The Wrong Side of Kai by Estelle Maskame | Book Review

- Post contains a gifted item - 

I have been waiting for months for this book and it did not disappoint! I am so excited to be involved in the blog tour for this book as I adore Estelle's writing, I'll be sharing my spoiler-free review as well as an extract at the end of this post to give you a little peek before the release tomorrow!
The Wrong Side of Kai by Estelle Maskame | Book ReviewBlurb

''Vanessa Murphy doesn't do relationships.
With a father who doesn't notice her, it's easy for her to sneak around with her latest fling, Harrison Boyd. But when an explicit video of Vanessa hooking up with Harrison is leaked the morning after she ends things with him, her life is thrown into chaos.
And Vanessa wants payback. Enter Kai. With his own vendetta against Harrison, Kai proposes revenge, and the two pair up to ruin Harrison Boyd's life. At first, they are nothing more than an illicit partnership. Teammates working towards the same mission.
But – between late-night stakeouts and crime committing – Vanessa is drawn into Kai's life. And, as the two grow closer, she finds herself letting Kai into hers. ''
You can buy your copy - HERE.
My Review
I adore Estelle's writing style, it hooks you in from the very first page, it's well-paced and I couldn't put this book down! I really liked both of the main characters although I did favour Kai, he showed such a huge amount of kindness towards Vanessa when she needed it most.
This story follows a realistic plot with Vanessa and Kai getting revenge on Harrison for leaking a video of her and while you know they aren't going about it the right way, you completely understand it. I hear too often about video leaks like the one in this story and it's always the female that comes out it worse (there is always a double standard), just like it's played out in this book. This book has a much deeper message which I wasn't expecting but it's so important that I think any person of any age should read this book. 
While this book does have a romance plot (which I couldn't get enough of), it also discusses sexism and grief that's written in a way that's easy to read. I loved reading about their families too, I loved Vanessa's sister. I have read all of Estelle's books and while DIMILY always has a special place on my shelf for getting me back into reading, this is a new favourite! 
Read the extract below! 
 The Wrong Side of Kai by Estelle Maskame | Book Review
“Kai Washington,” Harrison is muttering when I reach him. He motions down at his T-shirt, damp and clinging to his sculpted torso. “He’s really starting to push me.”
So that’s his name, I think . . . Kai Washington.
I try to focus on Harrison, but I couldn’t care less about his lame football rivalry, so I’m quick to cut in before he can say anything more. “Who cares? I’m taking that shirt off anyway.” As the words leave my mouth, I grab a fistful of the soaked material and tug him toward the stairs, desperate to leave the dregs of the party behind, to feel his hands on my body. We’re both buzzing with energy after the fight – Harrison because his adrenaline is pumping, and me because the powerful look Kai Washington gave me has sent an electric current through my body. I try to shake the unsettling feeling and concentrate on Harrison instead.
We stumble upstairs together. Whatever, we aren’t exactly sober, but we both like it that way. Matt Peterson and Ally Forde have moved upstairs from the couch too, and they’re making out against the wall. They’re oblivious to Harrison and me as we slide past and disappear into the first room we arrive at. I don’t even flick on the lights; don’t even care whose room we’re using.
I tighten my grip on Harrison’s shirt and pull him toward me, slamming my chest against his at the same time as his mouth finds mine. We’re off balance in the dark, bumping into furniture and stumbling over each other’s feet. I can hear music echoing around the house, muffled and distant behind closed doors.
Harrison tugs at my lower lip with his teeth. My hands are in his hair, pulling roughly on the ends. He’s squeezing my butt. I’m kissing him harder. We collapse back onto the bed and I’m straddling his hips, leaning forward to plant a row of kisses along his jaw and down his neck.
“Vanessa,” Harrison suddenly says, gently grabbing my face with both hands and lifting my head. “Can I ask you something?”
He shifts beneath me, stretching over to switch on a bedside light. It brightens up the room and I can see him again, his chest rising and falling beneath me, his breath heavy. His tee’s pulled up and I rest my hands on his bare chest and stare at him, bemused by the interruption.
It feels like his tone isn’t that playful anymore, and the solemn way he’s looking at me isn’t his usual style either.
“Right now?” I laugh, then press my lips back to his to shut him up. I try to kiss him deep enough to distract him, but it doesn’t work the way it usually does.
