cover image Then He Kissed Me

Then He Kissed Me

Christie Ridgway, Berkley Sensation, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-23917-9

This character- and plot-heavy sequel to June 2010's Crush on You delivers a very sexy hero, a frustratingly stubborn heroine who doth protest way too much, and a messy tangle of voices and story threads. Tomboy Stephania "Stevie" Baci avoids responsibility for the family vineyard–cum–wedding destination until she is forced by circumstance to coordinate the nuptials of her ex-fiancé and his new flame, a bona fide princess. Luckily, the bride's princely, very alpha male brother, Jacques "Jack" Parini, helps Stevie save face by posing as her new fiancé. Abundant plot elements add depth but muddle the story arc, and the multicharacter head-hopping detracts from the hero and heroine. While the protagonists' challenging, determined venture into love and lust is touching, stiff prose and pronoun confusion keep this romance flatly earthbound. (Jan.)