Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sarra Manning - It Felt Like a Kiss

Ellie manages a swank Mayfair gallery, but it’s her life that’s a real work of art. Great job, really good hair, loyal friends, loving family. It’s only her succession of lame duck boyfriends that ruin the picture.
Oh, and the world-famous rock-star father she’s never met, who won’t even acknowledge her existence.
Then Ellie’s perfect life is smashed to pieces when her secret is sold to the highest bidder and her name, face (and pictures of her bottom) are splashed across the tabloids. Suddenly everyone thinks she’s a gold-digging, sex-crazy, famewhore.
Enter David Gold. Charming and handsome David Gold. On paper he’s even more perfect than Ellie, if only he wasn’t her father’s ruthlessly ambitious lawyer whose job is to manage the crisis – and her. He certainly doesn’t think that Ellie’s the innocent party and she doesn’t trust him at all. So why is it that every time they’re alone together, damage limitation is the last thing on their minds?

Comment: The first book I've read in 2017!
I got this book after having read another one by the author and because I liked, I looked at her other books and this one seemed interesting. I got it but it has been an year and something in the pile... but finally it was its time.

This is the story of Ellie Cohen, a young woman who has a good life, the job the loves, the family she cares about, the friends and the life she feels happy in. But she's got no luck with boyfriends and they all end up losers or better off after they dumped her. The last one happens to be the revenge type and after an out with her mother, a on and off rock singer/performer/composer, the ex sells out Ellie's story and, most important, the secret of Ellie's paternity, something she has always knew but suddenly everyone else knows too and she is portrayed very badly in the tabloids.
She calls her "father's" lawyers and in comes David Gold, a man she recognized as a smiling man with whom she flirted at the latest Glastonbury concert. They now seem opposites of who they were when they met and David seems to have a bad opinion of Ellie, especially after everything that the press published.
But David and Ellie still feel the attraction that made them connect at Glastonbury. Can they go past all this business Ellie definitely isn't to blame for and find common ground to be a couple?

By the blurb, I was expecting a sort of dramatic story but with cute and funny moments in the mix to make things easier on us and the characters. I thought the story would focus on Ellie and David's relationship as they both united efforts to battle the tabloids and the situation Ellie was in. But the way things happened, it was more a string of scenes of conflicts between Ellie and David, Ellie's inner doubts about the whole thing and a little portrait of what it means to have your privacy invaded in the UK (and generally as there are many character-types of what it's like to want to be famous at all costs). It doesn't mean this is all bad but...I think the romance or how sweet it could have been wasn't really a goal here.
Which wouldn't be a bad thing, Ellie's battle to regain privacy is quite interesting but... I kind of wished for more.

This is a story we can't miss is by a British author. It seems most British chick-lit  - and woman's fiction more or less - always have a lot of alcohol drinking in it! It must something cultural because I can't think of a book in the genre where the characters wouldn't be drinking often or something. I have to say after two, three times highlighting it, it becomes rather irritating. But maybe it's just me.

What I liked best was the way Ellie saw her life turn upside down but she tried to minimize things, she tried to keep a mostly normal life and I bet things are much worse for real famous people who can't let go of the tabloids and mean it. There are always those who seek fame even at terrible costs but Ellie isn't like that. The author didn't go as strongly as she could with this them, I guess. The focus was more on the supposedly funny parts, but t me they weren't as fun.

Ellie never had a relationship with her father, she never wanted one as her mother was always enough but of course some part of her wondered why he never looked out for her while doing it with his legitimate children. I think this part wasn't well explained.
We have glimpses of Ellie's mother slices of life with Ellie's father and from that to the bitter situation now it all seems rather pushed and forced. To me, the story has some characterization issues I don't think were completely explained.

The romance was a bit weak only because they never seem to develop a deeper bond than what we red on the page. There are no scenes, moves that will tell us without their words they are falling in love. In fact, they often have what I think of as secret dialogues in their heads, things we never see  and it feels like things happen, change and we don't see it, only guess they must be feeling it. It's weird and annoying.
All in all, it was a good book but not as good as it could have been, despite the emotional parts and the ones the author did well.

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