Title: A Kiss by Design
Author: Christy Hayes
Series: Kiss & Tell, Book 1
Publication Date: December 7, 2013
Genre: Romance, New Adult and College
What's a girl to do when her best friend is making a mistake? Stop him, of course.
College sophomore Emily Dilbert has been best friends with Dylan Chamberlain since they were kids. All she wants if for him to be happy and she knows him better than anyone. That's why when she finds an engagement ring in his backpack she has to stop him from marrying the wrong girl.
Dylan Chamberlain has been in love with his brother's girlfriend, Emily, since the second grade. When his brother asks for help planning a surprise proposal, Dylan knows it's time to bury his feelings and finally let Emily go. Too bad his heart refuses to cooperate.
All of Emily's attempts to lure Dylan away from his girlfriend fail, forcing her to turn up the heat on their friendship. Will Dylan reveal his long-buried secret and tell Emily how he feels? Or will Emily be forced to use any means necessary to show him the error of his ways?
Emily and Dylan...what can I say? Well, for one thing, Dylan is a sweetheart. He is totally willing to disregard the feelings he has had for Emily since they were children in order to give her the happiness he so believes that she wants to be a part of. But, seriously dude, family is family and love is love, and sometimes family is just not enough when you truly love someone. I felt so sad for him throughout some of this book. He truly is conflicted. He does not want to hurt anyone, but yet everyone could be hurt if he decides to follow his heart. But the person he truly loves could be the most hurt if he just decides to back off and let her be. Poor guy cannot win either way.
Emily, I believe, is a girl lost in the comfort and familiarity of her current relationship with Dylan's brother. So lost, in fact, that she cannot see the truth that is right in front of her. That fact that Dylan is her confidante, her heart, her shoulder to cry on. He is her rock, whereas in contrast, she has yet to truly confide in her current boyfriend. Love sometimes takes a while to hit us, and in Emily's case, it has definitely taken a while.
The Three Amigos: Shelby, Kayla, and Reagan. I loved these girls to death. They were witty, supportive, sarcastic when the need arose, and even plotting little minxes when the occasion called for it. They are the delicious filling in this word-filled cake, and I adored every moment they hit the page. They each reminded me of me in some way, and I just could not get enough of them. Every woman has a friend, or two or three, that resemble at least one or even all of these girls, and what would we do without 'em?
Now, I guess I had better talk a little bit about the boyfriend in the middle of all this mess. Dylan's brother, Zach. Throughout this book, Zach seemed to me to be a bit in the same predicament as Emily. He is blinded by the comfort and familiarity of his and Emily's relationship. I think that might be the initial reason why he decides to propose in the first place. I won't dare to call him inconsiderate or an air-head, but I will say that this book does not really shed him a good light. It's not a bad light, but I was put in a position to dislike this character. Or at least root for Emily and Dylan more. I cannot wait for Book 2 when Zach's point of view will be shown. Who knows, the roles might be reversed. I might begin to like Zach more and see his way of thinking. I just know that I have vowed not to be biased until his story is released.
I loved this book. It was a very entertaining read and had me glued to each page in anticipation of what was going to happen next.
Links for Book:
Christy Hayes lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, their two children and two dogs. She has a journalism degree from the University of Georgia and is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Women's Fiction Chapter of Romance Writers of America. She's been writing seriously since 2004 and made the decision to indie publish in 2011.
Christy writes romance and romantic women's fiction from her little basement office in the South. She's cooked up all kinds of trouble for her flawed characters when she's not driving her kids to one sporting event or another or walking her pesky rescue mutts through the neighborhood.