Kisses and Lies

Kisses and Lies

by Lauren Henderson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375891854
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 01/13/2009
Series: Scarlett Wakefield Series
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Lauren Henderson is the author of several acclaimed “tart noir” mystery novels for adults, as well as the witty romance handbook Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating. She was born and raised in London, England, where she lives with her husband.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

setting up an ambush

"Show me something!" Dan says. He's laughing; his eyes are bright with excitement. I've never seen anything as handsome as him before. I could stare at him all day.
But instead, I kiss him. For a few seconds, it's perfect. His lips are so soft, I could melt into them, and his arms, briefly, briefly, are heavy around my shoulders. My first kiss. I've never been this close to a boy in my life. My head is swimming with all the different sensations, the taste of champagne on his mouth, the lemony smell of his soap, the musk of his skin. . . . I'm shivering from head to toe.

I feel like I'm about to faint, and as my legs begin to wobble, suddenly he's gone.
I stumble.

I fall and I keep falling. I know how to fall, from gymnastics, but this is different, because I'm completely out of control, my limbs flailing. I fall for miles, down a deep, deep well, like Alice in Wonderland. Cold stone around me, cold breeze blowing, an utter sense of loss that a moment ago I was pressed against Dan's warm body, and now I'm all alone. I land with a thud that knocks the breath out of me, on a soft squish of body, and it's such a shock that I scream.

And then I realize what I've landed on, and I scream even louder.

It's Dan. He's lying under me, and he's colder than the stone.

He's dead.

My kiss killed him.

And the police are banging down the door to arrest me.

"Scarlett! Scarlett!"

I wake up screaming, but I don't know what words I'm yelling.


My aunt Gwen's pounding on the door.

"You're screaming again! Wake up!"

Aunt Gwen tries the door. It isn't locked, which is a mistake on my part. She storms into my room. I hear her before I see her, because I'm still really disoriented and my eyes are crusty with sleep. I rub them to clear them out. Even that's hard, as I'm still trippy from my dream.

When I manage to open my eyes, I keep blinking. Aunt Gwen's a scary sight by day. By night, she's like a monster from a children's book. The hair sticking up like a deranged puffball, the warty forehead, the watery eyes . . . Ugh, I just emerged from a nightmare and dropped bang-slap into another one.

"Scarlett!" she yells, though there's no need because she's standing right over the bed. "You were screaming in your sleep!"

"I was having a nightmare, Aunt Gwen," I say, flinching. "I'm sorry I woke you."

"I have a very busy day tomorrow! I have geography tests to invigilate for the lower fourth!"

Only Aunt Gwen would use a word like invigilate at--I squint at the clock--4:30 in the morning.

"I said I was sorry," I repeat. "I can't help having a nightmare."

She huffs loudly in disbelief. It's a famous Aunt Gwen noise; I've heard students imitating it in the corridors.

I can't help getting cross now.

"I can't help it," I protest. "I really can't."

Aunt Gwen knows what happened to me this summer: she knows a boy I was kissing dropped dead at my feet. How can she expect me just to push that aside as if it never happened?

Aunt Gwen huffs again, even louder. She doesn't care about what happened to me. She just wants to get her sleep. And she hates me.

But that's okay, because I hate her, too.

"This has got to stop," Aunt Gwen grumbles loudly. "I've had enough, d'you hear?"
She turns and stomps out of the room. I hear her slippers slapping back along the corridor, and the sound of her bedroom door slamming shut.

This does have to stop. That's the single thing Aunt Gwen and I agree on. I just don't know how.

"It's so weird that you started having these dreams now," Taylor says, pushing open the heavy glass door of the coffee shop with the effortless ease of a girl who does fifty push-ups before breakfast. I walk in and she follows me, holding the door till the person behind her, a man in a suit, can catch up to take it from her. He doesn't say
thank you. Taylor promptly lets the door go, and he staggers back under its weight.

"You're welcome," she says to him.

He goes bright red, still off-balance and struggling with the door, and to complete his humiliation, we both snicker as we walk toward the counter.

"I think I'm dreaming about Dan now because I can," I say. "Does that make sense?"

"Uh-uh." She shakes her head.

"What I mean is, before, I thought I killed him, right? But now I know it wasn't my fault he died, maybe I feel free-er to dream about him," I try to explain.

Taylor, who usually doesn't go for any kind of deep psychological exploration--she's an action girl through and through--actually looks as if she's thinking this theory over. Her heavy dark brows draw together over her green eyes in a frown of concentration, and she shakes her head, making her short dark hair look even shaggier, a gesture she does unconsciously when she's thinking hard.

"It was a huge deal," she concedes. "I mean, a guy dropping dead at your feet. I guess the weird thing is that you never dreamed about it before."

"Exactly! But now I can."

In the mirrored glass behind the counter of the coffee shop I see the man in the suit, standing behind us in the queue. He looks appalled, and he's actually backing away from us a bit.

