Review of Kiss Me Like You Mean It by J.R. Rogue

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Connor pulled my chest to his. “It’s okay. I won’t let you fall.”

“You underestimate my ability to pull others down.” There was a heaviness to my words. I’ll put you down. I’ll watch that smile leave your eyes.

“You underestimate my ability to lift people up,” he said, into my hair. God, I liked him. Why did he have to be so airy? So much like the spring on the horizon? The air around us tasted like me. Cold, biting.

J.R. Rogue’s Kiss Me Like You Mean It was a tumultuous, emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs that made you want to scream and tear your hair out in frustration.

If you’re looking for a light, fluffy read…don’t read this. There’s nothing light about it. Honestly, it’s so heavy that I probably won’t be able to fall asleep tonight.

Going into this book, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the execution since the entire story would basically be told through flashbacks. I typically prefer stories that run in present time, so I was expecting it to drag on in annoyingly sluggish fashion, but I was pleasantly surprised. And the end threw me through a loop too! I think I reread the last chapter about 5 times because my brain could not comprehend.

Gwen and Connor were our two main POVs and they both had this insane ability to make a person want to commit a crime of passion. They were, by no means, perfect. In fact, they had more problems than Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn put together.

So many problems. Too many to count. Such a mess.

The Characters

Gwen was complicated, cynical, self-absorbed. When they say ‘you are your own worst enemy,’ that applied to Gwen. She needed to be in control, to feel desired. But she would always go after the assholes. Until Connor.

Connor was a nice guy. The type of person who’d rather be real and upfront. But sometimes nice guys finish last which was why he started playing games. All to win over Gwen.

I didn’t want to play games with her. I wanted her to know I was into her. That I wasn’t talking to any other girls. That she had my full attention. But I could already tell that may not get me far.

My desire to win told me to play the game with her. My gut told me to just be upfront with her. Why did dating have to be such bullshit? Why couldn’t we just be openly into someone without fear of scaring them off?

If things were only that simple…

So Connor played Gwen like a cello and won her over with his personality. He may have played the game, but he was real with her. Still, I wouldn’t say he’s completely innocent in the grand scheme of things. No one is completely innocent which is okay. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s life. What matters most is that they acknowledge their faults at some point and communicate!

Now, what I would like to do is give a brief timeline of their relationship. It’ll show a clearer image of everything they had to go through to get to where they were in the end.

The Relationship Timeline

1) Met through mutual friends while mingling at a house party, Gwen mooched his number off a friend. Ended up going out for a few weeks soon after that until they hit their first bump; Gwen told Avery she still loved him. Connor heard, helped her back home and was gone when she woke up.

2) The blackout lasted a month before they reconciled, but Connor had trouble committing after that and ended up breaking things off.

3) A year or so passed before they started hooking up; Gwen basically became a booty-call. After a few months, they stopped and radio silence ensued till Connor reached out and asked to see her. They decided to get back together even though they were both emotionally and mentally closed off.

4) As feelings faded, Gwen decided it best to leave which was when Connor realized how much he actually needed her. (Lesson learned: do something drastic to get results)

5) Connor eventually wins her back and they become a married couple soon after. Now, at this point in the game, you just want things to. Work. Out. But that doesn’t happen when there’s 100 pages left. It never does. Books just don’t work that way. Instead, they go and introduce another guy, Logan. I had a special kind of animosity reserved for him.

6) Gwen filed for divorce and right as they were about to go through with it, or so J.R. Rogue has you thinking, the puzzle pieces fell into place and you feel like an idiot.

The Ending (Spoilers)

I was so confused with the ending. It made sense, but I was so sure she was talking to some random stranger at a bar the entire time. And to learn that the person was actually her therapist? And that she and Connor were together! Along with the fact that Logan was simply fictional?!

Mind. Blown.

I truly was not expecting that.

It was the fact that they found their way back to one another every single time. Even when it seemed like the odds were against them. True love? Maybe. However, most relationships wouldn’t survive this. It takes a lot of work, commitment and love to somehow come out strong in the end which is why I love Connor and Gwen. They were relentless with each other, in a positive way. And by the end, security was no problem whatsoever.

Books Like Kiss Me Like You Mean It

If you like Kiss Me Like You Mean It, try…

Black Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig – Unrequited love, childhood friends to lovers trope and a lot of drama. Maverick grew up being best friends with Kael while also being in love with his older brother Killian. When Killian marries her older sister Jillian, Maverick is heartbroken and makes a decision that changes everything. She marries her best friend.