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Monday, November 22, 2010

The Kiss Test by Shannon McKelden

The Kiss Test by Shannon McKelden
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (239 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

Margo Gentry's life is perfect. She loves her job as a DJ for Manhattan's only country music station, and she has a great boyfriend who accepts her need to avoid marriage and tolerates her Elvis obsession—even the velvet Elvis painting in their bedroom.

But then it all falls apart. The radio station changes formats and fires all the DJs. Margo's boyfriend decides he wants kids and a house in the suburbs and kicks her to the curb. And to top it all off, her Mom is getting married—for the 11th time!—and expects Margo to be there as maid of honor.

With no job and no place to live, Margo has to bunk on the couch of her best friend, Chris, whose revolving bedroom door has played host to half the women in New York—at least, the ones who pass his "kiss test." Worse, he's insisting she attend her mother's wedding, and he's personally driving her cross-country to ensure she shows up.

Forget about surviving the road trip—can their friendship survive The Kiss Test?

When I pick up a book I have certain expectations. HEA is a given for romance and The Kiss Test has that in spades which makes this book such an enjoyable read.

Ms. McKelden’s quirky sense of humour dumps her heroine, Margo, into ond disaster after another, which, if you weren’t laughing so much would make you squirm. Written in the first person, this book starts with ‘perfect’ and soon degenerates into the absurd.

Be not alarmed! The absurd, in this case, will have you turning the pages eagerly to discover the next tragedy to befall her endearing heroine.

The back story is both serious and skilfully woven through the story, and reveals the deep-seated fears that have prevented Margo from taking the plunge into matrimony. This aversion ties in with her less-than-stellar relationship with her mother, and when her mother invites Margo to participate in her eleventh wedding, Margo’s well-ordered life starts falling apart and truths begin to surface.

Ms. McKeldens hero, Chris, is there for Margo at every embarrassing chapter of her drive across the country to the wedding. Although she doesn’t realise it, Chris is her strength, not just her best friend. If he has a weakness in Margo’s opinion, it's his insatiable quest for the right woman, and his belief that he’ll recognise her when he’s kissed her. And he doesn’t miss a single opportunity on the journey.

Margo’s confusion increases as her feelings for her best friend change and grow. They may be hampered by her aversion to marriage, but Chris knows what he wants and is prepared to wait.

Ms. McKelden creates wonderful full-bodies characters including her supporting cast. If you are feeling low, and in need of a good laugh, then buy this book. It won’t fail to deliver.