Title: Kiss Me in Paris
Author: Dmytry Karpov and Kimberly Kinrade
Release Date: July 2, 2013
THOUGHTS:No one knows my secret. Ever since high school, ever since I started living in fear, no one has known the true me. But then I met him, and I couldn't hide anymore.
He became my hero, saving me from the villain of my past. He became my friend, his smile a blanket of warmth. And he scared me. Because he, this beautiful man, he might become more. Then he'd see the real me, and I couldn't let that happen.
My name is Winter, and what I desire most I can't have.
Flashes of the night I was drugged rush back to me. His strong arms carrying me through the streets of Paris. The feel of his heart beating as my head rested against his chest. The soft press of his lips against my forehead when he thought I was asleep.
Oh shit. I'm falling for the cowboy. Cade.
But we can't be anything more. He has his own secrets. His own darkness he keeps hidden, like the letter he keeps with him everywhere he goes.
The letter he refuses to open.
Judging from the blurb alone, I expected this book to be one heck of an emotional read. Something about the way the blurb was written hinted that this isn't a book you would want to bring to the beach for a light read, but rather something you would want to read in the midst of a torrential downpour. I was initially a bit apprehensive to give Kiss Me in Paris a shot, simply because I am starting to tire of New Adult as a genre. The stories are getting repetitive, the characters stereotypical, and what annoys me the most is that some of these characters don't even experience personal growth. How on earth can you call your novel 'New Adult' when your characters don't even get to know themselves better, right? In the past two months alone I'm pretty sure I only liked two NA novels of the ten or more than I read!
But I digress. As I was saying...
I can't deny one thing, however - Karpov and Kinrade were able to successfully pique my interest with their cleverly-worded blurb (let's count how many times I mention the word blurb in this review...). Despite my aforementioned trepidation with NA nowadays, everything about the blurb - the tone most especially, intrigued me - and upon being asked, I ignored my initial hesitation and agreed to be part of the blog tour. It took me a while before I gathered enough courage to crack open this book (figuratively, folks - I was using my kindle) because I was never quite in the mood for dark tales these past few weeks, but one day, I finally did it and promptly discovered one thing:
This is not your average, depressing NA read about two main characters who are broken beyond relief. Nuh-uh, folks, not even close.
I honestly loved both main characters, Winter and Cade, because they were so realistically written. I'm not saying that they don't have difficult pasts (but then again, which of us don't?), but what I like is that instead of wallowing in the corner and sobbing pitifully about how unfair life is, they're actually living their lives - they are in no way stuck in the past. They're making something of themselves, and they're looking at the future with such positive (albeit still realistic - and I cannot laud both authors enough for this!) mindsets. I was really impressed with how Karpov and Kinrade managed to emphasize to their readers that while it is important to convince yourself to face your past, that doesn't mean that you have to stop living in the present, and that certainly doesn't mean that you should not think about your future.
I also enjoyed reading about Winter and Cade's adventures in a land far away from their own. Both authors did a fantastic job in making Paris come to life through the pages of a book (or the screen of a kindle.) As a matter of fact, I was soaking in the Paris culture through every part of the book - while Winter and Cade explore the city, or when they eat in the quaint restaurants... and I'm not going to lie, I really found myself vicariously living through these two characters. That's the beauty of reading, right? You get to explore the world without even leaving your room!
I like how Winter and Cade's relationship was developed, and ultimately explored. Nothing was rushed, and at the same time, it wasn't one of those 'true love upon first glance' type of things. Everything started from an undeniable attraction, and feelings grew from there, and I find that really believable because that happens in every nook and cranny of this world. They found out that they understand each other, and that they trust each other enough to talk about their past. And it is because of this trust that they actually plan their future... together.
While I did find the backstories a bit too dramatic and a tinge too unrealistic, that didn't distract me from enjoying the relateable characters, the poignant character growth, the setting, the hauntingly beautiful writing, and the overall plot and story. Ultimately, I never once thought that Kiss Me in Paris was about two characters escaping the incorrigible past- it was always a story about two characters, deadset on finally looking forward as opposed to looking back... and then finding out that the help and support of one another is what they've always needed to finally face the past.
Rating: 4 Stars