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Kissing Games of the World: A Novel Paperback – November 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307393666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307393661
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Journalist Shelton's poignant third novel (after What Comes After Crazy) elevates the oft-told stories of opposites attracting and sons struggling against their fathers. The residents of Chester, Conn., assumed that 60-something Harris Goddard was up to his old womanizing ways when single mother Jamie McClintock and her five-year-old son, Arley, moved in with him and his five-year-old grandson, Christopher. Though Harris and Jamie's affections are purely platonic, the rumor mill begins to churn when Harris dies and is discovered naked in Jamie's bed. Everyone is suspicious of her, including Nate Goddard, Christopher's father, who shows up to finally claim his son with plans to sell Harris's house and take his grieving son on the road with him. As Nate tries to put his plan into play, the surprising Goddard family backstory unwinds and Jamie, also wracked with pain, finds herself attracted to Nate and vice versa. An absolute treat, Shelton's work rarely falters and is filled with realistic twists, complex characters and a moving conclusion. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Kissing Games of the World has the shape of a classic romance, in which opposites at first repel, then attract, and after many ups and downs find love. It's been done countless times, but rarely as engagingly as Shelton does it in this novel.”
The Boston Globe

“Quite wonderful. . . . Like Anne Tyler, Shelton seems to possess a nearly boundless capacity for empathy. She has the ability to make us love her characters for their faults, not in spite of them.”
Connecticut Post

“Shelton’s third novel is an engrossing, charming, and often funny exploration of love and relationships that result…the author [explores] love in its different incarnations.”
Library Journal, starred review

“An absolute treat, Shelton’s work rarely falters and is filled with realistic twists, complex characters and a moving conclusion.”
Publisher Weekly

“[A]s the seemingly star-crossed lovers navigate their rocky path, with children in tow, they eventually discover their true destination, their true home.”
Booklist

"Shelton's warm, sentimental love story is told with a tenderness of heart and a nurturing eye guiding complexly drawn characters. She effortlessly melds love and loss with heartrending care, exposing the layers of a budding romance with a deft hand. It's full of humor, flaws, and a togetherness of spirit fit for any modern love story where family is what you make it."
Romantic Times

“Sexy hero, lovable heroine, adorable kids–Kissing Games of the World has it all. A complete delight. Fall into this buoyant, funny, genuinely touching story of two incomplete people finding the rest of themselves in each other. I loved it.”
—Patricia Gaffney, New York Times bestselling author of Mad Dash

“Shelton’s greatest talent is a gift for juxtaposing comedy and tragedy to the pulsing beat of the modern-day mating dance.”
BookPage




From the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

I was born in Jacksonville, Florida, where I wrote my first book of fiction (a story about a king who was tired) when I was five years old and sold it to the neighbors so I could get money for ice cream. Since then, I've been a newspaper reporter, a columnist for Working Mother magazine, a free-lance writer, the author of three non-fiction humor books about parenting--and now, at last, as the author of two novels, I'm happy to be back to my fiction roots. Someday perhaps I'll do an update on the tired king. Meanwhile, I'm working on a new book, a love story, in between letting my golden retriever in and out of the house every couple of minutes or so.

Customer Reviews

Life goes on but the complexities remain; such is love.
L. Williams
Delightful story, even if you think you know how it ends, you are kept guessing till the last few pages.
GBB
The characters are believable and complex while the plot kept me interested and engaged.
Ella

