Kiss Me Sweetly
(Kiss a Belle, #3)
by Cecilia Gray
Historical / Romance / YA
Gray Life, LLC
Publication Date: February 1st, 2017
Get a copy here!
A brand new series from the author of The Gentlemen Next Door, praised for being a “delightful Regency romp… in the spirit of Georgette Heyer.”
Meet Bridget Belle—the Bookish Belle—her head full of mischief and ideas. Unlike her sisters, she has every intention of marrying a storybook hero. Someone romantic and passionate—just like her.
Meet Benjamin Abernathy—the sensible duke’s son—his head firmly on his shoulders. Being the rational one amongst his friends has seen him through school and the war. But it will take more than reason and logic to win a battle of wits against Bridget.
Quick Reasons: bookish references give me life!; Bridget was a bit TOO over the top for me in some instances; super headstrong, stubborn, well-written character; Bridget’s adventures are entertaining and a bit intense; not sure I “bought” this romance as much as the previous two, but the sibling relationships are just as awesome as they were before
Huge thanks, again, to Cecilia Gray; Gray Life, LLC; and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
I’m not so sure I’d call this my favorite of the series so far–I definitely wasn’t as entertained or sucked into the read as the previous two, unfortunately. I felt that Bridget’s character was a bit…pushy, I guess? And while that’s not at all a bad thing, I found her difficult at times to connect with–especially in regards to her incessant obsession over a book. Now, don’t get me wrong–I am ALL ABOUT obsessing over books. I mean, what sort of Penguin would I be if I weren’t?! This entire BLOG is devoted to the obsession of books, after all! But in several instances, I felt her obsession bordered a bit on the manic side, and it didn’t really suit her character in my opinion.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I wasn’t super entertained by the read! I REALLY adored the bookish references…but I ALSO really enjoyed the lengths to which Bridget went to achieve her goal, despite my feelings about the goal itself. There were a few moments in her ventures that, I’ve discovered upon completing the series, foreshadow other happenings to come–and I, as stated before, absolutely adore the ways that Cecilia Gray wove these stories together. Small events, tiny actions, are enough to cause ripples that stretch across the whole of this journey–for all sisters–and I am awed by how easily Cecilia Gray made it seem to intersperse and plan such details ahead.
I’m also not sure I entirely believed this romance. There was a lack of sparks between these characters in comparison to the last two books–I did not necessarily find myself waiting with bated breath, or fending off unseemly butterflies. While I grant the pair is fitting, I didn’t feel as compelled to love them together. There were a few moments of startling endearment, but overall, I didn’t feel as much for this couple as the previous two–which is unfortunate, as I’ve been really loving Cecilia Gray’s pairings so far.
Still, this was just as entertaining an installment as the last two, and I really enjoyed seeing these events from yet another set of POVs! Bridget’s quest to find the book was both entertaining and a slight bit confusing, given the intensity wasn’t something I expected of her. I recommend this series to lovers of historical fiction, characters who like to test their limits, and (in this instance) books detailing scandalous romances. Put on your sleuthing gloves, Penguins–there’s a book that must be found!