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Posted January 24, 2014
I was gifted a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review of the book.
Emily Dilbert and Dylan Chamberlain are best friends and sophomores in college together. Emily has been dating Dylan's older brother Zach for 5 years and Zach is the star quarterback at another college. One weekend while Zach is visiting Emily, he asks for Dylan's help in hiding an engagement ring for her. At this point, Dylan realizes that he and Emily will always be friends. The same night that Zach leaves to go back to school, Emily asks Dylan for help hanging curtains. His cell phone rings while he is gone to the store for her and she fishes it out of his backpack. She also finds the ring and thinks that it belongs to Dylan. This is where the fun begins; Emily enlists her roommates to flirt with Dylan to see if he will take the bait. She is trying to keep him from making a "mistake" with the girl that Emily believes is his girlfriend.
This is such a sweet and heartwarming read. I was caught when I read the blurb and hooked when I read the sample. The book just seemed to get better and better with each page that was turned. Christy Hayes just simply had me hooked to the words that she wrote and I couldn't tear myself away from her book. I did notice that the cover stated Kiss & Tell Book One so I am hoping that we are going to see more of Emily and Dylan. That was my only complaint about the book was that the ending was a little bit elusive. I fell in love with all of the characters and just wanted to read more about them.
I will definitely be reading more by this author and can't wait until more books come out in this series.
Posted December 26, 2013
I really enjoyed reading A Kiss by Design, it had an interesting plot and characters. Christy Hayes did a good job executing the story as well as describing what each other the main characters were feeling/thinking by adding their point-of-views as well.
Emily Dilbert is a college sophomore, who is content with her boyfriend and friends. She knows that whenever she is in need of help her best friend, Dylan, will always be there. But it all soon starts to change when she finds an engagement ring in his backpack. That's when she realizes that the time with her friend is almost over. Emily cares deeply for Dylan, they have been friends since they were kids and she knows him more than anymore else, and all she wants is his happiness. With that in mind, she formulates a plan to get him to see reality before he makes a great mistake by marrying someone that he is not going to make him happy.
Dylan Chamberlain has been in love with his brother's girlfriend ever since they were kids. He knows her more than anyone else and he hates to see his brother with Emily and not treat her right. But when his brother asks him to keep the engagement ring safe for him, he realizes that his love for Emily has to stop and that he needs to move on. He tries to ignore her to keep his sanity safe, but he can't ignore her for long before he starts to miss her. As Emily's plan is in the works, she does everything she can to get Dylan to realize that he is making a mistake. But the close they get, the more they start to see that their friendship can turn into something more.
The way the story is executed was great. I liked how it started and overall idea. I had some issues with Emily as a character, she doesn't make the smartest decisions in the story. I enjoyed reading Dylan's point-of-view the best, he is adorable and charming. I liked him a lot in the story and how caring he is. What I didn't like as much was the end, it felt too rushed for me. The last couple of chapters could have been executed differently. It's predictable how everything is going to turn out, but I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend anyone to give it a try. I'm most definitely be reading the second book in the series.
*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Posted December 22, 2013
A Kiss by Design was a cute upper YA/NA read. The characters were likable (most of them, anyhow) and, as we all know, I'm a sucker for a good "friends first" romance story. This one had the added twist of each of the main characters, while obviously nurturing strong feelings for the other, were in a relationship (of sorts) with someone else. I'm not much for love triangles (or shapes of any sort, really), but this one worked for me.
Emily is dating Zach, a football star, who attends a different university than she does. Zach's brother Dylan is Emily's close friend and they attend the same school. Zach is rarely there - emotionally or physically - for Emily, so she relies on Dylan for the things most girls would turn to their boyfriends to help with. Because Dylan secretly loves Emily, he's happy to help. Until the day his brother confesses he's going to ask Emily to marry him and Dylan decides some distance is necessary, despite how easy it is for him to get sucked into Emily's pull. To complicate matters further, Emily discovers the ring Dylan is holding for Zach and thinks Dylan is about to pop the question to his quasi-girlfriend, Denise. Heartbroken because her friend didn't even tell her he's in love, let alone about to propose to someone, Emily believes his feelings can't be that strong and with the very reluctant help of her friends, sets out to make Dylan change his mind. Along the way, with help from her meddling (in a good way!) friends Kayla, Reagan and Shelby, realizes her feelings for Dylan are a lot different than the friendly feelings she thought she had for him.