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Antle on November 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of Sandi Kahn Shelton's work but Kissing Games of the World is her best yet. I was hooked from the first sentence to the last -- couldn't put it down. I fell in love with the characters (even the obnoxious ones) and like the very best books of the world - I found myself wondering what those people were up to long after I had read the last page. Besides being an engaging story it is seamless and beautifully crafted. The dialogue rings true, the descriptions sing on the page and the plot moves along with perfect pacing. Can't wait for her next book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Clicia Tremblay on June 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am an avid reader and have a mountain of books to be read all over my house. I can usually tell from the get go whether or not a book will pull me into the story. I was intrigued with "Kissing Games of the Universe" when I first spotted it at Target last year. I got it and put it off reading for a long time. I knew I was going to enjoy it, bt I needed the right time to start. I also got Sandi's other 2 books in case I liked "Kissing" and had a craving for her other books, I would have them around. I am odd that way. If I think I will like a book or a writer, I get as many books by him/her and keep them.
Well, yesterday was the right time for me to read "Kissing Games" and I am SOO glad I did. What a wonderful read!! I did not want it to end. I cried; I laughed; I cried again; I slowed down reading it so it would last longer. I just plain did not want it to end. If the book was 500 pages longer, I would have continued. Never mind that I was up most of the night.
I still hear the characters' voices in my head. I caught myself re-reading passages. I loved the characters- especially Nate and Jaimie bt the kids too and even the "annoying" characters appealed to me. I want a sequel, I need a sequel, I must have a sequel...no fair, as my 7-yr-old would say, that Sandi drops this wonderful literary gem into our hands bt does not continue...life is about to get even more complicated.
I like a book that would inspire me, grab me and keep me there with it. I don't necessarily care for syrupy love stories with little to no depth. I do appreciate complex characters and situations and this book offers me all that. I really have mixed feelings about those open-ended endings or too true-to-life endings. I mean, a book is a journey that I hope will take me places and take me home safely.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Holly Robinson Cookson on November 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Sandi Shelton's books, and this one is by far the best. I read it on a day when it was dismal and rainy, and I gulped the book down along with pots of tea. By the end of this novel, I felt like I could face the world and smile while doing it! The main characters, Jamie and Nate, have great banter and a terrific sexual chemistry. The plot zips along, and the kids are adorable without being sickeningly sweet. The tragedies -- and the humor -- in this book are universal. But what I admire most about Shelton's writing is how she creates a complete world with sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and lots of 3D characters who are wonderfully drawn. Even the most peripheral characters are uniquely themselves. I don't know how she makes writing look so easy, but I can't wait for her next novel. I'm planning to give this book as a Christmas gift to several friends and my mom, too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Hound on December 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sandi Shelton has written another magnificent and entertaining novel with characters that come to life so well I actually feel I am walking around with them. This novel is a little different from her first two in that we get a male as well as female perspective. This novel is full of dynamic characters, a fresh and compelling plot, and a lively dose of romance against a backdrop of human frailty. A great read! I can't wait for her next one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Ramer on January 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was hooked on Kissing Games from the first sentence: "Harris Goddard's life ran out on an ordinary April afternoon, on the very day it seemed all the rest of the planet was pretty much pulsating with spring."

Harris lived a big, messy life and when he died at age sixty-eight, nude, in single mother Jamie McClintock's bed, he left a big mess. Though the town assumes Jamie had moved into the Connecticut farmhouse with Harris because they were having an affair, they were wrong. Jamie and Harris became friends through her five-year-old son and the motherless, five-year-old grandson he was raising. She and her son moved in with them because of the convenience.

When Harris's son, Nate, shows up to claim the son he hasn't seen for years, the boy hates him and clings to Jamie. With her laid back artist's life, Jamie is far from Nate's style. He's a hotshot salesman, jetting around the world, playing his "kissing games." He's engaged to an equally selfish saleswoman. He allows Jamie and her asthmatic son to stay until he leaves and tries to deny his attraction to her.

When he does leave, he thinks he can take his active son across the country to sales conferences. The son is pining for Jamie and his friend and his old home. Jamie isn't having a good time, either, living with her sister who sleeps with a married man. All the adults in the book have faults. Only the children are adorable.

Despite their flaws, I cared for Jamie and Nate. Every page in the book sparkled. Sometimes every sentence sparkled. The characters came alive, faults and all. It was funny and sad and it seemed so real.

Some books you don't want to end, and the characters live on in your heart. That's this book. It's a book about healing, and at its center is a great love story.
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