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Sunday, November 12, 2006

*** First Kiss by Kylie Adams. Contemporary romance/chick lit.

This is the... oh, argh. It's the 2nd book in the Bridesmaid Chronicles, centered around a wedding. I've read the 3rd--First Dance by Karen Kendall (#28) and 4th--First Love by Julie Kenner (#30), and loved First Dance and disliked First Love, so I bought the 1st and 2nd books, and by mistake read First Kiss before First Date.

Not that it matters much, because First Kiss has next to nothing to do with the rest of the series. The heroine, Kiki, is one of the bridesmaids, but the only mention of the upcoming wedding is her periodic emails to her wedding planner friend that are inserted between chapters and have nothing to do with the story.

Kiki is an ex-Miss Texas and an ex-soap opera star (her character was just killed off). Her agent won't answer her calls, and she's at the end of her rope. So she borrows money from her stripper best friend and goes shopping. Whereupon she gets photographed in what appears to be a compromising position with a famous singer, a media darling who's the epitome of family values. Now she's fired by her publicist and people are accosting her on the street, so she ducks into a hotel lobby to catch her breath, runs into Fab Tomba, the hotel's owner, and decides to hide out at his exclusive hotel until the furor dies down.

Kiki felt very true-to-life. It made sense for a semi-struggling actress to be obsessed with fashion and to be over-dramatic. At the same time, it made her very hard to like, or even sympathize with. She was arrogant and rude, but at the same time, she was completely devoid of malice, almost innocent. Every time I'd start being entertained by her antics, I'd be disgusted by something she did. Honestly, if you can't pay your rent, who borrows money from a friend and spends $800 of it on a blouse?

Fab was curiously indulgent with her. I got the impression that she amused him, though he said he admired her spunk. There was a running joke with her calling him up to complain about her room that I enjoyed, and I did think that his belief in her and encouragement could possibly help her grow up a bit.

Still, that was my main problem with the book. Kiki's circumstances changed through the course of the story, but she herself didn't change at all, or even learn anything. Her problems were solved at the end of the book, but not through her own efforts.

So... 4 stars for the fun, fast-paced antics, and 2 stars for the main character.


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