I can't blame him. It's not exactly the kind of conversation you expect to hear in Latte-Licious from two sixteen-year-olds, is it? Death and nightmares and blame and guilt? Especially when one of those sixteen-year-olds has just shown how much stronger she is than you. Taylor's got a swimmer's build, with naturally wide shoulders, but all the upper-body work she does means that she looks pretty intimidating, and her fleece emphasizes that, making her look even fitter and sportier. Me, I did gymnastics for years, so I'm pretty fit too, but unfortunately, for purposes of intimidating people, I'm naturally curvy, with a layer of fat that Taylor doesn't seem to have. You'd expect Taylor to be able to chin her own weight; you'd be amazed to see me do it, though I can, easily. So we make a pretty good team, I suppose. Taylor's the obvious muscle, while I can look all girly and fool people into thinking I'd cry if I chipped a nail.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Kisses and Lies 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
bookduck More than 1 year ago
Kisses and Lies picks up where Kiss Me Kill Me left off and then spends the first 100 pages recapping Kiss Me Kill Me. Okay-I exaggerate, but the first part of the novel is recap-heavy: good for new readers, terribly annoying for people who have read book one. The action really picks up in the middle of the book, when Scarlett heads to the McAndrew Castle in Scotland in her investigation of Dan's death. Like the settings of Kiss Me Kill Me, the setting of Castle Airlie is fascinating, and I loved exploring it with Scarlett. Lauren Henderson, the author, is a master of the Plot Twist, and I was surprised many times in ways both big and small. There's plenty of suspense and danger, and I was also pleased to find Scarlett's tone still smart, funny, enjoyable, and age-appropriate. Henderson's characters are as likeable as ever. That being said, I would have given up on this book if I were not already committed to Scarlett Wakefield's story; I would have grown impatient with the Recap-Palooza and slow beginning of the novel, much of which is bogged down by Scarlett's angst over whether or not she should be falling in love with Jase before solving Dan's death. I was glad I held on, though-the last half of the book is a gripping slide down the roller coaster of the mystery. The resolution felt rushed, and like too much was happening in too small a space, but Henderson makes it up to her readers by revealing the big whodunit! Kisses and Lies doesn't end with a cliffhanger, but it does set up a satisfying and intriguing place for the next book in the Scarlett Wakefield series to begin. All in all, Kisses and Lies is a decent book. If you've read Kiss Me Kill Me, you owe it to yourself to follow Scarlett as she finally solves her mystery-but I do suggest borrowing it before you buy. If you haven't read Kiss Me Kill Me, I strongly recommend reading it before reading Kisses and Lies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kisses and Lies By Lauren Henderson Pub. Date: January 2009 5 out of 5 stars PG-13 - Violence, Sensuality, and Profanity Recommended Scarlett is still haunted by her first kiss, six months ago. That night, Dan suffered a fatal allergic reaction and died in Scarlett's arms. That terrible memory is never far from her thoughts. Determined to solve the mystery of Dan's murder, Taylor and Scarlett begin to gather clues. Their dauntless search for the truth intensifies when Scarlett arrives at Dan's family's castle. Hidden motives, Entail loopholes, birthday cakes, and shotguns all lurk in the shadows. Scarlett only has a few days left to unravel the mystery. before someone else gets hurt. Kisses and Lies was completely absorbing and realistic fiction at its best. I couldn't put it down! The plot's twists, turns, and backtracking were believable and kept me on my toes and dancing. Every clue aroused new suspensions. The venerable characters were extremely easy to get attached to. I had every confidence that Scarlett and Taylor would figure it out, but I couldn't help but gasp or ooh or aah quite often. Not only were they good people they were also very versatile at locating, researching, and distributing information. I never wanted to stop cheering for them. This is one of the first times a book had an understandable love triangle that wasn't outrageous or shallow. Jase was charming and Callum saved his smiles for special occasions. Both boys had pros and cons/ attractions and put offs. Please let there be a third book! I dearly want to know what happens to Scarlett and her complicated relationships. I know Scarlett's life goes on, and I want to be there for it. Date Reviewed: April 9th, 2009 For more book reviews and book information check out my blog at
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
I was so glad i had the second book already for this series and I could see what happens to Scarlett next. While the first part of the book does go back over things that happened in Kiss Me Kill Me, the real fun starts right after Scarlett takes a trip to Scotland where Dan lived and Scarlett tries to help find out who the real killer was. I liked this book a lot more because there was a lot more drama and gasp worthy tense moments. I really hope that things with Jase get better. He seems so nice and cute, its just his Dad that makes things really scary. Even if you didn't read the first book, this will keep you in the know and you will find your self wanting to read the next in the series. I know I am!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kisses and Lies is a great book about a girl named Scarlett and her friend Taylor solving the mystery of the death of her ex boyfriend Dan. She was at a party when Dan asked to hang with him. She went to kiss him and he died. He died from an allergic reaction from peanut oil from crackers someone gave her. She must find out who set her up. This is a great book.
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scovel More than 1 year ago
This book picks up right where the last book finished. You may be wondering if the murderer ever gets caught. Does Scarlett and Taylor track down exactly what happened to the boy that died in her arms? You have to read Kiss Me Kill Me first. This book picks up exactly where the previous left off and you'll be lost if you don't read book one first. In book one Scarlett gets invited to the A group and to a party where she gets to kiss the boy of her dreams. She kisses him and he dies in her arms. She is shipped to her grandmother's house, which is a boarding school, and she decides to take matters into her own hands to figure out what happened to Dan.
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KaylaNicole_MusicLover More than 1 year ago
After reading Kiss Me, Kill Me, i was so excited to read this, but i was honestly disappointed. The first half of the book is just a long retelling of Kiss Me, Kill Me. I mean, sure, that is great if you haven't read the first book, but for everyone that had, it was a bit of a waste of time. Though, readers should push through until the second half, because finding out who was responsible for Dan's death is what you owe yourself. The ending is very satisfying,but the rest is very dissappointing.
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