Siskind’s steamy second chance romance will grab you by the heart and leave you with one hell of a book hangover!
August Cruz is the only man I’ve ever loved. He’s the one who got away. He’s the one I totally screwed over.
Now he’s standing on my doorstep, nine years later, but he’s not the only thing that turns up. My mother’s lost diary is in my hands, and it might lead me to my father. A possibility I wished for one year ago, at my last birthday.
I have 36 hours to fulfill that wish. I have 36 hours to drag August on a wild scavenger hunt. I have 36 hours to protect my heart before I lose him again...because there's something he's not telling me.
36 HOUR DATE is a sexy second chance romance, previously titled LICKS. One-click your copy today!
Kelly Siskind writes romantic comedies and contemporary romance novels for daydreamers and fantasists everywhere. She lives in charming northern Ontario, where she alternatively frolics in and suffers through the never-ending winters.
When she’s not out hiking or home devouring books, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. Sign up for Kelly’s newsletter at www.kellysiskind.com and never miss a giveaway, a free bonus scene, or the latest news on her books.
Golden Heart® Finalist Amazon Best Seller Featured on the Apple Books Best Books of the Month list.
Before I get down to the oh so serious task of reviewing, let me start by saying one thing:
I LOVED THIS FREAKING BOOK!
Phew. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to details.
Gwen knew she was in love with August the first time she ran through her cute new neighbor’s sprinkler. Sure they were young, but from the moment these two entered each other’s orbit, they couldn’t get enough of each other. Of course, starting out as friends and realizing you want more than that when you hit those awkward teenage years can be a bit tricky. After all, rocking the boat by admitting you want to do dirty, nasty things with your BFF is a step that takes a tremendous amount of courage and unfortunately Gwen and August never seemed to get their timing right.
Until a WTF birthday evening from hell, when all of the heartache and jealousy lead to some decisions that can’t be undone. How do you move on when you’ve lost the most important person in your life?
Fast forward nine long years and Gwen’s managed to turn her life around and find happiness in both her professional and personal life. If the demise of her relationship with August has shown her anything, it’s that life’s too short and she wants to spend it feeling something. Most of that something comes in the form of skydiving, rock climbing or other high adrenaline adventures, but Gwen does Gwen and that’s just how she rolls.
A year old birthday pact to find the name of her father, a recently deceased mother who refused to provide that one bit of information and the return of August, however fleeting, means things are about to get a whole lot more interesting for Gwen.
That horrible night nine years ago nearly destroyed August but he managed to pull through. Now he uses that angst for his music and things are starting to take off for him in Europe (aka, pretty much as far away from Gwen as he can get.) When August and Gwen come face to face again, they both realize the feelings between them are still as strong as ever, but can they let go of the past and move forward?
Today, I was a lonely musician who missed his best friend. Today, I was a man struggling to tame his desire for his first and only love.
This book has a little bit of everything I need in a truly excellent CR. Absolutely everything. Both the love and the latent pain these two try and hide is laid bare, no holds barred and no messing around, so right away I was hit with a wave of feels I wasn’t expecting. Those feels managed to work their way through the entire story, but they evolved from a little bit of hate, to mistrust, to “I’ve missed you” so naturally and managed to suck me into the story more because of it.
Side stories can be a distraction and to be honest, sometimes I skim though these parts because they can feel a bit like filler. Gwen’s search for her birth father was the perfect way to move the love story forward, as well as providing its own bit of drama. The plus side? Gwen and August got to spend a jam packed 36 hours together.
Even better? August and Gwen got to reconnect, laugh, cry and eye f*ck the hell outta each other for those 36 hours. Kelly Siskind can definitely work the sexual tension angle, even after the sexing commences. Both characters had reason to distrust the other and the relationship that was always between them, but the fact they both managed to come full circle in their own unique and believable way makes me love this story even more.
I’ve loved you since you ran through my sprinklers and stuck your tongue out at me. I loved you every time you scared me when pretending to sleep, when you shoved grass down my shirt, and fought me for my comic books. The past nine years, even. I loved you when I hated you, Gwen.
I could go on and on, gushing about the lack of clichéd crap and reactions in a book that could’ve been ripe with it. How even though I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was still surprised by the ending. So much goodness. Licks is an emotional, sexy and funny way to spend some reading time and I can’t recommend it enough.
I was incredibly lucky to get my hands on an early copy of this book. I have been insanely excited for this story and, if you've read any of my prior reviews, you probably already know that I adore every single thing that this author has written. Licks is no exception. I adored it in the same way, and for many of the same reasons, that I've liked all of her other work - but that's maybe where the similarities end.
Licks is no cookie cutter romance. It's unique and a little bit edgy. There's a current of suspense running through this story that adds excitement and occasionally rockets the emotional impact of this book into next level territory. It all takes place in a very limited time frame - but it works, and it's wonderful. I had absolutely no problem buying into August and Gwen's feelings for each other. My heart had no problem racing for them as their chemistry sparked and sizzled all over these pages. As I mentioned, there are some emotional punches tucked into this story - but the ride is well worth it and I was completely enthralled with this whole thing, always needing to know what happened next, and unable to get these amazing characters out of my mind.
