First Kisses and Other Misfortunes by Kimberly Karalius


First Kisses and Other Misfortunes - Kimberly KaraliusA cute story with some very adorable characters. It’s a fun little read, but not a game-changer. When I started, I hadn’t realized that this was one of those novellas that takes place between books. You’ll see in the back cover info that another book by the author is mentioned, I just didn’t realize the tie in at first. The author does a great job of covering what’s happened that’s relevant to this story, so I didn’t feel like it would be absolutely necessary to go back and read the first story.

In Kimberly Karalius’s First Kisses and Other Misfortunes, two boys discover that true love is harder than it looks, even in the charming town of Grimbaud, in this lovely novella from the author of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters.

Nico is worried. Again. After freeing Martin from the illegal love charms of his evil ex-girlfriend, Nico was sure that their love would be the perfect romance he’d been waiting for. But it’s been months and Nico’s still waiting for his first kiss. Between Martin’s dedication to student government and Nico’s responsibilities at his family’s tourism business, there’s been no time for romance or kisses. Fortunately, the Canal Festival is coming up and like all Grimbaud events, it will be filled with romance…especially the Water Parade, Nico’s favorite part. And this year, Nico will be the captain of his own small boat! It’s the perfect opportunity for a romantic (and hopefully kiss-filled) date with his boyfriend. There’s just one small problem: Martin is afraid of drowning. Will Nico’s dreams of a romantic first kiss be sunk before they are even launched?

To be honest, I don’t think I want to go back and read the first story. I’m not big on crazy girlfriend stories, which is what it sounded like, though I can appreciate some elements to a romance, I have a hard time with books where the romance is the center of the book, just not a personal preference. But this one was adorable.

Okay, the romance is also at the center of this story, but it’s a novella, so it’s not drawn out and it’s not about the lovers being separated or finding each other for the first time. They’re already dating at the outset of the book but they haven’t kissed yet. It’s also not a book about a straight couple. It’s my first book with a gay couple and they could not be more adorable. And normal. I really enjoyed that they were normal people and their relationship was treated as such. I don’t know how other writers write gay or lesbian couples, but I have a feeling they have all the same issues as straight couples with prejudice and discrimination added on, but they are wholly accepted in their community so this story isn’t about dealing with that.

This is one of those stories where I could hang out and read about Nico and Martin and  their friends doing whatever for more pages than this. But I could not have stood for the plot to be drawn out, which it isn’t. It’s concise and well paced and the tension between them was perfect which means that the story has a great blend of everything it needs to be entertaining. The magical realism really adds a little something special to the presentation of the events in the story too.

As I said before, it’s not a game changer, which is the reason for the 3 star rating instead of higher. It’s a great book, but not meant to revolutionize the way people write about or think of anything or any group mentioned.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I got this one free somewhere along the way, perhaps a Kindle First book, but I can’t remember anymore. It’s definitely still available at Amazon for free.

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