BOOK REVIEW: Kiss & Makeup by Taryn Leigh Taylor

by - October 15, 2015

I bought this book in a kind of perfect storm of PMS and nostalgia, I'll admit. It's actually been a long time since I've picked up a Harlequin from the grocery story - probably a decade? - but considering the subject matter I'm sure you'll understand why it was hard to resist. Earlier this week I was putting together a post about scent memory, which will be up early next week, and it got me thinking about the quick&dirty romance novels I came up on when I was a teenager, so that night when I was grabbing epsom salts and cotton rounds from Superstore I did a little meander through the monthly book section and the word "Makeup" jumped right out at me. And then I read the back of the book:
A hot shade of lipstick calls for a hot, sexy guy… 
Makeup artist Chloe Masterson has a look for every occasion. Flying home for your sister's wedding and family torture? Easy. Bring out the sarcastic wit and black eyeliner. Bonus—the look catches the eye of the corporate hottie sitting beside her on the plane. Turns out Ben has the exact same last name, and everyone assumes they're married. 
When they get stuck in a hotel room together, Chloe decides to accept the gift the Fates have bestowed upon her. (Tip: a bold lip color does wonders for seduction.) But as their lies begin to snowball, Chloe and Ben find it harder and harder to distinguish between what's real and what's all just smoky eyes and mirrors.
Why not, right?

Anyway, I know that this type of book review won't be for everyone, but if you're interested in my take on the first book I've EVER seen with a makeup artist and beauty vlogger as the main character, keep reading! 

This was a VERY quick read and reminded me of both all of the reasons that I always loved Harlequin romance novels as well as all of the reasons I stopped reading them, but I have to say I enjoyed it.

I loved that both Chloe and Ben were flawed in their own ways, both playing roles in their lives that stemmed from hurt and mistakes that they'd suffered in their pasts, but that they were written in a way that made them feel like real people. Yes, the situation they found themselves in was sort of ridiculous and there were some pretty big holes where the author chose to skip over the journey and get just to where the story needed to be for it to go the way she wanted it to. As someone who wants to be a writer, it's that kind of thing that really turns me off, but I can understand where it has its place in this particular romance subgenre where things needs to happen quickly for the sake of the word count.

As an adult who counts herself a little jaded when it comes to romance, I definitely find the idea of falling madly in love with someone in a very brief time period and without really knowing them as a person to be a bit more than I can suspend my disbelief on. Still, there was something charming about this way this book played out, the lessons each of the characters learned about themselves and about choosing their own happiness. I thought their interactions were generally cute and funny and as characters they actually did have good chemistry. 

Overall, I think this is a really solid debut from Taryn Leigh Taylor that is pretty perfect for Harlequin. It had some flaws, as far as I was concerned, but the characters were well crafted and it was a good little love story. Sometimes you just need a good little love story - especially when the main character is a member of the online beauty community!

I know this was kind of random for the blog, but it was a little something fun and I felt like it had a place here!

Thanks for reading!

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