On top of being a compelling and interesting story in its own right, Licks also wraps up the series beautifully. I've loved these books - these heroes and heroines - so much and it was such a gift to see them all together, and happy in the end. And as for Gwen and August's ending? Fan-freaking-tastic. My heart was so full (and honestly, so were my eyes) and I am so happy. The writing is clever and engaging and the storytelling is sheer perfection. This one is a keeper y'all - definitely do not pass it by! ~ Shelly, 5 Stars
Incredible, amazing, fantastic -- and so many other words come to mind when reading Kelly's work! I absolutely love this series and I would be hard pressed to say which of the three books (Legs, Stud & Licks) I loved (yes, loved, not liked!) more. I had no doubt that I would immerse myself in Gwen's story at the end of Stud, knowing she only had 36 hours to complete her birthday wish. And let me say those 36 hours were everything and more--shocking, fascinating, spicy, surprising, steamy, sexy, seductive, heartbreaking -- 100% perfection! Kelly has a real gift in creating a storyline--it's not the same old typical romance -- she is so creative and imaginative and original. The chemistry between August and Gwen sizzled off the pages. And some of my favorite lines had me LMAO: "they'd fallen cupid stupid," "come to think of it, I could bronze it, add some wiring and batteries..." "Making love to you could rebuild worlds. It could part oceans. Drop the stars from the sky. Making love to you is my reason why." Swoon....August is the perfect book boyfriend, but then so are Jimmy and Owen -- I wouldn't be able to pick a favorite in this series so don't ask me! Just do yourself a favor and read all 3 books -- absolute perfection!
Loved it!!! Siskind's humour sparkles even as she rips out your heart and soothes it back into place, time and time again. This book is full of emotions that dig deep and will have you reading far too late into the night. Gwen and August's past is complex (to say the least!) and they have to work their way through it along with a complicated present in order to aim for a future - all within 36 hours. A really great read!
*I received an ARC from the author. This did not influence my review in any way
Absolutely hands down an amazing read! As soon as I received this book and downloaded, I couldn't stop reading. I was so invested in August and Gwen's story from the previous books that I inhaled every word, sentence and chapter because this read was one that was definitely unputdownable. August and Gwen's story is one of hurt, heartache, loss and yet you still get second chances, forgiveness and LOVE. Their story is filled with twists and turns that will leave you mind-blown on one helluva roller-coaster ride of FEELS!
In the words of Fat Amy, Kelly just crushed it. Sorry, I just watched Pitch Perfect 3. From the first few pages, I was so invested because this lady created one hell of a hook. The emotional intensity is definitely a hard hitter, but I couldn't put it down once I read that. I was in, and I was going to see this journey through. I felt like I had been sucker punched, but the angst was so good. It was messy, but it was the perfect opening for the storyline and characters that she developed.
Do you even see someone from high school (or college) and you do everything in your power to avoid them? For whatever reason: you didn't like them, it could be awkward, it's an ex, you're having a bad hair day, etc. Imagine running into that person while wearing two different shoes, having the back of your skirt stuck in your underwear and having spinach in your teeth. Seems rough, right? Just kidding, let Gwen and August show you how it's done (twice).
Though when they do actually sit down and start talking, they jump right into the dirty laundry which was fantastic to see. No beating around the bush, straight to the point. I'm sure is had to do with their limited timeline, but it sure helped to accelerate their healing and forgiveness.
I was pleased with the fact that the friends (Rachel, Ainsley, and their beaus) had a presence in this book, but it clearly was not about them. I'm not a huge fan of side characters having too big of rolls because they can tend to take over a little. The love they gave for Gwen though, was spectacular. Especially Jimmy and Owen and their support of her. Being that they're August's friends, but they had her back regardless was great to see.
You know what I really like? Sexual tension. Gwen and August had it in SPADES ladies. Even from the get go, when their relationship was anything but smooth sailing, I never doubted how much these two wanted each other, both emotionally and physically. I also respected that they didn't just immediately jump in bed together and act on this attraction. There was plenty that needed to be worked out between them first.
Who doesn't enjoy a little puzzle, or riddle, or scavenger hunt? I certainly do. I loved the concept of this book, and how they followed clues and some seemingly hopeless teenage musings. Memories of how these two main characters used to do the same as kids help give depth to the situation and this is an excellent base to build their relationship back up on.
