"The Kiss" - Elda Minger - 2006

Not just a clever name!

It's not that I need sex or steamy love scenes in my romances - I love many books that consist only of kisses or less in some cases (Christy - P&P) however the back cover blurb of "The Kiss" contained some serious misdirection.  

"When she finds her fiance with another woman the night before their wedding, Tess Sommerville's safe, dull, by-the-numbers life is over.  Packing up her broken heart - along with her dog - she impulsively joins her older brother's best friend in a two-thousand-mile trip cross country.

Will Tremere always had a soft spot for Tess when they were growing up - and now she's become a beautiful, intriguing woman.  He also knows that Tess is hurting, and he's determined to help her get back on her feet, no strings attached.

But by the time the pair rolls into Las Vegas, all bets are off.  Because neither Tess nor Will ever counted on finding their perfect match on the road..."

How I was mislead (into thinking I would like this book...)

...older brother's best friend - actually an exchange student from London who lived with Tess's best friend's family for a year.  Though friends with both Tess's older brother and her best friend's brother,  Will had fallen out of touch, but was planning to visit them in Colorado on his way to California. 
growing up - like I said, Will was an exchange student for one year while Tess was a shy, 8th grader - yeah, I'll bet those sparks were really flying!
by the time... - I took that to mean they'd be at the very least sleeping together by the time their road trip hit Las Vegas - they didn't, but they did do something much more absurd but is a bit of spoiler.

Maybe I read too much into the back cover, but I was hoping for a young unrequited love storyline and a road romance.  But in reality "The Kiss" struggled to find a balance between chick lit and the ridiculous through the entirety of the novel.  Will's big thing is trusting his instincts because his psychic friend tells him to - she also says Tess's dog told her he was abused by the fiance over the phone! Those are some powerful doggie vibes, huh?  Between the new age BS, the saintly hero, and the heroine who spends half the book crying - I'm shocked I even made it through to the LA conclusion. Let's just say he isn't the starving artist she thought he was.  Shocker.  


 I always argue that pop culture references need to be classic or have a cult following, but in actuality I love when a Tom Waits song is mentioned and love when Jennifer Crusie references Buffy - but - "Desperate Housewives" is neither.  And I don't know this Bree person you speak of.  Never watched the show, and in fact, forgot it still existed.