As she gets ready to audition for It’s in Her Kiss, a play about a woman torn between the man her family wants for her and the woman she wants, Julia – Jules – Vega is hoping to get both her first lead role and some clarity into her increasingly obvious (to her) bisexuality. She meets Sophie Rindell, another actress, in the waiting room and the attraction sparks immediately.
Sophie has reached a crossroads in her life, wondering whether she’ll ever make it on Broadway or should listen to her parents and find some professional stability. She’s also still not entirely over her ex choosing her closet over her. Falling for a coworker, especially one who has never been with a woman, sounds like a really bad idea, but it’s not like Sophie can resist Jules, can she?
It’s in Her Kiss is set in the same universe as Don’t Cry for Me. We actually met Jules in the first book, she’s the one who named Josie’s theatre kittens. It’s in Her Kiss can probably be read as a standalone but, as usual, I recommend reading the series in order, if possible. Josie and Eve from book 1 are secondary characters in this book and you don’t need to know them to enjoy this one, but I always find it much nicer when I have some background on characters. It’s like meeting old friends again. And there’s an event at the end of the book that you will enjoy a lot more if you already know their story.
I really liked how Jules’ bisexuality was addressed (I only wish the term “sexuality” had not been used to mean “sexual orientation” or “romantic identity”, but since it’s all new to Jules, it’s not a real issue) and that while it’s a coming out story, once she knows, she knows. Despite Sophie’s misgivings, there’s no angst around Jules’ coming to terms with her desires and attraction to women.
While I loved everything about Don’t Cry for Me, I struggled a little to get into this second novel in the Midnight in Manhattan series. There’s a touch too much tell and not enough show at first but when the show is on, it’s good! Jules’s relationship with her family is incredibly sweet, Sophie’s concerns are credible, the chemistry between them is undeniable. Being both rivals and lovers isn’t an easy situation to navigate and mistakes are bound to be made. I won’t deny one specific moment brought tears to my eyes. I liked Sophie and Jules together so much I don’t care that it took me a bit longer than I had hoped to get carried away by the story.