Friday, January 30, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage

 4.5 Stars

Mason Lowe’s good looks first catch the attention of new-to-town freshman Reese Randall on campus, but it’s his profession that really has her gaping. Mason is a gigolo!

Now I’ll admit I initially debated reading this one simply because I wasn’t sure I could get past Mason’s profession in regards to a love story. But then that is the major obstacle of his relationship with Reese, and for the most part, it’s done well. The concept of meaningless, paid sex vs. meaningful, in love sex with the person you relate with and adore is a big part of the story. You can feel the internal struggles and disappointments that Mason wrestles with. Reese is certainly a strong female character. Told via her first person point of view, she’s positive and upbeat despite the abuse she has endured with her high school boyfriend. Her love for Mason is believable in the way that she is able to overlook his profession because she sees past his reputation and gets to know the true person he is. The story highlights an important message of looking past labels and not letting the past define your future.

For the most part, Mason’s profession isn’t detailed or shown. However…*Spoiler Alert*…. the scene with the landlady towards the end that made Mason physically sick had my stomach rolling too. I really wished the author hadn’t gone there at that point. It took away from the make out scene with Reese before as well as their love scene afterwards. Too icky even after the shower as well as too soon after for me. And it was really the main thing that held me back from giving the book 5 stars.

That’s not to say that when they finally get to give into all the chemistry and tension between them that it isn’t sexy. In fact, it’s sexy, sweet, and funny, and it separates it from all of the previous encounters Mason (and even Reece) has had. 
“Yeah, I’m a frigging saint. Now will you please touch my dick like you mean it before the damn thing explodes?”
While Reece has an insta-lust reaction to Mason at their first sighting, the story is far from rushed in the build-up of their relationship that starts as friends—a friendship that is still clearly felt even after they become lovers. Towards the end, the drama revs into high gear. *Spoiler Alert* I would have liked to have seen a little explanation over how the landlady found Reese’s true identity. I was also annoyed that neither Mason nor Reese came to their senses in time to realize that giving into the nasty “Mrs. Robinson” wasn’t going to stop her form controlling him time and time again. “Mrs. Robinson” needed a much bigger take down IMO.

Overall though Mason and Reese are a sweet, young couple who have both been victimized. While Mason may physically save Reese in the end, it is Reese that saves Mason on a larger level. This is book one in the stand-alone Forbidden Men series. There is no cliffhanger and a well done HEA that leaves you wanting more of Mason and Reese’s new road for the future. 

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