Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on June 2, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher
A steamy contemporary YA romance by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan about a girl with a bad reputation giving lessons on how to attract guys for some extra cash—only to fall for her client’s golden-boy brother. For fans of Kami Garcia, Katie McGarry, and Netflix’s Sex Education.
Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have time for love or relationships. She’s learned the hard way that the only person you can count on is yourself, and she’s hell-bent on earning enough money to leave her small, judgy Texas town as fast as possible. So when nerdy Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden for lessons in seduction, the money is so easy, there must be a catch. Enter the catch: Emmaline’s older brother, popular, all-around nice guy™ Nolan Martin, who doesn’t want his sister’s reputation tarnished by the school’s resident bad girl.
But Hayden should know that looks can be deceiving. Nolan may seem like a golden boy, but like Hayden, he has a few secrets of his own. And the more he meddles in her lessons with Emmaline, the more these polar opposites clash—and the more sparks fly. Turns out Nolan may have some lessons to teach Hayden, but only if she’s willing to learn.
Kissing Lessons is a standalone young adult contemporary romance by Sophie Jordan. This book was pure fun. I loved so many things about the story- the characters were all so different, and the romances were great. Yes, I said romances. There were multiple couple in Kissing Lessons, which took me by surprise. If you are a fan of steamy young adult contemporary romances, then Kissing Lessons is the summer read you need in your life. A few potential trigger warnings: There is quite a bit of “slut-shaming” and some cheating in the book. If those are things you would rather not read about, then you may want to pass on Kissing Lessons. However; I didn’t find the cheating to be overly offensive, and the characters and story were great and more than made up for anything of a potentially offensive nature. It didn’t bother me.
In Kissing Lessons we meet our main character, Hayden. Hayden has quite the reputation around her school. But what is so great about Hayden is that she really can mute all the rumors surrounding her, which is no small feat for anyone but really for a high school student. I loved that she was self-assured and comfortable with who she is. (and she is also not all the things the rumors paint her to be, btw) Our story starts out at a high school party where we get to meet our main characters. Our story is told in multiple perspective. We have chapters from Hayden, Emmaline, her brother Nolan and his best friend Beau. Emmaline appreciates how confident Hayden is and she wants to hire her to give her lessons in confidence and in getting a boyfriend. Hayden is strapped for money, so after some persuading from Emmaline she finally agrees. And that is where the story starts to get good.
I loved Emmaline’s group of friends, and that they immediately took Hayden in. They all seemed genuine and I liked watching Emmaline and Hayden’s friendship almost as much as I enjoyed Hayden and Nolan’s romance. That being said, Nolan and Hayden’s romance was by far my favorite aspect of the story. I loved how easy they got along, and I loved that they connected on so many different levels. It was hardly only about the physical with them, and that part did not happen right away to boot! There was also a romance for Emmaline, but as much as I loved her, I have to say I wasn’t nearly as invested in her romance for some reason. I think it was because I wanted to get back to Hayden and Nolan’s plotlines. I would love to see another book with them in it as characters because I loved the two of them.
Bottom line- If you like upper young adult or new adult romances told in multiple point of view narration, then Kissing Lessons is going to be a wonderful summer read for you. I loved this fun romance. I am keeping my fingers crossed for another book in this world with these characters.
Kissing Lessons releases on June 2, 2020
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020