Saturday, January 31, 2009

REVIEW: Kiss & Tell by Alison Kent

Year of the Category Reading Challenge hosted by Kmont of Lurv a la Mode.

Kiss & Tell is a contemporary love story between a woman desperate to stay hidden from the media and her potentially worst enemy--an entertainment gossip columnist. Five years ago, Miranda Kelley returned to her small hometown in Mistletoe, Colorado to escape the media after a much publicized, much gossip-laden divorce to a high profile businessman in Balitmore, Maryland. Mistletoe, Colorado is a small town whose businesses center around a lovers resort renowned for its utmost respect for the privacy of its visitors. Miranda has spent the last several years immersing herself in her work in her flower shop by day, and as a cocktail lounge singer at the resort hotel by night. Only a very few people in Mistletoe know Miranda is Candy Cane, the cocktail lounge singer and virtually no one outside Mistletoe know she is the ex wife of the Balitmore businessman, E. Marshall Gordon, who is once again under the scrutiny of the public eye as he's being brought to trial on charges of fraud. Now more than ever, Miranda is desperate to stay hidden from the world.

Caleb McGregor is the writer of a nationally syndicated entertainment column who writes under the name of Max Savage, keeping his true identity a secret from the world as well. His latest assignment brings him to Mistletoe, Colorado to cover the controversial wedding of the young rock star Ravyn Black to the newly divorced Colorado congressman,Teddy Eagleton. Sitting alone in the cocktail lounge of the lover's resort, Caleb is contemplating his career as celebrity gossip columnist, drowning his regrets in a few drinks. He's come to a turning point in his career, thinking he's made some mistakes exposing celebrities' private lives and is considering how he might make amends with his career choices when he becomes enthralled by the evening's performer--a beautiful strawberry blond named Candy Cane. Miranda--performing as Candy Cane--notices an attractive man sitting by himself looking lost and lonely, playfully winds her way through the audience during her last number and ends her performance on an alarmingly uncharacteristic note by seductively kissing the man who is none other than Caleb McGregor. The one man who unknowingly to both of them, has the power to ruin Miranda Kelley's life.

Miranda doesn't know that the man she kissed is a man who has the power to expose her to the world, yet she knows that doing anything like kissing a stranger has the potential for disaster if she's trying to maintain a low profile. Caleb doesn't know Candy Cane is Miranda Kelley, a.k.a. the ex Miranda Gordon. In fact, he doesn't even know she's keeping her identity a secret. But their kiss was unforgettable for both of them and after the show they cross paths at the bar. One thing leads to another and Candy Cane and Caleb start to have a fling. Their fling is fun and sexy, but quickly and easily begins to be something more. Candy reveals herself as Miranda, and Caleb soon finds out her last name is Kelley, but the connection isn't made with her ex husband yet. Miranda and Caleb are really comfortable with each other's company. They talk for hours and both find something truly soul satisfying in each other's arms. Eventually, though, truths come out between them regarding their identities and things get complicated. Both Miranda and Caleb have a lot to work out with their individual identities and how they want to live their future. Coming together seems an impossibility for this unlikely pair, but eventually they get their happily ever after.

Kiss & Tell is another fun, sexy and emotional love story. The circumstances that bring Miranda and Caleb together almost sound far fetched, but were actually very believable. Despite the fact that Miranda and Caleb were seemingly the last two people who should be falling in love, they felt so right together from the very start. They were really comfortable together both intimately and in a friendship or companion kind of way as well. The parts when their fling started to become an actual relationship were very sweet and had me wanting to push them to their happily ever after. However, it wasn't so easy for them to finally come together, which actually makes for a better story. Miranda and Caleb both learned a lot from each other and did a lot of soul searching as a result of other person's true identity. Their relationship afforded them the opportunity to reflect on life choices they made in the past and change something in their present to improve their future. This was rather important for the future happiness of both characters.

Kiss & Tell is the second book I have read by author Alison Kent, and I have to say I really enjoy how she layers the relationships between all of her characters--the hero and heroine as well as a full cast of secondary characters. All of the characters in a story are connected in some way and their actions and reactions have this domino effect on the whole story arc. Because I really enjoy the way these relationships are so tightly layered, I came to expect full disclosure on all of the subplots, and was a bit disappointed that I didn't get to find out how a rather big conflict between the rock star Ravyn Black and her mother was resolved. Not that it would have affected the outcome of Miranda and Caleb's happily ever after, but I was vested in the mother daughter relationship so I wanted to know what happened between them. I also wondered how Caleb maintained his duo identities as a reporter. Wouldn't the people he interviewed for his column be able to identify him as Caleb McGregor and not Max Savage? He was clearly visiting the resort as Caleb McGregor, but when he interviewed Ravyn Black, was he Caleb or Max? I wasn't sure how that preserved his secret true identity as Caleb McGregor.

All in all, Kiss & Tell was a great romance that I truly enjoyed.


Visit Alison Kent at her website at


  1. I love Alison Kent's books. You should definitely read more! I know I'll be picking this one up eventually.

  2. I read one book by Kent so far and always wanted to try another one. This one sounds quite interesting. Hmm. With Nath's Re-Read Challenge I already have quite a list of books to buy.

    What to do, what to do? I probably should stop reading reviews, LOL.

    PS: Congrats. I think you did all your four challenges this month. (?)

  3. Lori:: I definitely will read more Alison Kent. Her story arcs are really unique and like I said in my review, I love the way all the characters' lives are intertwined.

    I read Maximum Exposure back in November and really enjoyed it as well.

    Taja:: I know what you mean... the more reviews I read, the larger my wish list gets!

    p.s. Thanks for the Congrats. I did actually meet all four challenges this month. Of course, that means I only read four books total, but I bet I wouldn't have even accomplished that if I hadn't joined the challenges. ;)

  4. Great review, Christine! The book sounds pretty good. I haven't tried Kent's work yet; maybe this would be a good place to start. :)

  5. Another wonderful review Christine.

    I've heard good things about Alison Kent's writing, I've not had the opportunity to read any of her stories yet but will look out for one the next time I'm purchasing a "Blaze".

    Thanks Again!
    Hope you are enjoying a great weekend.

  6. Hey Christine!

    Well, I've always wondered about Kent's work. This one sounds really fun. I always love those unlikely coupling books. Great review!!

  7. This one sounds good! I've already bought the last one you pimped now you're taking me down again! lol I love your review!

  8. Thank you Christine! And congrats on meeting all four challenges this month :)

  9. aaaaaarrgh...i missed you again!

  10. I wish it was an ARC of Angel's Blood...but no. It's a "sequel" to Pride and Prejudice and it was AWESOME! :) And that's all I'm going to say for now. LOL!

  11. I hope you all get a chance to read Kiss & Tell or pick up another book by Alison Kent. I really enjoyed both books I read by her.

  12. Christine, thanks for the review! This sounds like a good contemporary and a good way to be introduced to Kent's work, or any author for that matter, with the shorter format and all. I have a feeling this reading challenge will give me plenty of opportunities in that regard.

  13. OK, I just saw I already had a comment here and I honestly do not remember writing it! Oh lordy, I think I need more sleep!


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