If y’all look in the right sidebar you’ll see the Stiletto link.  You can get new “magazine articles” by clicking on it every Thursday.  It’s fun and light.  Some of us may be past this stage but it’s always fun to see how little has really changed in this dance…:)  I’ll be giving away a kindle copy to one (1) lucky commenter.  What were some of your “firsts” like?   I always found the first date & first kiss awkward & dreaded them..

after the kiss

Julie Greene has been commanded by her boss Camille, via the hair sway, to write beyond the first date, the first kiss, to go deeper.  Deeper isn’t Julie’s thing, she thrives on the first knows the rules and is a pro at the game.  She doesn’t want to meet parents or, God forbid, do a movie night.  Julie does the fun dating stuff not actual relationships.  Shallow?  Guilty as charged but it’s a lot more fun this way.   That’s not the half of it though…. Camille has assigned her nemesis, Kelli, as an alternate. Over her dead body is the only way that’s happening.

Stiletto Magazine is the magazine and Julie, Grace Brighton and Riley McKenna are, quite literally, the Dating, Love, and Sex Department.

While making a charity appearance at the MoMA Julie, Grace, and Riley, hatch what they consider a brilliant plan.  Julie will find a man to start a pretend relationship with that goes beyond a few weeks of dates.  In fact, Grace knows the perfect man. Mitchell Forbes.  Mitchell is a Wall Street colleague of Grace’s boyfriend, Greg, and just broke up with his girlfriend of two years, Evelyn.

Mitchell Forbes is predictable. He’s never had a fling or one night stand. His colleague, Colin, bets him half his Yankee season tickets that he can’t do a fling.  Now that things are over with Evelyn it’s just what he needs isn’t it?  Can he do it?

Mitchell’s thoughts on first seeing Julie…

She looked like California chic had collided with East Coast reserve and gotten it all wrong.

Julie’s thoughts on Mitchell..

Pinstripes. Good Lord. Ten bucks says he has a pocket protector.

Let the games begin…

Hilarious. I laughed my way through the first part of AFTER THE KISS.  Mitchell keeps Julie off center, never being quite what she expects and blowing her away with the “kiss from the gods.”, among other things.

Julie gives up all pretenses and practiced moves with Mitchell, surprising him by actually having depth, intelligence, and a personality.

Neither is what the other expected.  Having their misconceptions blown away while they truly get to know the person beneath the public facade is loaded with humor and fun.

Julie wanted an article out of this “relationship” and Mitchell wanted Yankee tickets for half the season, they’re both getting exactly what they weren’t looking for and didn’t want.  You can see the train wreck coming.

Ms. Layne’s writing snagged me from the beginning.  Mitchell and Julie’s lively banter complete with snarky asides and thoughts, their believable evolution to a real couple and dreading the moment they discover the original reasons each sought the other made AFTER THE KISS hard to put down.  Despite having a good idea of how things would play out I was still 100% vested.

The whole package blends wonderfully to make AFTER THE KISS an addictive delight.  Looking forward to Grace’s story, Love the One You’re With.  I’m fairly confident Riley will have her book but sincerely have my fingers crossed that Camille will get her HEA.

4 Stars

Really had a lotta fun with Julie and Mitchell.  If any of y’all read it, let me know your thoughts.  Love to talk books!