Reviewed by Ambrea
Rena Jackson is looking for a forever kind of love. She’s a diehard romantic and she wants to find her happily-ever-after with Mr. Right. She wants roses, romance, marriage—the whole nine yards. Axel Heller wants to give her that and more, but he’s terrified of hurting her—and he’s even more terrified she’ll move on to find someone else. To catch her, he’ll appeal to her romantic side: if he can give her the perfect kiss, she’ll agree to a date…and then, he hopes, many more.
The Kissing Game by Marie Harte had a lot of promise at first glance. I kind of enjoyed the earlier novels in the series and I liked the cover, so I thought I would give it a chance, but, unfortunately, Harte’s latest novel fell flat for me.
I actually liked the characters when I met them in previous novels. I liked how dedicated and driven Rena was, and I appreciated how reliable and—well, not exactly friendly, but trustworthy Axel seemed. I was pretty excited to see how their relationship would grow, except it never felt like it did. It never seemed like they had any real chemistry and, truthfully, their entire romance felt a little rote.
There were parts that were cute and parts that were absolutely, mortifyingly hilarious, but almost everything about them seemed slightly bland and unimpressive. Harte seemed to draw on many of the same tropes that were in her earlier novels and, rather than pull out something new, she drew on tried-and-true, which made The Kissing Game seem boring.
novel also didn’t feel like it had a real plot.
I mean, sure, Axel deals with his emotional baggage and Rena works
furiously to make her dreams of owning a hair salon come true, but it never
seemed terribly substantial. For me, it
just didn’t hit any of the right notes to make it memorable.
I’m not saying it was a bad novel: it was fun, but it was mostly fluff and it just didn’t have as much substance as I would have liked. Mostly, I feel like the author was simply rounding out the series, so, at that point, I think we were both tired of it and ready to move on.