I wrote Then Kiss Me when my first two children were fairly young, and it was the first romance novel I remember writing from start to finish without a lot of difficulty. Yes, I revised it and made it much better years later, but it was one of those books that had worked on a lot of levels for me and helped me become a better writer. Like Bullet, it was one of those books I thought I’d never publish, but when I retooled it and made it better, I knew it was a possibility.
Most of my readers either love or hate this book, and one of my readers told me that, for her, it was because some of what was in the book made her uncomfortable. Sometimes fiction does that—it causes us to examine our feelings about a lot of things, and sometimes our feelings aren’t pretty. But that too causes growth, I think, and personal emotional growth is always a good thing. So let’s get to the questions—the first will deal with that issue!
Casey Williams has left a loveless marriage and is trying to rebuild her life. She finds that, even though you can never go home again, you can find lust again, and she finds a love interest in Scott, her coworker. She also discovers his secret, that he’s a drummer for a heavy metal band, and falls hard for him…just in time to find that, between his questionable friends and psychotic maybe-ex-girlfriend, he might not be the right guy for her. But her heart beats like a drum for him, and she finds herself willing to play with fire to get closer.
Careful—spoilers here! Don’t peruse the questions if you haven’t read the book!
One of Jade’s readers told her that some of the events in the book made her uncomfortable. Did any part of the book make you feel uneasy? If so, which scene(s)? Why?
At the beginning of the book, Casey seems to think she’s an adult because of all she’s gone through, but some of her actions indicate that she still has some growing up to do. Do you think she’s maturing throughout the book? At the end, do you think she’ll continue to grow? Whatever your answer, what makes you say it?
Many readers have complained that Scott went way too easy on Jim when he approached and assaulted Casey fresh out of the shower. If you feel that way, how do you think Scott should have instead handled it and do you dislike his character because of the way he handled it?
Jade chose an alternate story delivery structure for part of this book, breaking it into sections, and the middle section is delivered as though they are Casey’s journal entries. Does this method of storytelling work for you? Why or why not?
Scott has told Casey that he’s content without having any huge dreams, simply living the life he’s created for himself. Casey, though, seems to have some ambitions. How do you think these different approaches will affect their relationship in the future?
What scenes stand out to you and why?
Did the book seem believable?
If you could ask Jade just one question about this book, what would it be?
If you use these questions for a book club reading, I’d love to know how it goes. If you come up with other questions, I’d love to hear them! Happy reading!