Irish Kiss
by Christa Paige, contemporary (2010)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-680-7


It's Saint Paddy's Day and Gavin wants to move to third base and beyond with Cassidy of the perfect thighs. She has been burned before by relationships, he has waited so long to look past their professional barriers to touch those perfect thighs, and we all know they will be doing the paddy whack-whack thing soon.

Irish Kiss is a simple story, but reading this novella is far from simple. Some authors tended to write as if they are paid by IKEA to churn out assembly manuals, but other authors, like Ms Paige in this story, describes every minute detail at least two times over using very long sentences.

It is awkward enough that every time Gavin gets his point of view, he has to mention his poor stiff chubby. That thing can swell on the author's command, and I'm sure poor Gavin must be most uncomfortable every time his best friend bloats up on cue. But in addition, Ms Paige writes as if she's paid by the word.

For nearly half a year, he had to rely on his imagination when it came to thinking about what she hid beneath understated pencil skirts, and tailored jackets. The simple, no nonsense pumps she wore, and smoky nylons, concealed her natural curves, too. Business camouflage, he mused. Garments designed to throw off a discerning eye, forcing one to notice the woman and her brains, instead of a lush, jaw-dropping figure. Many times, Gavin had resorted to undressing her mentally, even at the most inopportune moments. Confined in a small cubicle, their attraction slowly building, did sinful things to his common sense. However, acting on those impulses could never happen. Mixing work and romance was forbidden, not to mention utterly taboo.

It didn't stop the sparks from igniting between them, though.

The day she purposely brushed her hand across his, Gavin felt the chains restraining his desire for her loosen. He drew on his famous control, attempting to wrangle the possessive beast dwelling under the surface into submission. They had a looming deadline and any distraction would be detrimental.

Soon, however, the rules flew out the proverbial window.

This style of prose will work fine in a historical or a fantasy romance, but in a contemporary romance, the author's long sentences and unnecessarily florid turn of phrases seem excessive and out of place. As a result, the story feels stilted and awkward to read on my part. I find myself thinking often, "Do modern day people think and speak like that?"

Perhaps Irish Kiss would have been a better read if the author hadn't tried so hard to sound like Glinda the Good Witch composing a musical to celebrate the sex life of her misunderstood friend Elphaba Thropp. I guess I will never know, will I?

Rating: 53


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