I liked Emily, though I found her to be kinda wishy washy at times. I understand she was torn between the two brothers, but I just wanted her to make up her mind. Dylan was the star of this book, as far as I'm concerned. He's the swoony book boyfriend we all wish was real – and ours. He was sweet and supportive and reliable and sexy. It's no wonder Emily fell for him. Zach never really did it for me. Though he didn't feature in the book nearly as much as Dylan did, when he was around he was self-centered and, quite frankly, a bit of a jerk. I hope to discover another side of him in the second book in this series. Emily's friends Kayla, Reagan and Shelby were each awesome in their own way. Shelby was my favorite though. She was outgoing and forthright. She said what she felt and thought and I found that refreshing.
The story was cute and romantic, even if it was predictable. But you know what? I don't mind predictable when I like the characters… and I definitely liked these characters. The multiple POVs in the book ended up being a little difficult to follow at times. They changed mid-chapter and at times, I was confused as to who the narrator was.
My biggest complaint with this book was that I wish the build-up had been cut short and the ending had been a little more satisfying. While not a true cliffhanger, it left me wanting more. We spent so much time in the back and forth with Emily and Dylan that I wanted more of them together. What we got, instead, was a tease. I absolutely adored these two characters. They were so perfect for each other, I wanted a chance to actually know more than that they were going on a date. I wanted to see them as a couple. I know this is a series, but the second book is Zach's book and, given the way relationships were severed in this story, I don't anticipate much of Emily and Dylan in his book. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong. But, the ending caused me to knock a full star off my rating of this one.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Posted November 26, 2013
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Christy Hayes and Netgalley.)
Emily has been dating Zach for years, but she’s also best friends with his brother Dylan, and feels like her relationship with Zach wouldn’t work without Dylan.
Zach is planning to ask Emily to marry him, and gives the ring to Dylan for safe keeping, unfortunately though Emily sees it in his bag, and incorrectly assumes that Dylan is going to ask another girl to marry him.
Realising that she is jealous of whoever Dylan is going to propose to, Emily starts a plan to stop Dylan, not realising just how deep her feelings go.
Will Emily admit how she feels about Dylan? And is she nuts for thinking that her boyfriend’s brother is the best part of their relationship?
This was an okay contemporary romance, but it was very awkward in the beginning.
Emily was an okay character, although she really let Zach rule their relationship. I found it a bit bizarre how she thought that if Zach was a bad boyfriend it was her own fault, and that she thought that the best part of their relationship was his brother! I don’t know what she was thinking, but thinking that it’s your fault that your boyfriend isn’t perfect? Thinking his brother is the best part of your relationship? Weird, and not good in so many ways.
The storyline was okay, but it did have its issues. The start of the book was really awkward, and things felt a bit forced and unnatural. Even the first conversation between Zach and Dylan felt awkward, and it took a long time for me to actually begin to like this book.
It annoyed me that Emily tried to get her friends to flirt with Dylan without considering that things might be awkward if he actually came on to them! I could totally see what her friends were saying – she wanted them to pretend to be drunk, and come on to Dylan, but what would they have done if he’d actually started flirting back?
There were some funny moments in this book though, and even though it wasn’t supposed to be funny, I found these lines quite amusing –
"Her eyes went wide as she realised what she felt against her leg."
"He considered excusing himself to the bathroom to spank the monkey."
"Do you know who we're playing this weekend? I can't believe you're doing this to me now."
The romance was actually quite good when we actually got some romantic scenes, but I personally would have liked there to have been more romance. We didn’t really get more than one scene between Dylan and Emily which was a bit disappointing, and this was the best aspect of the book.
The ending was okay, although it seems pretty obvious that this couple is not going to have an easy time of things after all that has gone on. It seems like the second book in the series will be about Zach, but after reading this and knowing what his relationship with Emily was like (including the fact that he just wanted to get the job done in bed, and didn’t bother with foreplay) I can’t say I’m desperate to read his story!
Overall; an okay contemporary romance, with the occasional funny moment.
7 out of 10.