Sunday, November 08, 2009

Day 336 - Kissing Games of the World

Kissing Games of the World
Sandi Kahn Shelton

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: November 10, 2009

Pages: 336

My Rating: 4/5

Source: Provided by publisher


Synopsis [from bn.com]:

If there’s one point that Jamie McClintock and Nate Goddard can agree upon, it’s that love is overrated. Jamie doesn’t have time for it. Nate doesn’t need it. And they certainly don’t want it from each other.

Jamie, a struggling free-spirited artist, is a devoted single mother who hasn’t been in a serious relationship since her boyfriend abandoned her after their son was born. Nate, a charismatic jet-setting salesman, is widowed and estranged from his father and five-year-old son, Christopher. Jamie would rather glue glitter to pinecones than go out on a date. Nate spends most of his nights wooing his clients. Then one afternoon Nate’s father drops dead of a heart attack. In that moment, their highly guarded worlds collide.

When Nate shows up at his childhood home to settle the estate and reclaim his son, he discovers that Jamie has been living in the Connecticut farmhouse as his father’s roommate. Mistrustful of each other’s motives, Nate and Jamie bicker about everything from children’s nicknames to Jamie’s fashion choices to Nate’s home renovation methods. It doesn’t help that Christopher prefers Jamie to his absentee father.

But after the funeral, Nate and Jamie begin to see each other in a more forgiving light. Nate, traveling to sales conferences all over the country with a sullen Christopher in tow, learns he can’t breeze his way through single parenthood. Jamie, who has moved back in with her sister, wonders at the wisdom of her unconventional choices as a woman with a child to support. And both begin to realize they don’t know as much about love as they thought.Still wounded by past heartbreak and sorrow, can they learn to trust each other and open their hearts?


Review:

KISSING GAMES OF THE WORLD is filled with unique and unforgettable characters. and Shelton's writing is different than anything I've read before. She doesn't do anything especially different, its just the reading experience wasn't typical for me, which is a good thing in this case. It's a "butting-of-the-heads" type of romance, with life-long lessons intertwined within the pages.

Nate Goddard returns home to reclaim his son and settle his father's estate after Harris' untimely death. It's there he meets his father's housemate, Jamie McClintock. Jamie is a somewhat struggling artist who is entirely devoted to her asthmatic son Arley. Those who were closest to Harris know of his handsome devilish ways with the ladies despite his old age. Not many people are really going for the image that Jamie and him were just housemates.

Jamie knows the truth though, and despite a quite incriminating scene when Harris dies she sticks to her guns about how she and Harris were strictly friends, although they were close. Jamie cared about Harris and his grandson Christopher. In the year that she and her son have stayed with Harris, they have all gotten quite close.

Nate is a smooth charismatic guy with a past he'd soon like to forget. Family troubles galore seems to be his speciality. But he rushes home to reclaim Christopher after finding out about Harris' death. He's sure the five-year-old will warm up to him quickly, along with the idea of traveling around the country to business meetings and riding airplanes all the time. It's a guy thing surely! He's even got a step-mom lined up for him. Sure Nate my not see her for weeks at a time. But they could be one big, if not sometimes cold, family, right?

Altough the two of them couldn't be more terrible together, they develop and grow into characters that seem to be made for each other towards the end of the book. I found myself hating them both at times and then warming up to them soon after that. Nate and Jamie are just so real and written so well. Nate is hard-headed, stubborn, and completely broken inside. Jamie is lost at times yet so strong-willed. Even the children depicted so well that some readers may know children just like them.

I thoroughly enjoyed KISSING GAMES OF THE WORLD. It was funny at times yet filled with sad moments that were all wrapped up in clarity and a well-written storytelling style. I'll be checking out more of Sandi Kahn Shelton's work and encourage you to do the same.

**Be sure to stay tuned for your chance to win a brand-spanking new copy of KISSING GAMES OF THE WORLD just in time for it's release on Tuesday!

4 comments:

Teddyree said...

What an absolutely beautiful review, another one I'd love to read based solely on a review, thanks for sharing :-)

brizmus said...

This book sounds beautiful and funny. I'm interested to read more about this relationship where the two are terrible together.

Sarah said...

The relationship between Nate and Jamie sounds intriguing and quite realistic, as not all couples begin their relationships on a good foot. I would love to read this book. Thanks for a very articulate review.

Gwendolyn B. said...

Nate sounds like more than one guy I've known! I've read several reviews of this book and they were all good. It's on my wish list.

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