When I saw on NetGalley that there was a new Jill Mansell novel coming out, I didn’t even read the synopsis before I requested it. And I was even more shocked when I got accepted. It is only then that I realized that Kiss is a new release, technically, but it is a reprint from 1993, so one of Mansell’s older works. Being a casual fan of hers, I didn’t think anything of it, and was excited to give it a try.
One perfect, unforgettable kiss can change your life…
When aspiring musician Izzy is knocked off her motorbike, she doesn’t just lose her dignity–she loses both long-term boyfriends, her job, and her beautiful apartment. Gina, who caused the accident, has more important things to worry about: her husband has just deserted her for his pregnant mistress. Why should she care about Izzy? Yet somehow, Gina finds herself opening her home to Izzy and her spirited teenage daughter.
It’s there that Izzy meets Gina’s oldest friend, heart-stoppingly handsome Sam, whose lingering kiss is almost impossible to ignore. But there are just a few obstacles between that first kiss and the happily ever after that has always eluded her…
As I mentioned above, this is a reprint of the same novel from 1993 and oh, boy, does it ever show. Jill Mansell’s writing has progressed leaps and bounds from when she first wrote this story, so I’m kind of surprised they’re re-releasing it. It doesn’t hold up to the work she’s currently producing.
I’ll keep this short and sweet. None of the characters are particularly redeeming people, which would be fine if there were some depth to them, but there isn’t really. Izzy is the most self-absorbed person I’ve ever read about, and her relationship with Katerina, her daughter, isn’t even believable, because a young single mother who is supposedly as close to her daughter as she is in the beginning of the novel wouldn’t act the way she does when Katerina makes one mistake (that is nothing compared to how her mother acts on the regular). There are also a ton of characters to keep track of, and the story bounces around a lot.
“The Kiss” that is the title of this book is not all that exciting, either. I don’t see how that kiss changes Izzy’s life. I didn’t even really realize it was the kiss until much later in the novel. I kept waiting for it… and realized I missed it.
I will say, though, that although it felt like it took forever to get there, I did enjoy how the story ended up. I was satisfied and was ultimately entertained, which I suppose it the point. Fans of Mansell’s who haven’t read this one yet might appreciate it, but I caution them to expect something more rough than the quality they’re used to.
“But for some reason, it wasn’t working for her. The success she had craved for so long, and which should have been making her so happy, wasn’t doing the trick.” —Jill Mansell, Kiss
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmarks for the advanced copy, and to Alejandra Quiroz on Unsplash for the featured photo of the couple kissing.