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6 February 2014

Blog Tour (including Q&A and giveaway): 'It Felt Like a Kiss' by Sarra Manning (2014)

Meet Ellie Cohen, one of the most perfect girls in London. Ellie manages a swank Mayfair gallery, but it’s her life that’s a real work of art. Great job, really good hair, loyal friends, loving family. It’s only her succession of lame duck boyfriends that ruin the picture. Oh, and the world-famous rock-star father she’s never met, who won’t even acknowledge her existence.

Then Ellie’s perfect life is smashed to pieces when her secret is sold to the highest bidder and her name, face (and pictures of her bottom) are splashed across the tabloids. Suddenly everyone thinks she’s a gold-digging, sex-crazy, famewhore.

Enter David Gold. Charming and handsome David Gold. On paper he’s even more perfect than Ellie, if only he wasn’t her father’s ruthlessly ambitious lawyer whose job is to manage the crisis – and her. He certainly doesn’t think that Ellie’s the innocent party and she doesn’t trust him at all. So why is it that every time they’re alone together, damage limitation is the last thing on their minds?

The cover of Sarra Manning’s new release ‘It Felt Like a Kiss’ is without a doubt my favourite cover of 2014 so far and one of the prettiest covers I’ve ever seen! From the sparkling colours to the lovely couple holding hands to the London skyline in the background... It’s amazing! Sarra’s novel ‘Adorkable’ was one of the books everyone was talking about when I started blogging at the start of 2013. While a copy of ‘Adorkable’ is still lying on my to-read pile, as soon as a review copy of ‘It Felt Like a Kiss’ arrived on my doormat I quickly finished the book I was reading at that moment and couldn’t wait to get stuck in and read all about Ellie and her adventures!

Ellie Cohen is a twenty-something who is leading a close-to-perfect life in London: she has a great job at a Mayfair gallery, brilliant friends, and a loving family. The only downside is her lack of luck in love; somehow she only manages to get together with ‘lame ducks’ instead of bumping into Mr. Perfect. Unexpectedly, Ellie’s latest ex-boyfriend turns out to be the worst one of them all when he decides to sell Ellie’s biggest well-kept secret to a Sunday newspaper. Before she knows it, the whole country is fascinated by Ellie and her face is on every front page. Ellie realises she needs some professional help to deal with it all, which is where handsome and charming attorney David Gold comes in. The relationship between David and Ellie isn’t the very best at the start since they don’t trust one another, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and this is definitely a desperate time for Ellie.

I immediately fell in love with Ellie after having read the first few chapters of the book. She is simply a wonderful and easily relatable protagonist: down-to-earth, friendly, definitely not perfect, makes a fool of herself every now and again just like the rest of us, and has her own morals and values she tries to stick to. I really felt for Ellie because of the horrible situation she finds herself in and thoroughly enjoyed reading how she tries to get through all of this misery that is suddenly thrown into her direction in the best way possible. One of the things that make Ellie such a loveable heroine is also the relationships she has with the people around her, her friends and her mother Ari, who are also all brilliant characters. The reader even gets the chance to go back in time and see what Ellie’s mum Ari’s life looked like back in the day, which really added something special to the storyline.  

Next to a great heroine, though, the book also has an ideal leading man in the form of David Gold. The words used to describe him made him come to life for me straightaway, and I felt a few butterflies in my stomach every time his name appeared in a sentence. Of course, a book with amazing characters is still nothing without a good plotline, but Sarra Manning has definitely provided her readers with an entertaining and captivating plot with the right amount of romance thrown into it. While some people might think the book is quite long for a chick lit read (it’s over 500 pages), it honestly didn’t bother me one bit. I actually just really didn’t want it to end! ‘It Felt Like a Kiss’ is an amazing and delightful read with the right dose of humour, entertainment and romance, and will undoubtedly become a classic chick lit must-read for years to come! 


For more information about this book: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

Author interview with Sarra Manning!

As a part of the blog tour for 'It Felt Like a Kiss', I got the great opportunity to do a short interview with Sarra Manning!

1) Can you tell us something about your new novel, ‘It Felt Like a Kiss’?
It’s my fourth grown up novel and tells the story of Ellie Cohen, who’s one of those girls who seems to have life figured out. She’s got her dream job in an art gallery, has good friends, a really close family and a hip London lifestyle. Not so figured out is her lovelife – she’s always falling for fixer uppers and once she’s fixed them up, they leave her – and the mega famous rockstar dad who doesn’t even acknowledge her existence. Then one of her fixer uppers sells Ellie out to the papers and her life starts to fall apart. Enter David Gold, a high-flying, kind of ruthless  lawyer sent by her father to manage the crisis and Ellie and that’s when all Ellie’s problems really start.

