Kiss and Break Up, by Ella Fields

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“You might be my best friend, but I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to stick my tongue down your throat.”

Dashiell Thane, Dash the Demon, Dash, Dash, Dash- Ella Fields has given me a preternatural (LEGAL!) attraction to an 18 year old who says all the right things, even when he says the wrong words. Just call me April the Cougar, I embrace it shamelessly.

Now that you are aware that I’ve added to my impossibly long list of Book Boyfriends once again, let’s talk about how Ella Fields came in unassumingly and stole my fucking heart with a sweet, sexy, angsty friends to lovers romance.

Since Dash claimed Peggy as his best friend in preschool, they have been inseparable.

[…] had been my best friend for as long as I could remember. He wouldn’t have been my first choice, but then again, since he learned how to talk and use his words and that scowl as a weapon, I never really had a choice.

Peggy finds herself in a situation where she feels hopelessly inadequate and kissing her best friend is the only way to remedy the nervous feelings. At Dash’s insistence that it is the least he can do, to help his best friend- they soon learn one kiss can easily shatter an otherwise impenetrable barrier around an onslaught of confusing feelings for both.

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So begins the inevitable push and pull of two young hearts in denial about what has been building slowly for longer than either realize.

As Peggy begins a loosely defined relationship with another boy, Dash’s feelings come bubbling up much quicker and he takes a hold of them with much more confidence but with the all too familiar destructive response of a boy in love with a girl who refuses to understand and accept her own feelings. Being front row to years of her best friend’s sexual antics, and adamant avoidance of a real relationship and feeling anything remotely close to love; Peggy doesn’t believe Dash can love anyone but himself. This adds further to the angst already steamrolling over them both.

KABU teaser 2 Ella Fields

“We’re friends, Dash. Don’t ruin that.” My voice was scratched, breaking. “Please. You don’t want me; you just want me because you feel threatened.” His hand slammed into the locker beside my head, making me jump. “That’s it. Continue lying to yourself, and then maybe you won’t want me just as much as I want you, right?”

In the typical way we crave in romance, our boy makes mistakes, even if his heart is in the right (very selfish) place. He will spend time grovelling, he will say all the right things and he will make your knees weak with butterflies that you haven’t felt since your own punch to the heart first love. Peggy doesn’t make it easy for him, thank goodness, we don’t want things to get wrapped up so quickly after all. She struggles with her feelings, with his feelings and just when she comes around WHAM! BAM! Ella tortures her couple just a bit longer. I ain’t even mad about it, they are kids (more or less) after all and the explosive responses to each other feel very real.

“It fucking hurts, doesn’t it? You couldn’t admit it, but I see it now. It’s written all over your face. You care more than you should, and it fucking kills you.”

Kiss and Break Up is a story of friendship, of impulsive actions and consequences, and fighting for that all consuming first love. Dash and Peggy have settled themselves into the corners of my heart, as I sit here several days after still in a fog from their story. This was, admittedly my first Ella Fields book, despite being recommended to read her several times over in the past. Ella is a gem I feel like I’ve uncovered and want to share with the world, however far my reach goes. I have no doubt I’ll make my way through her back list easily. Her writing is smart and simple, but don’t let the simple fool you- she expertly weaves your emotions into a knot. The leads feel relatable, even if they are young, and the supporting characters are blended into the story effortlessly. I am already anticipating their own books (THEY BETTER GET THEIR OWN BOOKS, ELLA!).

This is where I tell you to just go read the damn thing. Kiss and Break Up is the kind of sweet angst you didn’t realize you needed until you’re a puddle on the floor.

KABU teaser Ella Fields

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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About Ella Fields

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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