Sunday, June 7, 2020

Book Review: Kissing Lessons by Sophie Jordan

Kissing Lessons
By: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Add to Goodreads
Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

A steamy contemporary YA romance by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan about a girl with a bad reputation giving lessons on how to attract guys for some extra cash—only to fall for her client’s golden-boy brother. For fans of Kami Garcia, Katie McGarry, and Netflix’s Sex Education

Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have time for love or relationships. She’s learned the hard way that the only person you can count on is yourself, and she’s hell-bent on earning enough money to leave her small, judgy Texas town as fast as possible. So when nerdy Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden for lessons in seduction, the money is so easy, there must be a catch. Enter the catch: Emmaline’s older brother, popular, all-around nice guy™ Nolan Martin, who doesn’t want his sister’s reputation tarnished by the school’s resident bad girl. 

But Hayden should know that looks can be deceiving. Nolan may seem like a golden boy, but like Hayden, he has a few secrets of his own. And the more he meddles in her lessons with Emmaline, the more these polar opposites clash—and the more sparks fly. Turns out Nolan may have some lessons to teach Hayden, but only if she’s willing to learn.

My Thoughts:

Kissing Lessons was a story that I was really looking forward to reading!  I have enjoyed Sophie Jordan's stories in the past, and this one was a pleasure to read.  While I expected a light and fun read, this story dealt with some heavier topics.

Hayden Vargas has learned that the only person she can depend on is herself. Her father is a deadbeat, and her mother has an alcohol and drug problem, and goes from guy to guy.  She never has food in the house and is always partying.  Hayden works full time on top of going to school to pay for her car, food, and all of her essentials.  She lives in a run down neighborhood, doesn't feel secure in her own home with her mother's addict boyfriends, and has installed extra locks on her bedroom door to keep herself and her belongings safe.  Hayden knows she will never be able to attend college, but is saving up so she can move in to her own place after she graduates from high school.

Nolan Martin is a popular athlete, and lives in a nice home.  However, he has a lot on his shoulders, as he takes it upon himself to look after his mother, and two younger sister's; now that his father has passed away.  He has been in a long-term serious relationship with head cheerleader, Priscilla.  However, he is bored, and feels like he has lost his individuality by being with her.  

Emmaline, Nolan's younger sister, hires Hayden to teach her how to be sexy, seductive, and have more "game."  She has had feelings for Beau, (a player,) and Nolan's best friend for many years, but is sure he views her as a little sister.  Emmaline is a junior in high school, but has never been kissed or had a boyfriend.  She feels like her older brother is too controlling and she wants to have a social life.

As Hayden comes into Emmaline and Nolan's life, she is at first met with resistance from Nolan, because she has a sleazy reputation, (which is unjustified.)  However, little by little Hayden becomes close friends with Emmaline, and Emmaline's good friends, Sanjana, Lia, and Monica.  She begins to realize just how lonely she was, and how good it feels to have people in her corner, who care about and support her.  The attraction between Hayden and Nolan is palpable, and even though she has never wanted a relationship, she finds herself falling hard for him.  Nolan loves that Hayden challenges him, and makes him question himself.

I loved the that we get two love stories in Kissing Lessons, and was cheering for Hayden and Nolan, as well as Emmaline and Beau to get their happily ever afters!  The thread of friendship between the girls was one of my favorite aspects of the story.  I wanted Hayden to feel cared for, and she was such a strong and independent character, that was afraid to let herself be vulnerable.  Nolan was sweet, caring, and responsible, but he needed to learn that perceptions and assumptions can oftentimes be incorrect. 

I found myself entertained as I read this enjoyable story!  It was fast-paced, and such a quick and effortless read!  I was satisfied with the romance and my much anticipated happily ever afters!

About the Author:

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she's also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she's not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.


  1. My rating was the same as yours for this book. I liked the friendship aspect, and was a fan of Nolan and Hayden together. I thought there were a few things that happened towards the end, which should have been addressed, but I was still entertained, and I thought the very end was very sweet.

    1. Yes, there were a few things that I was curious about regarding Hayden's ending as well. I loved the sweet ending :)

  2. Oh it looks perfect to have a good time

  3. Sounds emotional glad you liked it Lindy

  4. The friendship aspect of this book sounds really well done. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

  5. I read her Dragon YA series about a million years ago, but haven't read anything by her since. I'm all for HEA's! Glad you were able to get them here! :)

    1. Thanks Rachel! I never read her Dragon YA series. It sounds like I need to check it out.


We love to hear your thoughts, and appreciate you stopping by :)