Review: 500 Kisses to Steal a Heart by Anyta Sunday

“… Five hundred kisses are all it takes to steal a heart.” Chris Montgomery doesn’t believe it, and he’d know. He’s met— and had— many a man. None of whom he’d want to share five hundred kisses with. If you don’t like someone, you just don’t like them. End of story. No amount of kissing will change that. Dylan Halsworth doesn’t believe it either. But Chris and his arrogant, “always right, dare I be wrong” attitude has Dylan challenging him to try it. And who knows, maybe watching his most-loathed neighbor suffer through five hundred kisses with the same man is worth it? He’d sit back, crack open a Mountain Dew, and have a good laugh… But… shit… there is one slight snag in his plan. Chris has chosen Dylan with whom to prove his point…

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group's "Love’s Landscapes" event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

Photo Description: Two men are sitting close, a whisper apart, and their gazes are locked onto each other’s lips. The light glows behind them, bright, like the chemistry between them. They are about to kiss…

This story may contain sexually explicit content and is intended for adult readers. It may contain content that is disagreeable or distressing to some readers. The M/M Romance Group strongly recommends that each reader review the General Information section before each story for story tags as well as for content warnings.

Have I ever told you I’m a recovering Mountain Dew addict? I’ve fallen off the wagon 4 times. FOUR! It’s like I can go so long and then one day I’ll find myself standing in line and I see those temptingly, fresh, eerily neon green yellow nectar of the Gods bottles looking at me with such longing in their cooler case and I can’t stop myself. Weak willed, I am. Seriously. Quitting smoking was easier than quitting The Dew. Thus, whenever I see commercials or someone mentions The Dew like in 500 Kisses to Steal a Heart it simultaneously makes me cringe and salivate. Like a Pavlovian dog. God, I wish I had one RIGHT NOW.
Look at that! It's just mocking me. 
*starts to get a little shaky*

Damn you, Anyta Sunday!!! Why does it have to be the ONLY thing they drink?!?!?!
I felt my resolve beginning to crack from the “crisp and delicious” description alone.

Focus, Cupcake!

Aside from the gratuitous, and in my opinion torturous, Mountain Dew references I enjoyed this story. It's my first experience with Ms. Sunday. I believe she usually writes YA which, let's call a spade a spade, ain't my usual cuppa. She probably does it quite well. Chris and Dylan's complicated relationship began when they were teens and they're working with teens at a summer camp now. She seems to have a good grasp of teen angst. The flashbacks of Chris and Dylan's early relationship helped the storyline and made the conflict credible.

My first thought when they made this bet was 'oh, that's silly' followed shortly thereafter by 'ohhhhhhh, they are boys, though, so yeah…'. They compete over everything! Boys. *smh* I did fine it amusing. Can't lie. Especially the diving for cellophane,Twister and the pull up contest.

I liked that they their road wasn't smooth, that one or both didn't capitulate after 5 minutes and that they, well, Dylan put his big girl panties on (<---see what I did there?) and faced their past head on even if he had to resort to some unorthodox methods. I particularly liked Chris's characterization. AND I really liked the somewhat surprising sexy times that were quite unexpected from a YA author.
I can't say that I'd definitely read something else by this author since YA really isn't my thing, but I did enjoy this story. She did a fantastic job with the prompt and I thank her for participating.

ADDENDUM:  It was brought to my attention subsequent to writing this review that Ms. Sunday is NOT in fact a YA author. Mea culpa.

Review previously posted on GoodReads.

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