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Stephanie Parent, Reader and Writer

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.
Price of a Kiss - Linda Kage Linda Kage’s writing always flows so beautifully and is so much fun to read, with just the right blend of emotion, humor, and charm, and Price of a Kiss is no exception. This is a fairly long book, but the pages just seemed to fly by. The plot is unique for a new adult romance, too: while the main female character, Reese, does have a trauma in her past, it’s really the male character, Mason, who is broken by his past and needs healing. Mason is a gigolo, an occupation he fell into at the age of eighteen when his landlady blackmailed him into providing sexual favors in exchange for back rent. Mason has taken on the role of protector and provider for his family, a somewhat hapless single mom and a younger sister with cerebral palsy, and as a result he feels stuck in his current situation.Kage handles the gigolo plot element with depth and understanding, gradually revealing the depth of Mason’s internal struggles. I loved watching Reese learn to look beyond Mason’s façade and see the hurting, sensitive person inside. I also loved Reese’s relationship with Mason’s younger sister, who really needed someone to treat her as a normal teenager rather than defining her by her cerebral palsy. I also appreciated seeing Reese deal with her own trauma and overcome her fears.I have to mention that as a new adult romance set at a community college, Price of a Kiss actually involved characters doing homework, going to class and study groups, and struggling with assignments. It’s always refreshing to find an NA novel that accurately reflects the college experience rather than focusing only on romance and hooking up. And while the romantic scenes in Price of a Kiss are steamy and will satisfy romance readers, they don’t overwhelm the plot in any way.Price of a Kiss is a unique, sweet, sexy and emotional read that manages to address a number of hard-hitting subjects without becoming melodramatic. This book will appeal both to lovers of the new adult genre, and to those readers who are looking for something different!