I probably sound like a broken record with some of this stuff, but this next point is something that I will always make everyone aware of. Want to know a little secret? I can't stand friends to lovers romances. Like, pretty much my least favourite trope. Besides secret or surprise babies, that takes the cake, but I digress. So FTL, I find so bland. And forgive me for generalizing, but it seems in most of them that I've ever read, the authors resort to telling you that the characters have been friends for years, are secretly in love with each other, and hide their feelings. But they don't SHOW me why the characters are in love. They don't SHOW me their history, their memories, their special moments that started possibilities and thinking there could be more. I read romance because I want to see people fall in love, but I often find in FTL that the characters are already in love and just need to pull their head out of their butt. (Wow, I'm extra ranty tonight). Now with this being said, I know everyone's gonna be like, "But if you hate them, why would you pick this up?" Well, Because Kelly wrote it. I didn't know it was (sort of) FLT, I was teased with the possibility of enemies and I have a soft spot for musicians.
So yeah, I read this sucker. Any other questions?
Gwen's self hate and guilt were so strong and at times difficult to deal with. I understand why it was necessary, and I definitely understand where it stems from, but wow, it was rough. Though August coming back into Gwen's life helped this to come full circle and they could finally move on and heal.
You know what's great every so often? When they characters don't have a misunderstanding and ruin everything. I mean, I'm all for angst, but I think the air did a great job of balancing the angst throughout the novel, but always in different ways. Sometimes it was about August. Others it was about finding Gwen's father, or a her past. But it wasn't just relationship drama over and over. And when the road did become a little rocky? Sure, there was a pretty large pothole for a moment that they got a little stuck in but then *together* worked it all out.
I really liked how the characters essentially went on a bit of a wild goose chase. Lost luggage shows up after missing for 17 years, AND you find your late mothers diary - too good a chance to pass up when you've got questions about her past. Not only trying to solve the puzzle of Gwen's life, but also in learning more about her mother. There were layers uncovered to Mary's past and I couldn't figure out how they were going to play together or what they might reveal and how this could effect Gwen and August. Until the very end, I wasn't sure how this was all going to work together.
A bumpy love story, a sweet second chance, and a heartbroken musician fighting for his first love. Throw in an adrenaline junky heroine, a long lost suitcase, and the promise of answers, you've got one crazy roller coaster ride. Buckle up.
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.
I loved August and Gwen. They grew up together and were best friends (who secretly loved each other) until a fateful night that changed everything. Nine years later August is back in Gwen’s life and what an amazing reunion it was! They are true soul mates and I am so happy they found their way back together.
I also really enjoyed the suspense part of this book. The story behind Gwen’s mom and dad kept me hooked. I found it very intriguing and the ending surprising.
Overall this was a great second chance contemporary romance. This was my first book by Kelly Siskind but I can’t wait to read more. Loved her writing!
“Making love to you could rebuild worlds. It could part oceans. Drop the stars from the sky. Making love to you is my reason why.”
I'm always a sucker for a rock romance and this was no exception. Add the little twist of the Hero being a twin and I was sold, well, that and all the freakin' angst of course!
Even better is that these two were childhood friends...don't you just love that? All the little stories about them experiencing life together...it creates such a bond. Too bad not everyone is happy about it and that's how the story starts off...
August and Gwen were best friends, along with August's twin brother, Finch (crazy name right?). Unfortunately, Gwen's ex-best friend, Kayla, talked her into thinking August is better off without her and Kayla swoops in. Gwen can't be around them and she and August don't talk for over a year. She finally breaks down on her nineteenth birthday.
Then, she sees something that breaks her heart all over again and goes to a bar with Finch. Being drunk and with an August look alike only leads to trouble especially when August shows up at her door...after the fact. This unfortunate event leads them to not talking for NINE years!
In that time, August has had some success singing but mainly in Europe. He's tried to forget Gwen but it hasn't really worked. He gets a letter from Gwen's dying mother and she has a last request that leads August back to Gwen.
Gwen has never ever gotten over August and when she sees him, naturally, she bolts. Luckily, he knows exactly where to find her.
As I said, this book was all kinds of angsty. Gwen is looking for clues and she revives her and August's infamous sleuthing skills from when they were children. This leads to all kinds of delicious steamy scenes but...August has a secret and since his time is limited, he's not sure when to tell her.
I loved all their investigating. It really made things much more interesting but I really hated the time count down! The twist was pretty easy to figure out although I always think the worse! Luckily, things work out really well with just a little pulling of the heart strings. And that epilogue was pretty wonderful.
I really enjoyed getting to know August and Gwen's friends, Rachel and Jimmy and Ainsley and Owen. Since this was my first book by the author, I had no idea it was part of a series. I'm looking forward to going back and reading the other two books, Legs and Stud.
First things first, I would like to take a chance and thank whoever was responsible for showing us what we all want to see on a book cover. Forget bare chests and couples embracing, musical instruments are where it's at.
Now for the rest. This isn't an easy review for me to write. The book was fine - just fine. In theory, this book checks all the boxes, a second chance, friends to lovers, happily ever after... It had the making to be a book I loved. But I didn't connect with the characters.
