Author: Lauren Layne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: Complimentary Copy won via Publisher
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and "I do"—she'll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.
Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie's "research." But what Julie doesn't know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he's looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he's exactly what she wants.
If you’ve seen How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, then you know the plot quite well. As I read Lauren Layne’s After the Kiss, thoughts of Andie and Ben came to mind. If you’re not familiar with the film, basically Andie works for a magazine (think Cosmo) and decides to write a story, how a girl can lose a guy and showcases the tips of where she went wrong. On the other side is Ben who makes a bet that he can make a woman fall in love with him and if he wins, he gets a lucrative contract. Well…let’s just say Andie and Ben come together and both don’t know they are using each other. Layne’s After the Kiss is very similar to the film, but in many ways different.
We have good character development. Julie Greene is very much a woman who doesn’t know what happens in relationships past a certain point. She decides to write a story on what it means to be in a committed relationship with the help of her friends. Then we have Mitchell Forbes who’s your typical workaholic and he’s just gotten out of a serious relationship. He’s also the type of guy who can’t just have a fling-he needs a serious relationship and decides to prove a friend wrong. We have a wide range of secondary characters that play a vital role including Julie’s best friends who also happen to be her co-workers as well.
So what can go wrong when you have two characters trying to prove each other wrong? Actually, everything can! Both Julie and Mitchell have no idea what they want. I really enjoyed the character growth and how both of them were able to participate in each other hobbies without blinking an eye. I liked how each challenged each other and made no secret that they lusted after one another. What I really liked was Mitchell! He truly stole the show and even after he finds out what Julie was doing (and vice versa with Julie finding out about Mitchell’s bet), he just became amazing. It’s rare in romance books to have adults have an adult conversation about a conflict and Layne gives us just that. And let’s just say you’ll never look at running and hot dogs the same way!
Overall, Lauren Layne’s After the Kiss was a lovely read. If you’re fan of contemporary romances that are a bit on the fluffy side, I highly recommend this book. Layne is an author that in the past has brought a smile to face and After the Kiss was no exception. I think had it not mirrored the plot of How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, I might have enjoyed it more.