Tue
Jun 10 2014 11:30am

First Look: Bella Andre’s Kiss Me Like This (June 11, 2014)

Bella Andre
Kiss Me Like This
Amazon Digital Services / June 11, 2014 / $12.99 print, $4.99 digital

Sean Morrison, one of six siblings and the top college baseball player in the country, is reeling from a heartbreakingly painful loss. Nothing seems to matter anymore...until the night Serena Britten unexpectedly ends up in his arms.

Serena is a world-famous model who has only ever wanted to be normal, even though her mother has always pushed her to become a superstar. Though it isn't easy to try to leave everyone and everything she knows behind, Serena is determined to enroll in college. More than anything, she wants to turn her love for books into a new career that she actually loves. Only, she never expected to meet someone like Sean on campus—or to be instantly consumed by their incredible chemistry and connection.

But when the pressures of her high-profile modeling career only get bigger and more demanding, will it make living a normal life as a college student—and falling in love with the hottest guy on campus—impossible?

Bella Andre defies expectation in the first book in her New Adult series while still maintaining all the things we love from her adult fiction. With Kiss Me Like This, Andre immediately sets up that this will not be your typical model-beautiful (literally) heroine and jock hero.

Serena Britten had dreamed of this forever.

Not bright lights and designer dresses and fame and meeting rock stars…but an enormous library with more books than she could possibly get through even if she stayed right her for an entire lifetime and just read and read and read.

When I picked up this book, I trusted in Andre’s skill with dialogue and character development to make me like a heroine who I typically wouldn’t have spared a glance for. I was expecting a prima donna that would be put in her place by reality, but instead I got a larger-than-life model desperately seeking to be normal.

Serena had so badly wanted to be honest with her mother and show her the college applications, rather than secretly filling them out online. She wished she could have shared her excitement when the acceptance email had come.

Serena wasn’t proud that she’d kept the news from her mother for so long, but she’d been so afraid that it would all come crashing down otherwise.

Andre plays with expectations (both the reader’s and the characters’) and stereotypes throughout the book. Serena, who is a bookworm in the guise of a model, and Sean, who is an artist in the guise of a jock, are our major players in this game and both shine in their roles. Serena is, by far, one of my favorite heroines and I loved being surprised by her. However, the strength of Serena’s character doesn’t diminish Sean in any way. Sean’s tale is one anyone who has lost a parent can relate to, even if you haven’t gone to Stanford, and adds an element of depth to what could have been a more shallow interpretation of this character.

Every moment he wasn’t with her, he’d been taking pictures he knew she loved so much, and that had been her connection to the world outside her fifteen-by-fifteen-foot hospital room. Pictures of his brothers and sisters and dad. Pictures of the bayside path by their house where she’d always walked their dog. Pictures of the magnolia tree in their yard as its large pink flowers bloomed. Whenever she woke up, he’d made sure there were at least a couple of new pictures hanging from the lines he’d rigged up on the ceiling.

Andre paints this picture of Sean and his family, and Serena, that makes them as vivid in my mind as someone I might know in real life. I loved getting to know them, and I can’t wait to see how Andre sets Sean’s brothers and sisters apart from their archetypes. The dynamics and stories were refreshing, and there will be something for everyone—a CEO, a rockstar, a science geek, a girl genius, and so much more! I can’t wait to meet the Morrisons!

 


Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers.

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2 comments
Scarlettleigh
1. Scarlettleigh
This sound good! I have seen a lot of talk about Bella Andre's books, but I haven't read one yet. This one will do nicely.

Thanks for the highlights!
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
@Scarlettleigh, you would DEFINITELY enjoy Bella Andre--especially her Sullivans series, which is pretty perfect. Glad this convinced you!
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