Although the characters were 27/ 28 years old, the plot felt juvenile. You have two nearly 30-year-olds running around a city looking for 'clues.' They're going to places and talking to people trying to find the identity of her father. It would be a great plot for a young adult novel.
There wasn't a time when I wanted to be friends with Gwen or wished I was her. I didn't fall in love with August although I have to admit that is an awesome name. There was a barrier somewhere. The characters were around my age, we even had similar interests. There shouldn't have been a disconnect.
The book was fine. It wasn't horrible, it wasn't amazing. I finished it, I wasn't waiting for the next chapter but I also wasn't counting the pages to the end. I don't have strong feelings on way or the other regarding this book but I'm sure there are people who will enjoy it.
2018 is such a great year for me discovering new (to me) authors. This author offered me an ARC of this book. Wow, I was going to read it anyway! It's on Amazon KU
I've been hearing about this author from my Facebook groups & also Scandalicous Blog + my friend Jen (wow, see her review!) Yep, I had to get my hands on this book pronto. This is a standalone,but I discovered that "Leg" and "Stud" are about the h Gwen's friends Rachel and Ainsley. I didn't get around to reading their stories, but I'm sure that I will very soon.
This is dual 1st person POV. The h, Gwen's starts out with a flashback, 9 years prior. Gwen and the H, August are best friends but Gwen wants more, but is too hesitant to let August know. August has so much going for him. Gwen has a low self image. In my opinion it is absolutely understandable . Gwen's single mom, Mary is as a cold a fish as there ever was. Gwen has her best friend August, but she is so restricted by what Mary will allow. Gwen has no idea who her father is. Gwen doesn't realize that August wants more with Gwen too. So many misunderstandings. Losing hope. Betrayal. When they're each 19 y/o, Gwen and August have a major rift that lasts 9 long years. August is so hurt. Gwen could not feel any lower..... I had to really hang in there for what would come next. This is only the beginning after all. Gah, I was so mad at August's brother Finch.
Then to present day. Gwen and August meet again. They happen to have friends in common. They come back to San Francisco. August is a musician- mainly tours in Europe.. Gwen has her career in SF. She's coming up to her 28th birthday & her WISH: To find her dad. At first, she has very little clues to go on. The fascinating thing is that August plays a big part in Gwen's search. They each have a lot to forgive of the other. Gwen has all but lost hope in August forgiving her. Their chemistry is off the charts. August is so torn. He has such strong feelings- both ways. He and Gwen gradually fall into a really fun rapport. They joke around each other. Just like old times (almost!) They also have a lot of sparks. Gwen finds clues, little by little to find her father. August ends up being the catalyst to her finding much more. There are some funny parts too. Rachel and Ainsley are funny + their boyfriends Jimmy & Owen.. Gwen is NOT a sad person. She really is determined to find her Dad.
I had a couple of theories. My #1 was wrong. I did have an idea at the back of my mind... yeah. That was right. I wanted Gwen to finally have a family. She has her friends, no family. This is SO hard not to spoil. The plot twist was so great and seemed real and natural. I LOVED the writing. Very original. I sometimes run into the same ol' metaphors in other contemp Rom- Coms, This had a NA feel but with real growth in each character as the story went along. So much, angsty angst..... and then ahh. Loved the ending <3 The story only spans a little less than 3 days-not counting the flash back (prologue) and two years later (the epilogue). I loved this page turner. I highly recommend. It is a standalone.5 stars, easily
3.5 stars. I loved the storyline and the characters a lot in this second chances love story. It was an amusing, emotional and entertaining read. Gwen and August were funny and cute together, I liked their vibe. I did for some reason struggle a little with continuously reading this and felt the need to put it down a couple of times( a book like this I will usually read from start to finish). This happened mainly for me when it seemed to get a little too wordy and repetitive in describing the characters emotions. I personally felt this book could have benefitted from a little judicious editing but overall I really liked the "feel" of this book and wouldn't hesitate to pick up another book by the talented Ms. Siskind.
While I loved the premise for this book, I just couldn't quite connect with it like I had with the first two books in this series. This book (other than the prologue which happened 9 years in the past) takes place over the course of 36 hours...before the clock strikes midnight on Gwen's birthday wish-resolution.
Our story starts with Gwen's WTF (Worst Terrible F*ck-up) night 9 years ago on her birthday. While surfing social media she spots a photo of August, her best friend/lifetime crush, and his current girlfriend. Let's just say relationships are deeply broken.
Fast forward to present day and Gwen is trying her best to fulfill her birthday resolution - discovering the identity of her father. Fate has seemed fit to drop August, her mother's mystery suitcase and journal at her front door. The search for lost answers and a missing past is filled with plenty of angst, anger, bitterness, discovery, forgiveness and reconciliation.