He pushes me away again and sits up a little beneath me, propping himself up on his elbows. He looks so serious that I wonder if perhaps he isn’t drunk. “Listen,” he says, and he flicks his blond hair out of his eyes. “Next month me and some of the guys are going skiing up Mad River Mountain for a couple days. Some of their girlfriends are joining us, and I was thinking maybe you could come too.”
It sounds cool; I like skiing. But even so, panic grips me like a vice. Is Harrison . . . asking me out? Is he serious? He’s asking me to go on a skiing trip with him and his friends, and that sounds pretty damn serious to me. It means only one thing . . . He wants to take things further. He wants more from me, for us to spend time together like a couple, but there’s no way I can give him that. My stomach suddenly feels like the final spin cycle of a washing machine – it’s now somersaulting around at full speed while I fight the urge to vomit.
The answer has to be no.
I can’t let anyone into my life. Not like that. I can’t take the risk.
So, brick by brick, I construct a solid wall of defense between Harrison and me.
“Woah,” I say, sitting bolt upright. My hand is still pressed flat to his chest, and I can feel his heart beating fast. The room has fallen silent, and it’s like the party around us has disappeared into a void. “You’re asking me out?”
“I just think it would be fun—”
“No dates, Harrison Boyd,” I say, wagging a finger at him with a coy smile to mask the panic that’s got me tight in its grip. We already established this back in the summer when I first kissed him in his truck. He’d picked me up after we’d spent the entire day flirting by text, and we didn’t hesitate to get straight to business. We made it clear at the time that we were only fooling around, and that there was nothing more to any of this. Purely fun. Nothing serious. “We’re just keeping it casual, remember?”
Whether or not he knows it, I’ve just made the decision that this is the end of us. I have no choice but to bail if someone show signs of wanting to take things further. I kind of like Harrison. He’s hot and he knows how to work his hands and he’s not as much of a self-absorbed jock as the rest of his teammates. But I don’t like him like that. I’ve realized that “real” relationships scare the absolute hell out of me. They always end and someone will always get hurt when they do, one way or another. I can’t shake the thought that you’ll always, inevitably, lose the person you’ve fallen for.
I can’t help it. Uninvited, my dad weaves his way into my head, and I see an image of him now, a man with ashes where his heart once was and a hollow emptiness in his eyes. I never want to end up like him.
Harrison groans, bringing my focus back to him. “You’re so hard to read sometimes.”
“Is this hard to read?” I ask, and I lean in close to him again, distracting him, pushing him back down against the bed. I cup his face in my hands and my nails brush against his cheekbones as I press my lips to the soft skin of his neck. I kiss a path down to his collarbone, making sure I leave a hickey that’ll take forever to fade, something to remember me by because, after this, I won’t ever be kissing him again.
“Vanessa,” Harrison murmurs, his voice a low rumble, and he exhales as his body relaxes beneath mine. One hand is on the small of my back, the other is pulling at my hair, tangling it around his fingers.
We break apart only so I can pull off his damp shirt. I toss it to one side and sit back up again, this time smirking seductively down at him. My favorite part of all this? The teasing. The driving them crazy. The hunger that captures their eyes. The control I have over them. It feels like the only part of my life that I do have any control over.
But right now, my performance is as much a distraction to myself as it is to Harrison. I focus all of my energy on pleasing him so that I can stop the whirlwind of panicked thoughts spiraling through my mind.
I move against Harrison as he stares up at me, the denim of his jeans rubbing against the exposed skin of my thighs. I like to believe that I’m talented when it comes to maintaining eye contact – I never, ever break it. My gaze is locked on Harrison as I play faux-innocently with the ends of my hair, as I bite my lip, as I pretend I don’t know exactly what I’m doing.
“You’re so hot, Vanessa,” Harrison is mumbling, “I can’t handle you.”
He’s right, he can’t. But at least he’s finally enjoying this now, allowing adrenaline and desire to take over.
Then, “Smile,” he says with a wink, and that’s when I notice he’s pulled out his phone and is holding it up suggestively. “How about you give me a show?”
And I do.
I smile straight into the camera, and give him a show that’ll be worth remembering tomorrow.


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