In Review: A Kiss by the Book (Kiss & Tell #2) by Christy Hayes

Posted July 1, 2014 by Kim in 3 Stars, In Review / 2 Comments

In Review: A Kiss by the Book (Kiss & Tell #2) by Christy HayesA Kiss by the Book by Christy Hayes
Series: Kiss & Tell #2
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: March 26, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eARC, 206 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
My rating:

College senior Zach Chamberlain’s charmed life has always gone according to script:

Date the prettiest girl in high school, check.

Football scholarship to a division-one school, check.

Heisman contender, check.

Buy engagement ring, check.

On track to graduate with honors, check.

There’s just one glitch. His girlfriend is in love with his younger brother and breaks up with him in the middle of his senior season. Shocked, betrayed, and embarrassed, Zach turns to the only woman he can trust: his nerdy tutor.

Tutoring college athletes at Southeastern State University is more than a job for Jenna Peterson; it’s a way for her to pay it forward after long-ago tragedy struck too close to home. SE State’s golden boy, Zach Chamberlain, isn’t the first jock Jenna’s tutored with cover-boy good looks, and he won’t be the last. When he asks for her help with statistics, Jenna assumes he’s as egocentric as the other athletes on her roster. A wildly inappropriate and lackluster kiss at the worst possible time doesn’t do much to disprove her theory. 

Zach will do anything to save face in front of his family, and he uses Jenna’s bleeding heart and unfortunate circumstances to enlist her help over the holidays. Jenna begins to realize Zach is more than a pretty face as his storybook life begins to unravel. When a sprig of mistletoe provides the perfect opportunity for Zach to affirm his skill, the searing kiss pits the playmaker against the rule maker in a kiss to the end. When secrets are revealed and the game’s on the line, will they follow the script, improvise, or throw the book out the window?

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in review my thoughts

While reading A Kiss by Design, I detested Zach. I thought he was a self-centered jerk who didn’t deserve Emily at all. I was excited for this book because I wanted him to have a chance to redeem himself. I wanted to know there was more to him than what his jerk jock exterior led everyone to believe. As I began reading A Kiss by the Book, I feared that there really wasn’t more to Zach than met the eye. I actually even considered giving the book up at one point, but I soldiered on and I’m glad I did because I was wrong about Zach. There was a lot more to him than met the eye. And this book proved that sometimes it’s not the individual, but the pairing that is wrong.

One of my favorite things about this book was Jenna. She was a strong girl, she resisted Zach’s overtures (at first) and insisted the only relationship they could have was one of tutor/student. She wasn’t fazed by his looks or prowess on the football field and she wasn’t afraid to call him out on his bullshit. The more time they spent together, the more Jenna realized Zach was more than what he projected outwardly. He was intelligent and driven, insecure and actually pretty sweet. He won’t ever secure a spot in my favorite book boyfriends list, but he was sweet and I loved watching the connection between Jenna and Zach grow. Their banter was great. They were pretty evenly matched and they just worked together.

There wasn’t a TON of romance in this book, but there was a lot of personal growth. There were also some great moments with each character’s family. I didn’t get hugely invested in this book, but there was a thing that happened that actually made me tear up a little bit. I didn’t get a boatload of emotions from this book, but I enjoyed it for what it was. One thing I did thoroughly enjoy were all the football metaphors in the book. I know some readers might not get them, but I’m a fanatic and they made me smile when I read them. A Kiss by the Book isn’t one I’m likely to read over and over again, but it was an enjoyable new adult read none the less. 

I received a copy of this book from the author, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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About Christy Hayes

My husband and I live outside Atlanta, Georgia, with our two children and two dogs. I have a journalism degree from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) and I’m a member of Romance Writers of America and the Women’s Fiction Chapter of Romance Writers of America. I’ve been writing seriously since 2004 and made the decision to indie publish in 2011.

I write romance and romantic women’s fiction from my little basement office in the South. I’ve cooked up all kinds of trouble for my flawed characters when I’m not driving my kids to one sporting event or another or walking my pesky rescue mutts through the neighborhood.

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