*** 3.5 Stars ***
Anyta Sunday's 500 Kisses to Steal a Heart
was adorable. But of course
it's a adorable, people! Anyta Sunday always brings the cute in a big way.
I adored the summer camp setting; I could practically smell the spider dogs and burnt marshmallows and the sunscreen. I also loved the direction that she took this prompt - the childhood friends to enemies to lovers / second chance at love tropes are some of my all-time favs! But the strongest aspect of the story - at least in my
humble opinion - was the boys' rich, complicated history. It was full of friendship and love and misunderstandings and confusion and bad decisions rooted in the fear of the "what if" and compounded by hurt so deep it I'm sure it felt insurmountable. In other words, Dylan and Chris's relationship was both messy and realistic and exactly
the kind that I want to read about.
I found myself desperately rooting for these boys to get a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks-worthy HEA. They deserved it, right?! However, when their happily ever after moment came, it felt slightly clunky to me. Like... I can't help but feel that there was just a couple of sentences that I needed in there somewhere between the "your kisses mean nothing" and "I love yous" that would have truly wiped the slate clean and given me the emotional catharsis I was looking for.
But giving credit where credit is due, that epilogue was heart-meltingly sweet. Like, that epilogue would have made Nicholas Sparks weep into his buckets of money. It was LOVELY and left my heart feeling full and happy.
My thanks to the author for participating in the Love's Landscapes event and for all of the behind-the-scenes work that editors, beta readers, and the MM Group Mods put into making this FREE event a massive success!