After the Kiss
Book 1 in the Sex, Love, & Stiletto series
Author Lauren Layne
Narrated by Samantha Cook
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Jan 24, 2018
Running time 7 hrs
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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.
Contains mature themes.
In the tradition of SEX AND THE CITY, indisputably a show that broke ground in what was open for discussion on TV, AFTER THE KISS explores the love lives and sexy times of adults who were still kids when the show began or at least young teens when it ended – this year is the 20th anniversary of SATC’s foirst season.
This explores career in much the same way SATC did – lightly, and spends more time looking at love and friendship. The dynamic is a little different; none of the young women chases the big O in the same way Miranda did although one is the sexpert. And the Charlotte character is not quite as wide-eyed and innocent, nor is Julie, the character closest to Carrie’s quite as put together emotionally as Carrie was.
Julie’s problems arise from a terrible loss in her past. The geometry of the loss she suffered relating to romantic problems escaped me though. I don’t think she is particularly driven to be a good journalist; her boss has to point out what it is to be a journalist to her at the start of the assignment about taking relationships, which she doesn’t have, to the next level. And, then, instead of the interviewing and research she could do to make the story, she seeks to her fall back on writing from experience. her friends have an idea. She is spurred on by a young intern gunning for her job. The assignment pushes her out of her comfort zone.
Mitchell’s character starts as a stereotype of any young blood on Wall Street – I was never sure what he did on the street, where there are at least a few jobs. He seems to work with at least one douche-bag, but he seems okay, looking for an authentic relationship and not the modern equivalent of a marriage of convenience based in lineage and position.
But, he’s also susceptible to peer pressure and that’s where the double bind aspect of the relationship story comes in.
Two things, the story doesn’t really offer any surprises, and only one character ever takes the blame.
The narrator is the perfect voice for these young, upwardly mobile and confused characters.
This is, maybe, SATC for a new generation of lovers. I am not sure if it is as good but it was fun and if not entirely new, it had some sass to it.