Series: Kinloch #3
Release Date: September 22nd, 2022
CW: mentions of time in the military, mentions of gun violence and death of a sibling (past)
When actress Valentina arrives in Scotland to film Braveheart 2, she’s at breaking point. Driven by demons, she’s worked without a break since she was a teen and can’t stop now. Everyone she loves depends on her. But something’s missing. Despite all the glitter and glamor, she’s never really lived.
Bodyguard Charlie’s lived too much. With looks and charm, he should have it all, but he’s broken. Estranged from his family, sacked from his job, and with nothing left to lose, he flies to the Highlands to help his best friend protect Kinloch castle from a crazy Hollywood film crew. But falling hard for a movie star isn’t in his contract.
Valentina’s never met anyone like Charlie. When he suggests she take a holiday from life, she’s tempted to step out of her comfort zone and live a little. He sweeps her into a world of skinny dipping, laughter and blinding passion. But as fun crosses the line into love, disaster bursts their bubble. Can they let go of the past and find a future together? Or is this just a Highland fling?
I’m very glad I read Hollywood Games before I read this one, because it gave me better insight into all of the shenanigans happening at Kinloch during the filming of this preposterous movie! One of the things I love about Evie’s writing is that it’s the fun kind and it almost feels like you’re just hearing Evie speak as she tells the story. Which makes me wonder what an audiobook of her stories would be like! But also, I enjoyed this one for the softness of hard Charlie and the soulfulness of beautiful Valentina. And it didn’t hurt to return to Kinloch and see glimpses of Rory and Zoe.
In Kissing Games, you’ll find:
✨ Scottish highlands
✨ a Hollywood star struggling to make sense of her life
✨ a bodyguard looking for his purpose
✨ Hollywood movie hijinks!
✨ a ‘relive your teenage years’ bucket list jar thingy
✨ a heap of swoon
✨ and a whole bunch of feels
Being handsome, charming and sexy is not a good thing for Charlie Hamilton who is unable to find a job without having the women he works for making a move on him. So when one thing leads to another and the woman he loves chooses to leave him, Charlie finds that his life is falling apart in ways he didn’t expect. When Rory (from Highland Games) calls to ask Charlie to come help out while this movie is being filmed at Kinloch, he doesn’t think twice. After all, Rory is one of his oldest and best of friends. What he doesn’t expect is to meet a gorgeous woman at the airport on his way and then to find that same woman to be an actor on the set of the movie he’s working.
Charlie and Valentina’s relationship is complicated at first. She’s been doing everything on her own—finding the right projects to endorsement deals—and all Valentina wants is to make enough money so she can bring her entire family from Colombia to Los Angeles. And in doing that, she keeps setting herself up for this terrible projects that provide only money and no satisfaction. When she meets Charlie, he’s the kind of person she could lose herself in, but she’s not in the headspace to lose herself in or to anybody.
“Charlie was so real, he was his own law of physics, inexorably drawing her into his orbit. She was spun off her feet, turned inside out, thrown into disarray. He was too alive. Too much.”
I loved how gentle and caring Charlie was with Valentina. From helping fix her bag to their conversations and then creating a jar of ‘stupid teenage shit’ to do; he was so wonderful. And their connection is so much deeper than just two people who want to sleep together, it’s honest and it’s real and I really enjoyed watching them build their relationship. Neither of are easy to trust; what with broken hearts and mistakes in their past, but the more they spend time together, the more they open up and it really amplifies their entire relationship in all the right ways.
And because it’s Evie, you know you’re in for a steamy good time! The chemistry, the build-up, the patience of learning about each other’s sexual likes and dislikes and really just pushing the envelope was all so much fun. Can’t wait to pick up the next one!
Thanks to Evie Alexander for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.