someone who became certain. Maybe it turns twenty-one stolen kisses into endless given ones.

This is probably my favorite Lauren Blakely book to date! I loved this story so much. The author pegged the conflicted emotions of a 17 yr old young woman perfectly. What a conflicting age, anyone remember being seventeen?? :)
This is the first time I've read anything outside of LB's erotica series. I will admit that I was worried that I wouldn't like it, but she has now proven to me that she is indeed a beautiful and talented story teller.
Kennedy is a girl who has grown up surrounded by shame and lies because of a mother who is in denial of her sex addiction. She would use Kennedy as her scapegoat and it is now beginning to weigh heavily on her conscience. It has given her a warped sense of love and whether or not it is actually something people can truly have. In fact, Kennedy is obsessed with love. She looks for signs of it everywhere. Her collection of hearts was very symbolic of her hopes and dreams that love can be something tangible and real. This was my favorite part of the book. It became a sweet and romantic game between her and Noah. I loved it... :) I think I'm going to start my own collection. I'll start with this one:

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Because we are indeed lucky to find true love right?? Yes, I know... a little sappy... just go with it! I'm having fun... :)

Noah works for Kennedy's mother. They have a very close relationship. His closeness to the family is what sparked the seeds of interest between him and Kennedy. He never set out to fall in love with her. But, the heart wants what it wants! They were perfect for each other. Noah wasn't blind to the age gap, in fact, he was very conflicted about it, but she completed him in ways he never thought possible. Sometimes time is your enemy. And, these two just fell in love at the worst possible moment in both of their lives.
Noah really was an outstanding guy. He never pushed Kennedy. He was always very patient and understanding but at the same time hopeful they could find a way to love each other openly and freely. My heart went out to both of them. I was rooting for them and hoping they could find a way to be together. But, at the same time I was thinking... "She's only seventeen!"... so, yes I was totally empathizing with Kennedy's father. What parent wouldn't be concerned about an 8 yr age gap when your daughter is only 17. But, love is love and it doesn't care about timing.
Kennedy's relationship with her mother really got to me. Even though she hated what her mother was doing, she still loved her. But, she could no longer allow herself to be defined by her mother's actions. She had to make a very hard choice at the end and I was very proud of her for the decisions she made. Sometimes, you just have to save yourself.
I'm not sure why this book spoke to me so much. Perhaps it's because I have 3 daughters of my own... or, maybe it stirred up a lot of familiar emotions. It's kind of hard to put into words. But, this book will definitely be going into my top favorite reads of the year so far. It's a book I plan to read again and again...

I've said this before and I'll say it again:
I heart you Lauren Blakely!!! :)

ARC was provided by Inkslinger PR 

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