Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Review: It Felt Like A Kiss by Sarra Manning

Title: It Felt Like A Kiss
Author: Sarra Manning
Publisher: Corgi
Publishing Date: January 30th 2014
Length: 576 pages
Keywords: Adult, romance, chick lit, media scandal, art, London, Paris
Source: Publisher

Meet Ellie Cohen, one of the most perfect girls in London.

Ellie manages a swank Mayfair gallery, but it’s her life that’s a real work of art. Great job, really good hair, loyal friends, loving family. It’s only her succession of lame duck boyfriends that ruin the picture.

Oh, and the world-famous rock-star father she’s never met, who won’t even acknowledge her existence.

Then Ellie’s perfect life is smashed to pieces when her secret is sold to the highest bidder and her name, face (and pictures of her bottom) are splashed across the tabloids. Suddenly everyone thinks she’s a gold-digging, sex-crazy, famewhore.

Enter David Gold. Charming and handsome David Gold. On paper he’s even more perfect than Ellie, if only he wasn’t her father’s ruthlessly ambitious lawyer whose job is to manage the crisis – and her. He certainly doesn’t think that Ellie’s the innocent party and she doesn’t trust him at all. So why is it that every time they’re alone together, damage limitation is the last thing on their minds?

Summary by Goodreads

Ellie the party girl. Ellie the slut. Ellie, illegitimate daughter of UK music legend Billy Kay. These are labels used to describe our twenty something Ellie Cohen. Something made up by the press. And that when only a few weeks ago her life might not have been perfect, with her row of lame duck ex boyfriends, at least it went in the right direction. Everyone saw her for the friendly and always obliging Jewish girl that she is. IT FELT LIKE A KISS shows you what it means to become a victim of the press, the pawn in a game of celebrities. How could all that happen to Ellie in only a matter of days?

Very short chapters, 1-2 pages in between are providing the background story to Ellie's parents falling in love. Set in 1986 they are about two music obsessed, rebellious young adults who get together, write songs and more... What had to happen to the two that they can't even look at each other anymore?

Everything that included Ellie's family and her friends felt very familiar and comfortable. Seeing Ellie together with her mother or grandmother for example only showed what a warmhearted and loyal person she is.
And the more scenes about her job at a fancy art gallery the better. I'm interested in art myself so I wasn't at all averse to glimpse what's happening in the business and experience Ellie's view on new artists. Her colleagues are always good for playful banter even when things don't look so good.

IT FELT LIKE A KISS does have a love story between Ellie and her father's lawyer David, but I wouldn't say it's the story's biggest asset. The story's focus is more on the press scandal and everyone judging Ellie. No matter how good your intentions, how clean your record, people always find a way to turn something innocent into something ugly. Ellie's story highlights the conflict of individual versus press, money versus reputation,  privacy versus public humiliation. It was insane to follow the workings of the media machinery, scary to see what could happen if you gave the press one tiny piece of information, how out of control everything can spin.

IT FELT LIKE A KISS is set in London, with a short trip to Paris. The love story was beautiful, free and steamy in those few Paris chapters (my favourites!). In the London chapters before, David, the handsome lawyer of Ellie's father, is much too inactive and withdrawn for too long. He was a very rigid character whose description was appealing but sometimes a bit harsh. I could've seen a much swoonier, gentle love interest in this story. Like Ellie I didn't get his whole lawyer attitude at all. When I finally sensed something changing in him and I saw a chance to root for him, the story was nearly over.
There are sex scenes and they were so good. Unfortunately, they only make up a very small part of the story. A bit less on the "story foreplay" front and more scenes of the romancy, horizontal kind would have been a blast.

I've only read two other of Sarra's books and am slowly noticing that some of her characters have guest appearences in her other books. How fun!
Vaughn and Grace, Ellie's boss and his wife, have frequent appearances in IT FELT LIKE A KISS. They are the main characters in Sarra Manning's already published adult romance UNSTICKY which I haven't read but am now dying to. How fortunate that I ordered a copy of it a few weeks ago.

4/5 **** IT FELT LIKE A KISS - Sarra Manning is your pick if you are looking for the best writer of sexy times!

Sarra Manning's hot and intimate romance scenes are addictive. She's a writer who has the sense for a witty and fun story that's enriched with hilarious and thoughtful characters of all kind. I'm a fan of both her YA and adult books and like always I can't wait to find out what new project she's working on.

"Or she hoped he was laughing because tears were streaming down his face and now that she was sprawled across him, she could feel him shaking. "I have never had to work so hard to get a girl undressed." His choked laughter eased to a chuckle."I had a whole seduction routine planned." ― p. 359

IT FELT LIKE A KISS you might enjoy LITTLE WHITE LIES by fellow Brit author Katie Dale. This is YA and it's darker and more mysterious, but it's about a huge media affair, too. If you haven't read UNSTICKY by Sarra Manning yet, you might want to get to know Vaughn and Grace better and enjoy their own love story. JOHNNY BE GOOD by Paige Toon comes along with the romance between a hot rock star boss and his assistant.

* Can't get enough of Sarra Manning's books? Then you don't want to miss YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME!

* Click here for an excerpt of IT FELT LIKE A KISS.

* Visit for more information about Sarra and her books.

* Thanks to Transworld Publishers for sending me a copy of IT FELT LIKE A KISS for review!


Thanks to Transworld Publishers I'm giving away a copy of IT FELT LIKE A KISS. The giveaway is open internationally and ends March 15th 2014.

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  1. Sounds ADORABLE with a good amount of depth to it as well!! I can't wait to read it!

  2. I haven't read any of Manning's books yet. Although I like the idea of this one, I'll probably start with another one of her books because I don't typically read adult novels.

  3. I love this cover! I love it when I visit blogs and find a new book to add to my TBR list. Great review!

  4. Sounds interesting I'm a sucker for anything to do with music. Really love your reviews. You never give to much away.