I found it hard to connect with Gwen. Yes, I liked her adventurous side, but I never felt like she aged past her 19 year old self and all of her issues. At times this read more like a young adult novel. I had the same issue with August. I did love that he was finally ready to forgive and move on with his relationship with Gwen, but found him to be a bit too agnst-y, much of his thoughts were repetitive. I needed him to man up a bit more.
No more games. No more subtle flirting. The only regrets in life were the risks we didn't take, and I was done letting my past undermine my future.
I did love reading through Gwen's mother's journal with her, exploring all of the pages within, visiting all of the places that her mom had once frequented. I liked watching Gwen see her mother in a different light, to connect with her in a way she didn't think was possible. The big reveal at the end was a surprise for me...and I'll let it be a surprise for you too ;)
I loved the support that Gwen got from every one of her friends. The wise advice from Rachel and Ainsley. Ainsley's twisted threats against August. Even Jimmy and Owen, stepping up like overprotective big brothers was sweet.
Despite my feelings for this last book, this was a fun series to read and I hope that Emmett and Cameron's story will be written next. I need some more of Emmett's wit and banter!
With Licks, Kelly Siskind has combined two of my favorite tropes- childhood friends-to-lovers and second chance romance, to give us an exhilarating, heartwarming, and emotional story that hit me right in the feels. August and Gwen were the best of friends growing up, but, due to a series of really unfortunate events and choices, became estranged 9 years ago. The death of Gwen’s mother brings August back into her life, and for the next 36 hours, as August assists Gwen as she seeks to find her father, all the pain, hurt, and love they’ve experienced is laid bare.
Before Sunrise is one of my favorite movies, and I kept thinking about it while I was reading Licks. Unlike Jesse and Celine though, Gwen and August have a lot of history, but like their movie counterparts they’re really just getting to know each other as adults. And just as it was for Jesse and Celine, it's a race against the clock for Gwen and August, with lots to uncover, before time runs out on them.
I really loved the journey Ms. Siskind takes Gwen on. It’s so much more than just a story of a girl trying to find her father. It ends up being a journey of discovery, as she uncovers things about not just her father, but of herself and her mother- things that cause her to rethink everything she thought she knew. And all the while, she and August are getting to know each other all over again, opening old wounds, and healing themselves in the process.
Gwen, strong, vulnerable, kickass Gwen. What a tough, crazy, overwhelming 36 hour whirlwind she survived! She holds things so close to the vest, I’m glad she has friends like Rachel and Ainsley to open up to. And let’s not forget Jimmy and Owen! Even though August was their friend first, I loved how they had her back. And gosh how I loved August. Even with the secret that he was keeping I couldn’t help but fall for him! He and Gwen were made to be together, from the moment she stuffed grass in his shirt.
Licks was such an entertaining, heartfelt, engaging read. I’m pretty sure I said this about the Over the Top series, but I’m sad to see this one come to an end. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know Rachel and Jimmy, Ainsley and Owen, and Gwen and August, I feel like I’m saying good-bye to friends!
I have very much enjoyed this series from Kelly Siskind. It has the perfect blend of humor, angst and romance. I have to say though that my excitement for Licks was even more amplified because of the promise of a second chance romance. After fake-dating, second chance romance is my favorite trope, so obviously I was excited to read Licks. Kelly Siskind totally delivered with this book. It had just the right amount of angst that I like in my second chance romances and managed to be very very swoony.
I loved that the protagonists, Gwen and August, were childhood friends whose friendship slowly developed into deeper feelings. However, unfortunately for them, the timing just wasn't right, and they both wound up deeply hurting each other. Fast forward a few years, Gwen's mom has just passed and August suddenly makes a re-appearance, along with a suitcase belonging to Gwen's mom that promised perhaps finding her father. Together, August and Gwen go on an adventure trying to figure out the clues that her mom left behind. As they go on this adventure, they realize that their feelings for each other have only amplified over the years. The romance was lovely. It was angsty at times but the chemistry kept it alive. Their feelings for each other were intense and add in that steamy chemistry, what you ended up was a really good romance.
It also helped that I liked both of the characters. They both had their strengths and their flaws. There were times when I found both characters to be quite questionable when it came to their thoughts - they seemed a bit out of place if I'm being honest. Overall though, they were both likable and it was easy to see where they were coming from when they made mistakes. Plus, I very much enjoy reading books with characters that aren't always perfect. As with the other books in the series, I also enjoyed seeing the female friendship. It was strong as ever and these girls just made my heart full with the amount of love and support they had for each other.
While a little more serious in tone compared to the other books in the series, Licks was a solid addition to it. If you're fond of second chance romances and flawed characters, this one is for you!
Growing up as neighbors, Gwen never told her best friend August that she was in love with him. And instead, stopped talking to him in high school when he started dating someone else. After a year and a half of the silent treatment, Gwen drunk texts August on her birthday, which leads to a mistake that ends their friendship for good.
