Review & Excerpt: Kiss And Break Up by Ella Fields

KISS AND BREAK UP
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Ella Fields
Release Date: March 8, 2019

Dashiell Thane wasn’t a nice guy.

He was an abrasive, demanding, conniving, intolerable brat.

Yet somehow, we’d been best friends our whole lives.

Until our senior year when I finally decided to dip my toes into the dating pool.

 

All it took was one kiss for jealousy, lies, and betrayal to sweep in and propel us heart first into dizzying, hostile depths.

 

You’re not supposed to kiss your best friend.

You’re definitely not supposed to kiss your best friend while you’re dating someone else.

And the absolute worst thing you could do is fall for your best friend.

Unless, of course, you want to ruin everything.

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I fell to the bed just as a thump hit the exterior of the house, and Dash launched himself through the window.“Can you ever land gracefully?” Or you know, use the front door. For as long as we’d lived here, he’d snuck in. At first, it was due to being unsure whether my mom would still want us hanging out, but it didn’t take her long to figure out what he was doing.

She didn’t care. When I’d shaken like a mouse cornered in a kitchen, she’d smiled and told me she’d never stop us from being friends. Yet the window always remained unlocked.

Dash kicked off his boots, and they hit the aging floor with two bangs. “I’m all man, baby. Not a fucking cat.”

Hearing him say that reminded me of why he was here. I sprang to my feet, hurtling out into the hall and into the bathroom.

“What are you doing?”

Too busy gargling mouthwash, I didn’t answer and spat it into the sink as he appeared in the weathered mirror behind me.

“Seriously?” he asked. “You burp in my face after eating garlic pizza, so this is just fucking dumb.”

“You burped in my face first.” I put the cap back on the bottle, not meeting his gaze. I couldn’t. I headed back inside the safety of my room.

But I had to wonder, as I heard Dash gargling mouthwash too, if it would be considered safe again after this. Would this ruin everything by making it awkward?

“Dash,” I said, wringing my hands as I paced the floor of my room. “We probably shouldn’t be doing this. What if––”

“What if it’s awesome and you fall madly in love with me? Well, we already know I don’t do commitment.”

A tiny laugh skittered out. “No, what if it gets awkward? I don’t want anything to change.”

He took me by the shoulders in the middle of my rainbow knitted rug and leveled me with his vibrant eyes. “We’ve done some pretty awkward shit, so what’s a little mouth to mouth going to change?”

I nodded, exhaling slowly, then I frowned. “Why are you doing this? I mean, I know why I want to, but you? What do you even get out of it?”

He grinned. “You might be my best friend, but I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to stick my tongue down your throat.” He tipped a muscled shoulder. “Let’s just say you’ll be killing that curiosity.”

“You’ve always wondered?”

“I’ve got eyes, Freckles. And I don’t need my glasses to appreciate the sight of something beautiful.”

I blinked. “Wow. That was actually really swe––”

“Shut your inexperienced mouth and kiss me.”

I was still laughing when he grabbed my face, and then I squeaked as the world changed color, and his lips lowered over mine.

My heart became a trumpet, blaring in my ears at the first touch of his lips.

I pulled away, startled and still laughing. “Oh, my God.”

Dash’s hands were warm on my face. “That good? They barely even touched.”

“No,” I choked out, pushing his hands away. “It’s just … a little weird.”

“Weird?” His brows scrunched. “We’ve barely even begun.”

I blew out a shaky breath, unable to look at him as my hands flapped at my sides. I stared at his white shirt, looking at where the cotton met his tanned skin. “I don’t know, Dash.”

“Wanna try again?”

I looked at him then, at the eager glint in his blue eyes. “It’s not weird for you?”

He chewed his bottom lip which was a little fatter than the top. And it’d just been touching mine. Oh, how crazy. “Maybe a smidgen. I can just picture Margot Robbie, and I’ll be good.”

I froze. “Margot Robbie?”

He gestured to my hair. “The blonde hair helps.”

“Jesus.” I swiped my hands down my face. “This is dumb. Let’s just forget it.”

He stood there a moment, glancing around my room. “Why don’t you imagine someone? That guy from the Thor movie. You like him.”

“Chris Hemsworth?”

“Yeah. Imagine him.” Then he grinned, waggling his brows. “Pucker up, baby.”

“You didn’t just say that.” I laughed, plopping down on the edge of my bed.

“Whatever. Are we trying again or what?”

The thought of Byron and that mischievous twinkle in his green eyes, the way he’d wasted no time moving in to kiss me … yeah. I needed to do this.

“Okay.” I shook out my hands, bouncing a little on the bed. “Okay, let’s do this.”

Dash’s lips thinned. “This isn’t a cross meet. We’re only swapping germs.”

“You just had to say that, didn’t you?” My pep had officially vanished.

Dash tugged me off the bed. “Close your eyes and relax.”

I tried, but I was as stiff as a board when his mouth met mine again. He tasted like spearmint and cigarettes, but his hands were gentle as one held my chin and the other glided through my hair to the back of my head. Slowly, with the soft press of his lips on mine and the gentle exploration of their shape, my limbs loosened.

