Publication Date: January 30th 2014
My rating: 3 stars
Ellie Cohen is living her dream. A great job at an exclusive Mayfair art gallery, loyal mates, loving family, and really, really good hair. Well, there's the famous rock-star father who refuses to acknowledge her and a succession of 'challenging' boyfriends, but nobody's perfect. But when a vengeful ex sells Ellie out to the press, she suddenly finds herself fighting to keep her job, her reputation and her sanity. Then David Gold - handsome, charming but ruthlessly ambitious - is sent in to manage the media crisis . . . and Ellie. David thinks she's a gold-digger and Ellie thinks he's a shark in a Savile Row suit, so it's just as well that falling in love is the last thing on their minds . . .
I’ve always been a fan of Manning’s adult novels, they’re always ones that I turn to when I’m in the mood for a guilty pleasure sort of read. Manning has the knack for creating super hot powerful male characters who would have you turned into a puddle of mush within an instance. These males are business hot shots and know how to take care of a lady. But what I love most about them, is that they’ve lived their entire lives not having met said lady and so when she makes an appearance, they are quite overwhelmed. It’s sort of comforting seeing these guys a bit out of their comfort zone, its gives us another whole another insight into their character and often it’s a side that is vulnerable yet charming and which I end up loving the most. Manning’s made characters have in the past left great impressions with me, so I was hopeful that this would be the case with David in It Felt Like a Kiss. To be honest I was sort of disappointed, yes David was a powerful individual, but he didn’t really give us the hotness vibe, he was nerdy (a lawyer, who liked to spew lawyer jargon), which I really didn’t mind, but only at one point when we first met him I was sort of interested, but then he sort of lost his appeal. I think this could have been down to the chemistry between him and our MC Ellie. Yes they couldn’t really have a relationship because of so many things getting in the way, but in comparison to Manning’s previous novels Ellie and David’s relationship really didn’t win me over. Yes when they were together, it was hot, but I felt that David just sort of rubbed Ellie the wrong way, he often said things without thinking and at times he could be quite hurtful (in my opinion). Characters such as Vaughn from Unsticky I loved, he used to get all growly when he was mad, but I didn’t take his temper too seriously, he was quite hot when he was mad. David on the other hand I couldn’t get a read on, I just didn’t really feel anything for him. I’m probably going off on a complete tangent, but I really did want to love this book, but I think David’s character and his relationship with Ellie was a let-down for me.
That aside there was a lot that It felt Like a Kiss had to offer, the main story was based around Ellie being outed by an ex-boyfriend about being a legendary singer’s daughter. Ellie finds herself and her life at the centre of attention when she doesn’t want to be. What made this story for me was the fact that we don’t really know what went down between Ellie’s mum and dad in the first place, why they separated, why Ellie’s famous dad didn’t want anything to do with her, why her and her mum were left to slog it out barely getting by whereas Billy her dad raked in the money. Manning very cleverly gave us alternative chapters, from Ellie’s mum in the past and when she first met Billy and then the present day with Ellie. With the way the story was given to us and the way Ellie felt about her dad (not cared about, as he had two children already which he seemed to care about) I thought I knew the real truth behind Ellie’s relationship, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was actually delighted and shocked when I discovered the truth (highlight to view spoiler) how could people be so inconsiderate and feel no remorse at all after 26 years? I actually truly admired Ellie’s mum for being the bigger and better person, she could have had Billy over and was due so much from him, but decided to work herself in order to provide support for her and her daughter. There was a lot of twists and turns along the way which I didn’t see coming, and a lot of characters who I had completely been wrong about. I liked how Manning had us guessing about a lot of things until the very last page.
Overall It felt Like a Kiss was a different sort of read than what I was expecting but enjoyable nevertheless. Ellie was a fierce and fiery MC who was a lot of fun to be around, Manning also threw in a great selection of secondary characters each of who bought weird and wacky ideas to the story, but also a lot of positive energy that Ellie really needed. I was especially happy to be reunited with one of my favourite characters, ladies won’t be disappointed! Despite It Felt Like a Kiss not being one of Manning’s stronger reads for me, I will be looking forward to more of Manning’s adult novels with eager anticipation.