Fast forward nine years later. August is a full-time musician touring in Europe, and he never got over his feelings for Gwen. He returns home to see Gwen because he has an important message for her from her deceased mom. As one serendipitous event leads to another, the pair begin a 36-hour quest to discover the identity of Gwen’s father.
What can I say about Licks other than it is one of the best stories I’ve read? There are so many things that are perfect about this story, it’s hard for me to capture my emotions and thoughts in a review. Right from the opening chapter, I had all the feels for Gwen and August. Their history is gutting, and so relatable. And as I read each page, every chapter, I fell hard for August and Gwen. I was flooded with emotions and the need to keep reading because I had to know they would make it.
It’s always difficult for me to write a review of a book I just absolutely adored. How do I express why I liked a book that I connected with down to my very soul? But that’s just it… I found that I connected with every aspect of the story. Everything Ms. Siskind created resonated with me. The character’s emotions, from joy to despair, from heart ache to love… I’ve felt them all, and they are written so genuinely, so sincerely, that I experienced them along side Gwen and August.
While the romance is utterly emotional, both tender and gritty, the plot to uncover the name of Gwen’s father is captivating. The unexpected turns shocked me, taking my breath away. There are plot twists that feel as natural as they are surprising. And the whole quest gives Gwen and August a route to emotional clarity and freedom from their past mistakes.
The dual aspects of the plot—unrequited, unrealized romance and the search for Gwen’s father—played together perfectly, weaving and dancing around one another and together with sublime effect. Following the clues Gwen and August find in her mother’s diary leads the pair on a scavenger hunt, bringing them closer together as Gwen runs the gamut of emotions.
Licks is hands down one of the best books I’ve read. The characters come to life in an intense, emotionally packed journey that captivated me from the first paragraphs all the way to the closing epilogue. Gwen and August’s story will stay with me for a long time to come.
My Rating: A+ Personal Favorite Review copy provided by blog tour Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
I got lucky enough to read an early copy of this still-unpublished manuscript, and I promise you, you'll want to put the release date on your calendars.
This is such a fun book and I loved the short timeline aspect. Gwen and August are old high school friends and former neighbors. They always ignored their own attraction for each other until, one terrible night when they were on the verge of acting on it, Gwen made a fateful mistake that separated them for nearly a decade.
When Gwen sees August again after nine years, sparks fly quickly and permanently. She's got only a weekend to find out the truth about who her father was before her self-imposed birthday deadline, and August was always her partner-in-crime. Once he's found her again, August has no plans to leave her side.
Kelly Siskind's books are always full of heat and this one is no different. I loved the chemistry and the history between the two main characters, and I enjoyed glimpses of the couples from the two previous books in this series as they helped prod Gwen and August toward their destiny.
A hot, thoroughly readable romance. Definite add to the TBR of any romance fan.
I’ve been invested in this interconnected standalone series since the first story, Legs. I couldn’t wait to read Gwen and August’s book as their backstory was bound to be angst filled. They had been best friends growing up but Gwen shut him out and then something big happened to rip them apart. That I honestly did not see coming. Gwen is also on mission to find her birth father. Gwen, Rachel and Ainsley (characters from the other books) all have the same birthday and make a pact to fulfill certain goals by a certain birthday. So with that being said Gwen is on a time crunch to find her father and the last person she least expects to help is August but he agrees.
Throughout the story they are looking for clues and whereabouts into her deceased mom’s past to find her father. As much as I wanted to love this story I had such a hard time connecting to the characters. I normally enjoy this author’s books but I struggled with this story. Don’t get me wrong Siskind’s writing was good but I just couldn't connect to the story. Even though this story didn’t work out for me please don’t let my review stop you from reading. I’ve pretty much read everything by this author and this is the first time this has happened to me.
This entire series has been a delight to read. I fell in love with each one of these characters and became invested in wanting to know their stories. Each of these books are a standalone but the characters interact in each of the stories. From the beginning I knew there was going to be a story to tell with Gwen and boy was I right on that hunch. I have been eagerly awaiting for this book after reading the first chapter at the end of Stud. I was hoping that the rest of the story would live up to that chapter since I was a bit leery with the premise that this story would be told in a 36 hour time-frame. I can say that I shouldn't have worried because this author used her amazing writing ability and wrote the best book of the three.
Gwen. There are not enough words to describe how much I loved this character. I loved watching her go through the steps of trying to come to terms with who her father was. In trying to fulfill her birthday wish she discovered so much about herself, her relationship with her mother, and August. August. Good Lord. That man was deliciousness and hotter than Hades, I loved watching him wrestling with his emotions and the anger and bitterness he had over the past. I loved that he knew what he felt for Gwen was real regardless of the past. Together they were kismet. Plain and simple. There is no other word that comes close to describing them.
While the story might have been told in only a day and a half it was not an instalove type romance nor did it feel rushed. There was history here. They were best friends before they became eventual lovers. There was betrayal and many lost years but the connection that these two had was beyond anything that could only be contained in mere hours. They proved that there is no such thing as coincidence and that there is truth to the old saying, "to every season there is a reason" (I used to hate being told that when I was young and complaining about winter--yet now I can see the wisdom in the words).
