3.5 Stars

From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist…

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.


I have a bit of a thing for Mafia princesses, I love how, even though they are pampered, sheltered and perhaps a bit enslaved, they still turn out to be strong-willed women. The heroine in The Kiss Thief is a character that I instantly bonded with. Francesca is certain her life is destined one way, but her father has other plans and she is forced into an arranged marriage with a man she despises.

Here’s the thing… I did too. For the first half of the book I hated the hero, which of course I was expecting because villainous arseholes are Shen’s MO, but I can’t say I loved this one so much. Did he redeem himself? Yes. Did I end up rooting for him? Yes. Did I fall head over heels for him? No. For the first part of this story, he was a mysonigistic pig and the way he spoke about females was pretty unforgivable, I’m not going to lie.

But saying that, all the other alpha-hole misdemeanours I can handle like a champ, everyone knows I love a bad boy and I did thoroughly enjoy the love/hate dynamic between Wolfe and Francesca AKA Narcissus & Nemesis.

The story does need a bit of suspension of disbelief, which is fine by me – it’s fiction after all. It’s a story of a beautiful, brilliant, kind young woman who falls in love with the first person who gives her a bit of freedom, a freedom that she’s never experienced before. A man who she is forced to marry and has many walls to penetrate, but who we discover is a good honest person with a lot of love to give.

If you love Mafia – villains & heroes, you will probably love this book. It has a whole lot of plot and is spectacularly written.

As always, LJ Shen delivers a fantastically worded story that will be remembered for a long time to come. I love that she takes risks and writes from the heart.

ARC Gratefully Received

About the Author

LJ Shen

L.J. Shen resides in sunny California with her husband, son, chubby cat and wild, wild dreams.

Her passion is to write badass stories, sushi, UFC and her awesome family and friends (not in this order, though. Obviously, sushi comes before writing. Oh, and also the family part.)

She spend the first half of her twenties traveling the world and is now paying all the fun with extra shifts in front of her MacBook. Feel free to contact her on her Facebook page. She loves to hear from her readers.

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