2) Where did you find the inspiration for ‘It Felt Like a Kiss’? Is it in any way based on your own personal experiences?
Like most of my novels, it started with a tiny thought about the girls I know who always went out with guys that needed mending and snowballed from there. And I always, always remember that when Paul McCartney was found to have a secret lovechild one of the headlines was Macca’s Bastard, which shocked me. I have a similar headline in the book and had to fight to keep it in there as everyone thought it was too unrealistic. The thing is that I work on an idea in my head for months and months, so it’s just layer upon layer of little thoughts and little things I’ve remembered that I knit together to make a book. It was also really lovely to write about being part of a North London Jewish family and a lot of that side of the novel was based on my own family and the families of my Jewish friends.

3) Ellie is a lovely and relatable heroine. How did you come up with her as a character and will we perhaps see her again in the future...? 
I knew quite early on that she was going to be one of those perfect haired, perfect dressed girls who works in Vaughn’s gallery in my novel, Unsticky, who intimidated Grace with their poshness, but again, I usually create characters over time; what they look like, how they dress, what they keep under their beds, what they like to do on a Sunday night. They rarely pop into my head fully-formed and it’s not until I start writing that I really figure out who they are, but with Ellie I did use Pinterest to build up a picture of her and actually pinned specific dresses and items that I mentioned in the novel on a board that summed her up at a glance. And no, I doubt I’ll write Ellie again. She’s gone from my head now!

4) There’s a great mix of characters in the novel. Which character did you most enjoy writing about and why?
I really loved revisiting Grace and Vaughn from Unsticky in this book. Especially Vaughn, as he was Ellie’s boss so he cropped up quite a bit. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that my editor made me cut down some scenes with Vaughn in them because he was hogging the limelight a little too much!

5) Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans as an author? Are you already working on a next novel?
I have a new YA novel out in May called The Worst Girlfriend In The World. Apart from that I’ve been writing a new grown-up book, which is set in the present day and during World War Two. It’s about two women who run away to London seventy years apart, quite dark in places, kind of funny in other places and is a story I’ve wanted to write for years. I definitely see It Felt Like A Kiss as the end of a particular chapter – the last of my four loosely connected Skirtverse novels - and have a ton of ideas for books that I can’t wait to write.

6) Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
If it’s not bad blogging etiquette, I just wrote some tips for the Reading In The Sunshine blog.

7) What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
I really loved Anna Hope’s debut novel, Wake, about three woman trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after the devastation of World War One. It’s beautifully written and really sums up the feel and mood of London at that time.

8) And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘It Felt Like a Kiss’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
This is the hardest question in the world. I don’t think I could describe anything in only three words, that’s why I write such long novels! Sexy, stylish, spirited. Cool, quirky, romantic. Worth every penny. No, I can’t do it!

Thanks so much, Sarra!

This lovely book could be yours! I'm really excited to be able to give away 4 copies of Sarra Manning's fabulous 'It Felt Like a Kiss'!
This is an international giveaway, so all of you are in with a chance to win a copy of this wonderful chick lit book! All you have to do is comment on this post with the reason why you would love to win a copy of 'It Felt Like a Kiss' by the 17th of February 2014. There will be 4 copies of the book available and the winners will be contacted as soon as possible.
Good luck to all of you! :)


  1. This is truly a great review Jody! I didn't know that Sarra Manning had published another book, so to see this pop up on my reading list was a fantastic surprise! This book sounds great - I'm intrigued and cannot wait until I'll be able to read it! When I was starting high school, I read Sarra Manning's 'Diary of a Crush' trilogy and I fell in love with them. I have yet to read Adorkable as I only just recently found out about it's existence. I would love to win this giveaway because, (if I remember correctly), Sarra Manning's writing is just the right amount of lightness whilst still being plot driven.

    Thank you for the chance to win this giveway!

  2. How in love am I with this review? And kind of intensifies my desire to get this book!! I'd love a copy of this book because Sarra is probably my favourite British chick lit author and I'm already looking forward to swoon over Ellie and David's love life and to be completely honest, the Vaughn cameos! I need them! The humor, the wit, no one does it better than Ms Manning.

  3. Love the cover and the review of this. I actually haven't read any of Sarra's Adult novels but loved Guitar Girl and The Diary of a Crush Books. This sounds like my kind of book. Thanks for the giveaway! Can't wait to read this.

  4. The cover alone would make you want to pick up this book to read. I've never read anything by Sara Manning and always love to find new authors, this book sounds amazing. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. I love the look of this book and by the sound of your review it is as good as it looks :) Thanks for the chance to win a copy x Kayleigh x