I am a sucker for symbolism in books so seeing all the hidden "Easter eggs" (as I like to call them because I am a huge gamer and nerd) of the power of three; friends, boyfriends who were also their own threesome, and wishes were all intertwined throughout the story culminating in one final scavenger hunt made me giddy! The details and 'coincidences' of how that scavenger hunt came about exposing the truth was a beautiful reminder that not everything is as it seems on the surface and sometimes the universe has bigger plans for us. If we change one certain thing the butterfly effect happens and for Gwen and August they wouldn't be in the here and now.
I am sad to see this story and series end. There is a part of me that wishes that Finch gets his story too. Regardless, of what this author writes, I will be there eagerly awaiting to gobble it up.
This story had everything built into it. ROmance, laughter, scavenger hunt, twists and turns. I think Kelly did a great job incorporating the history throughout the story and gave you the perfect amount to make the story understandable. THe growth that Gwen went through from her mistakes to the forgiveness was admirable. I loved August and he truly was the perfect guy (why can't they make them like that in real life).
My heart is so full after reading this and growing along with the characters and it was a good reminder forgiveness is everything and releases a lot of burden.
Gwen Hamilton never knew her father and, with her mother’s passing, the birthday wish to know who he is seems to be slipping from her grasp. Now, she has her mother’s diary and the one man she’s ever loved at her childhood’s home doorstep. With only 36 hours until her next birthday, Gwen will enlist August to help her follow the path of her mother’s life as told by her diary. Along the line they will have to confront their own demons, make amends for the mistakes that separated them years ago and will fall in love again. Licks is a beautifully crafted tale of love, pain, sacrifice and forgiveness. The author weaved a great second chance story for an insecure girl who grew up feeling unworthy of love and the boy who’s always loved her.
4.5 stars *Received an ARC for which I voluntarily provided an honest review*
This was my 1st book by Kelly Siskind, and I am HOOKED by her totally natural, believable characters. Well, I was hooked from the minute I read the blurb. I used to be a huge fan of the TV series 24, so the premise of this completely intrigued me. An entire love story that goes down in 36 hours? YESYESYESYESYES! It was so much fun. More importantly, there was so much chemistry between August & Gwen - the feelings they'd held on to for nine long years were just below the surface, and oh-so ready to spring to life.
Loved the mystery they had to work to solve, and I genuinely believed that August - with good intentions - had screw up so badly there was no way for them to work out. I was thrilled with how it DID work out, and enjoyed every word!
This second chance at love book was just fantastic. You could feel the love between August and Gwen and also feel the heartbreak that they were going through. The banter between them and the one liners will keep you laughing out loud. They were meant to be together and you can feel it from the very beginning. I loved everything about the book from the friends to the locations and I’m sure you will too!
Licks begins with a very fluffed up situation, one that will test die-hard romantics; you see, Gwen has secretly been in love with her best friend. August, for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, Gwen has very low self-esteem stemming from her emotionally abusive parent, making Gwen question August's friendship and preventing her from opening up her true feelings for him. When August begins dating and his new girlfriend adds to Gwen's negativity a divide is formed between herself and August. Gwen's need for self-preservation kicking into overdrive causes her to alienate August for the best part of a year while maintaining a friendship with his twin brother. On her birthday the following year and fueled by alcohol, Gwen reaches out to August only to be confronted by social media inference as to August's relationship status - queue more alcohol, the aforementioned twin and a very, very bad decision leading to the implosion of the life both Gwen and August had previously envisioned.
Skip forward nine years to the separate lives August and Gwen have built for themselves. Gwen is coming to terms with the death of her mother while August has built a life for himself as a musician focusing on the European market. Gwen has never known who her father is and her mother refused to tell her even while on her deathbed, however, she did entrust August with the information as her final deed.
Having made a birthday pact with her two best friends who also share the same birthday, Gwen is on a final countdown to fulfilling her desire to find her birth father. August reappears in her life with only 36 hours remaining to complete her quest. All of the volatile emotions stemming from their shared past flare to life from their initial interactions, although so does an intense attraction. Testing the waters and navigating the past add to a tumultuous reunion between Gwen and August.
The discovery of a long-lost diary among her mother's possessions leads Gwen and August to uncover long-buried secrets as well as glimpsing the woman Gwen's mother was prior to Gwen's birth. Following the path that has been laid out before them leads Gwen to surprising revelations and a high level of empathy for all of the people involved. All the while intensifying the connection and emotions between Gwen and August.
Although Gwen and August are re-connecting on a new and exciting level there is still the limited time they have to spend together as well as the difference in lifestyles, living in different countries is one of them. Old insecurities resurface adding to the barriers to pursuing a long-distance relationship. Yet, there is always the understanding that the worst has been overcome and nothing else could ever compare.
