Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage

Price of a Kiss - Linda Kage

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After six months of my New Adult Project, I'm halfway through the year. Halfway through this project. Initially, I had some hopes the genre would somehow improve in my eyes at this point. Sadly - yes, I'm honestly sad to say this - it hasn't. In many way, it's been getting worse. Therefore, it's rare for me to have hopes for a book before picking it up, but there are a few. Price of a Kiss was one of those few I had hopes for. People, who like me, are critical of the New Adult genre enjoyed this, claimed it was better than the rest. So my hopes? High. High indeed. Unfortunately, this one didn't pull through.

The main reason: Reese, the heroine. I have no idea what the author thought writing this heroine. Was she supposed to be flawed? Was Reese supposed to be unlikable? I don't think so. Here's the thing: Reese is without a doubt, on my top ten of worst heroines ever (yes, that includes Anastasia and Bella, although Reese might be above both of those two). There were two things that bothered me about Reese. First, her personality, and second, how her past was handled. We'll begin with the first. She's shallow to the extreme. For example: she's babysitting a girl (Sarah) diagnosed with cerebral palsy. When Sarah has a seizure, this is what's important to Reese:

I wiped [the drool] away, figuring no girl would want to be caught drooling, especially if the paramedics who might need to come save her were as sexy as hell.

Remember that the girl in question is twelve. I believe the possibility of sexy paramedics is the least of her worries while having a seizure.

Not to mention she slutshames every woman she sees, which is as hypocritical as it gest, considering the plot. You see, the story is about Reese and Mason. Now, he happens to be a prostitute to help out with money at home (due to a mother who has no control on money). So, he's a gigolo. (We're never allowed to forget it, because the word gigolo alone is used almost 60 times.) So, Reese shames every woman she sees, calling them sluts and whores and whatnot. Although, Mason is honorable for what he does. See the double standards? Yup. (And I'm not going to discuss Mason's profession or the people that buy those services, because then I'll never finish this review.)

The second thing about Reese isn't necessarily her persona, but rather how she's portrayed. Here's her backstory: her ex, Jeremy, stalked her and tried to kill her. Now she's moved miles away to hide from him as the charges against him was dropped. So. That's her story. Except... she's not acting in a believable way.

But seriously, no one had tried to kill me here, so I guess I couldn’t whine and complain too much.

Sounds like a victim of attempted murder? No. Didn't think so.

Then there's this:

All hotties deserved a second chance, right?

Does that include her pscyo-ex? Or wasn't he hot enough? This is trivializing, and dare I say, quite degrading as well. Maybe I've read too many NA stories where the hero's hotness is an actual excuse for his violent behaviors, but I'm not cool with that either way. Anyway, this in addition to this:

And secondly: Mason didn’t give off one control-freak vibe, not the way Jeremy had exhaled them like carbon dioxide.
He was most certainly not the girlfriend-beating type.

First of all, she doesn't know first thing about Mason when she says this. This, too, is just offensive. Sure, there is some people that are statistically more likely to be abusive, but there are far too many different people who do it for it to be a type. Trivializing a real issue, that's what Price of a Kiss does.

So, I couldn't stand Reese. But Mason, I did like him. Well, before the last 30% and he turned into the cheesiest cheese-ball in the world. But Mason was so adorable with his sister (Sarah, the girl diagnosed with CP). He has some morals and does what he truly believes is the best. Overall, he was definitely one of the better heroes in NA.

For the plot... well, there is one. A weak one, I'd say. Then again, many NA stories have none, so this one was decent. Actually, if Reese hadn't been such an awful heroine, this story would've been really good. Such a waste, really.