“Open,” he whispered, his voice threaded, rougher.

I did, expecting the invasion of his tongue, but the velvet feel of it only traced the inner edges of my mouth.

Out of all the things I’d expected to feel when he’d suggested this crazy idea, it wasn’t relaxed, and it certainly wasn’t the buzzing sensation currently warming my insides.

“This isn’t so bad,” I said when he pulled back, my voice a low exhalation.

“Good. Now repeat the same to me.” My eyes were about to spring open, but he growled. “Keep them closed. Don’t think, just do and feel.”

Drawing in a quick breath through my nose, I found his stubble-coated cheeks with my hands and lifted myself on my toes. I tried to do the same thing he did to me, but my tongue plunged deeper, meeting the warm softness of his. I licked it, stroking cautiously until I heard him hum, the sound vibrating up his throat and causing our lips to mash together.

His hands became firmer around my head, his tongue greedier, sweeping inside my mouth before my teeth found purchase on his plump bottom lip, and pulled.

He groaned, and it had me staggering back, my heart racing and my breath an unsteady, embarrassing sound.

Dash swallowed, then cleared his throat as he shifted on his feet. His eyes met mine, and I looked away, down to where my mint green toes were curling over the abrasive fabric of my rug.

Awkward. This was so awkward, and I prayed we hadn’t just made a huge mistake.

“So that’s how it’s done.” He grabbed the TV remote and plopped onto my bed. “Got any popcorn?”

I shook my head. “Wait, that’s um, it?”

He started flicking through Netflix. “Well, yeah. Not much else to it. We can practice again before your date if you want, but I’m fucking starving, and we need to re-watch the last season of GoT before the new one is out.”

“Oh, yeah,” I said, remembering I’d promised him that weeks ago. Hungry myself, I stepped outside, then scowled at him from the doorway. “Don’t put your socks near my pillow.”

He grumbled but shifted and moved over to the other side of the bed.

Who the hell do you think you are?”
“Yours, but apparently, it’s taking some time for you to get the memo.”

If you follow my reviews, then it’s no secret that I’m a sucker for angst. So then it really should be no surprise that I am obsessed with all things Ella Fields. The woman can write angst like no one’s business, and she’s not afraid to go there. She’s not afraid to write raw, unapologetically real, and truly broken characters and make her readers fall head over heels in love with them each and every time!

So when I saw she’s coming out with a brand new NA romance, I jumped on it like a sugar addict at a cake factory. Yes I know that’s not a phrase, but just go with me here.

The queen of angst strikes again with Kiss and Break Up and she knocked it straight out of the park! She hit the home run of angst! I’m talking teenage angst overload here, people!!! And. It. Was. Delicious.

Dash and Peggy have known each other since they were in diapers. And they’ve been best friends since Dash essentially decided it so and practically bullied Peggy into it. She’s never had a choice in the matter, but it’s not like she minds. The guy may be rude, crude, and completely tone deaf when it comes to proprietary, but he’s her best friend. Through thick and thin. And their senior year of high school definitely brings a change in their comfortable dynamic.

Peggy is a bit of a late bloomer. But with her braces off and a new haircut, suddenly she begins to see her own appeal. And with that appeal, she wants to experience dating like all girls her age have already done. But when a cute boy asks her out, she realizes that her inexperience is a crutch that she needs to get rid off. And in comes her knight in tarnished armor, Dash, with an offer she can’t refuse; practice with him.

Now, suddenly, the lines get blurred. Years of friendship begin to get lost behind repressed feelings, unexpected connections, and a bit of unrequited love. In a word? ANGST!!! All of the sweet, delicious angst.

Dash is a character that you will love to hate and hate to love. He’s far from perfect and he makes plenty of mistakes. As hard as you want to hate him for the decisions he makes sometimes, you also can’t help but fall for him anyway. Peggy was the perfect balance for him. She accepts him in all his imperfect glory, but she also doesn’t take any of his shit. I loved the dynamic of the guy pining after the girl who takes a while to truly understand her feelings for him. It’s a refreshing change of pace.

There’s several secondary characters that are introduced, that I’m practically salivating for a book for. The set up for their books is utterly delicious. I have zero chill with getting my grubby little hands on their stories.

As for this one? I DEVOURED it. I’m talking binge read, people! Binge. Read. I loved every maddening, frustrating, and emotional page of it. I couldn’t set it down for even a second. It was infuriating and completely unputdownable. It was everything I’ve come to expect from the immensely talented Emma Fields, and so much more! A huge rec for all my fellow angst lovers! My one quibble was I wished for a little more development and character fleshing out. I didn’t have an issue connecting with either Dash or Peggy, but I did feel like I was getting to know them on more of a surface level rather than a true deep dive.

 

Ella Fields is a mother and wife who lives in the land Down Under. While her kids are in school, you might find her talking about her characters and books to her two cats. She’s a notorious chocolate and notebook hoarder who enjoys creating hard-won happily ever afters.

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