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?
Oh, adult contemporary, you can be a bit hit and miss with me. I do love you but sometimes you can be a little boring compared to my normal fantasy/sci-fi reads. Luckily, It Felt Like A Kiss was anything but boring, even in its normalcy. If you can call having a rock star dad and lies printed in the tabloids about you "normal".
Ellie leads a nice and controlled life; she works in an art gallery, has two great roommates, has learned how to control her frizzy hair and has an amazing family. Well, one half anyway. Her dad's family sort of doesn't know she exists because he's a famous musician and her mum was the "other woman". It isn't actually that bad, as we see because Manning writes in a sort of spilt narrative, skipping between the past and the present to give the reader the full picture of how Ari and Billy Kay's relationship blossomed and died. This also gives evidence that the tabloids are spouting rubbish, just in case we couldn't trust Ellie. Which I totally did because even if she has rubbish taste in guys, she was completely adorable.
The story blends Ellie's past and family with her present and future relationships; even though I thought it would be mainly about Ellie and her famous father, it focused on Ellie and how her life changed and she handled the sudden spotlight. I loved it, I mean the press was infuriating and there were moments when I wanted to throw my kindle across the room, there were also such sweet moments, usually between Ellie and her mum/family or Ellie and new heart-throb David Gold, that I practically swooned with joy. Then, because David's a moron with no understanding of human emotions, I wanted to throw the kindle again. Oh how I really wanted to like David Gold. And I did but most of the time, I wanted to smack him for hiding behind the lawyer suit and speaking absolute crap!
I thought there may be a possibility for reconciliation between Ellie and Ari and Billy Kay but no, the truth comes out that he's a bit of a... ahem, rude word. The conclusion, the big dramatic finish, was a real heart in my throat moment of panic as Ellie attempts to tell her side of the story live on TV but is sabotaged. Luckily, Ellie has much more self-control than that, at least more than me because I was yelling at the screen, and scrapes by the better woman. And it's even a happy ending, as it should be in romances, with everyone learning to compromise and "I really do love you actually" moments that makes my heart squeeze.
Published 30th January 2014 by Corgi. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.