Having faith in yourself and trust between partners ensures a strong foundation to build upon whether together all the time or apart for long periods.
I loved how their friends were inter-connected and provided a fantastic support system for both Gwen and August.
This book is really special. It takes place over a 30 hour period and Siskind executes it perfectly. First of all, the beginning of this story rocked my world. It was a major "I NEED TO READ THIS, because OMG!!!" moment. It starts with our couple, Gwen and August, when they were 19 and Gwen's major total, world-class, F-UP! And so it began. (With my jaw on the floor.)
August and Gwen have mega chemistry and this book was really unique—with the 30 hour time period, to the plot and the couple's issues—I haven't read a romance with such a different spin before. It delivers on all the things I want in a romance. A story that will grab me, well-developed characters, and heat. As always, Siskind brings all the sexual tension and chemistry you expect.
***I received an ARC from the author. This is an unbiased review.
I've been anxiously waiting for this book. After the second book ended you know that Gwen only has about 36 hours to complete her birthday wish. This is a complete standalone but it was exciting to see little glimpses of the other two couples.
Kelly once again had me hooked after the prologue. Seeing how Gwen and August last left things between them had me intrigued as to how they were going to react to meeting once again 9 years later.
Not only is this a romance but it has an element of suspense to it. Knowing that August secret could destroy their second chance and curious as to how it all plays out will keep you turning the pages. Another great book by Kelly.
I liked the writing of this story and the unique way it's told - kind of in a countdown. The characters were mostly likeable though they were frustrating at times. I enjoyed this story, the romance, the steamy scenes and the epilogue. This is the first book I've read by this author and I look forward to reading more.
I almost didn’t give Licks a go...almost. And you really can’t blame me after reading the prologue at the end of Stud...because WHOA..I mean,I cringed. So for a second there I was like, I’ll just pass on this one. Then I did a mental Gibbs smack on myself and reminded my overthinking Libra brain that I am a fangirl of the authors AND it would be foolish to not finish the series out. And I’m happy I listened to myself post Gibbs smack because I couldn’t put Licks down. I didn’t re-read the prologue ~ but from the first chapter I was hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed being apart of Gwen and August’s emotional roller coaster of a ride to their HEA and loved where they were at when everything was said and done.
Ahh Gwen and August. These two killed me ~ in a good way. Gwen is sassy, snarky and tells it like it is. She has her demons, though, and has had to work hard to find the happy in her life, but she’s done it. August is that guy who excels at anything he puts his mind to and even those things that he doesn’t. He’s charismatic, determined and intense.
Their journey to their HEA wasn’t easy, but it also wasn’t AS angsty as I thought it would be considering what happened the night their friendship was shattered. Oh, there was angsty-ness, but it wasn’t OTT. It really was about two people learning to forgive and move forward. It wasn’t easy and while that night was a huge sinkhole, there were a lot of other issues they had to tackle, but through the process they found that the thread that had always connected them was still there, it was a little frayed but stronger than either would have thought possible.
I have to say that the twists and turns in the search for Gwen’s father were very well done and kept me on my toes. And though there is a part of me that wanted a little more out of it, I can’t say I am disappointed in how it all played out in the end.
And, as always,I loved catching up with Rachel, Jimmy, Ainsley and Owen as well as Emmett and Cameron, seeing how they were all doing, as well as how they were all connected was a lot of fun.
In the end Licks was a great read. It had a lot of heart and the mix of smexy, humor and drama was well balanced throughout the book. So, if you’re looking for a good second chance romance, pick this one up!
~ Copy provided by the author & voluntarily reviewed ~
Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I was correct - The One Wild Wish series is currently available in Kindle Unlimited. Licks is an amazing conclusion to the year of the three friends working on their wishes. High school friends broke up badly and 9 years later, after Gwen's mother's death, August turns up again.
Gwen had always wanted to find her father. Her mother would never tell her who he was. In high school, August had helped her follow clues to find him So now in the 36 hours before her birthday, August joins her with the crazy clues to find him.
Gwen and August also find each other on this emotional journey. I was so afraid they would do stupid things and not get together in the end. Luckily, they both not only knew each other well but they had learned and grown. This incredible trail had me tense, thrilled, afraid, heart-pounding, and crying. Her friends, Rachel and Ainsley, were there for support and to celebrate their birthdays and their success with their wishes.
I would highly recommend this whole series in order. The feels are many. The sex sizzles. The growth and friends are uplifting. The love and learning is satisfying.
Narration: I listened at 1.25x speed which is normal for me. There were two narrators; the same as for Legs. The chapters in the story alternated between Gwen and August's point of view. Samantha Cook performed Gwen's chapters and Aaron Shedlock voiced August's chapters. I liked Samantha Cook's female voices but I didn't like her male voices. I felt Aaron Shedlock handled it all well. The narration overall was enjoyable and brought the emotion of the story to me.