*I was given a copy of With This Kiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to HQ and Carrie Hope Fletcher*
CW: details of death, suicide
If you knew how your love story ends, would you dare to begin?
From the outside, Lorelai is an ordinary young woman with a normal life. She loves reading, she works at the local cinema and she adores living with her best friend. But she carries a painful burden, something she’s kept hidden for years; whenever she kisses someone on the lips, she sees how they are going to die.
Lorelai has never known if she’s seeing what was always meant to be, or if her kiss is the thing that decides their destiny. And so, she hasn’t kissed anyone since she was eighteen.
Then she meets Grayson. Sweet, clever, funny Grayson. And for the first time in years she yearns for a man’s kiss. But she can’t…or can she? And if she does, should she try to intervene and change what she sees?
After seeing the announcement for this book on Carrie’s Instagram I knew I wanted to get my hands on a review copy as reading ‘influencer’ books is something I’m interested in. I read one of Carrie’s books back in 2017 and thought it was pretty decent. I thought the same here, pretty good but nothing spectacular.
The concept of the book club, which was set up in the first few chapters, was really interesting and I adore books with this theme. However, it isn’t really ever given a second thought. If I’m remembering correctly it’s only mentioned a second time in passing and honestly, I was very disappointed. It was the setting where the main character met their love interest and I was really hoping to get some longing glances and cute flirtations at the club. Unfortunately not.
With This Kiss was not a love story for me. There were no moments of epic romance and honestly no romance at all. Lorelai was desperate for love, and although she did have some pretty big hurdles in her way, she never came across as a romantic to me.
I was really looking forward to a good romance read and when I saw this promoted as “Spellbinding, magical and utterly original, With This Kiss is one love story you will never forget” I was ready for a great love story. But honestly, this is a love story I will forget. Just a few days after finishing the book I’ve already forgotten how it ended, not a good sign if you ask me. Properly thinking about it I think the book ended with a meeting at the book club, but it was too little too late for me.
Personally, I think this book was more about family rather than romance. Lorelai isolates herself from her family at a very young age and throughout With This Kiss you get to see her relationship with her family bloom once more. This was the ‘love story’ I was more invested in. The connection between family felt much more important to me than the one she wanted to build with her romantic interest.
Now, it sounds like I really didn’t enjoy With This Kiss and honestly I’m not too sure where it sits with me. It was a quick read which is always a positive for me and it did have a really inventive concept, but I think it could have benefitted from more development. This next part is a slight spoiler (it shouldn’t affect your reading experience as I won’t be naming characters but could be seen as a spoiler by some) so skip the next paragraph if you don’t want anything spoiled for you.
I really would have liked to get some kind of explanation as to why Lorelai has this ‘power’. You do find out about other people who understand what she’s going through but no one seems to have any answers to her questions. It would have made for a nice conclusion if you were to find out why.
With This Kiss was well written and despite mysterious ‘powers’ the characters were realistic and had a decent amount of development. I do think this type of concept would benefit more from a series format. Just 400 pages didn’t seem enough for this type of story.
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