I'm pleased to share with you my therapeutic review of Kylie's Kiss, the second book in Delia Latham's Solomon's Gate series. Here's a blurb from the author's website:
On a dare, Kylie Matthews lands smack in the middle of Solomon’s Gate—Castle Creek’s new Christian dating agency—and she finds herself revealing exactly what she’s waiting for in a relationship: “The kiss that steals my breath away.”
What she doesn’t reveal is her lack of self-esteem or her irrational reaction to facial disfigurement. Neither is applicable to her quest to find the perfect match. But that seemingly superficial malady becomes all-important when her first agency-arranged date is Rick Dale—a man who is everything Kylie is searching for. He’s handsome, smart, fun. Rick has it all…including an angelic six-year-old daughter with severe scarring on one side of her face.
Hard at work founding a therapy camp for young female victims of deformity or disfigurement, Rick wants Kylie to be a part of those plans. She’d love to say yes…but how can she, when every contact with the facility’s guests—and Rick’s own daughter—will make her violently ill?
Kylie is ready to admit their relationship doesn’t stand a chance, but she’s forgotten that God makes a way where there seems no way.
This book was so interesting to me professionally because very few authors have tackled the issue of deformity or disfigurement in fiction. Kylie has a serious reaction to facial disfigurement in particular, which is a form of Dysmorphophobia. (Any of the -phobias fall under Anxiety Disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.)
There are a few methods of treatment, and I was pleased to see Delia had obviously done some research in this regard. No red flags popped up when I was reading Kylie's interactions with her therapist, and that's always relieving.
Delia was genius in how she made Kylie's love interest have a daughter with severe scarring. I mean, for a person with this type of disorder, just seeing someone with any kind of facial issue can be very discomforting at best and cause a nauseous reaction (accompanied by throwing up) at worst. On the outset, it would seem this would never work.
I appreciated how Delia set up the background for Kylie's disorder to manifest. Usually these types of anxieties take root early in childhood, and Kylie was no exception. You'll have to read the book to figure it out, but it makes sense. Kylie's black moment was handled well, too. It truly made Kylie face her greatest fear...an unexpected version of in vivo desensitization (a common treatment for phobias and a type of exposure therapy) at its very finest! Well done, Delia!
You'll appreciate the sweet romance, and your heart will bleed just a little bit each time Rick's daughter is brought on the page. Such an angelic portrayal. I hope you'll enjoy this book as much as I did.
Leave a comment below to be entered to win Delia's giveaway of a an oil bottle necklace/pendant with Queen Ester anointing oil that she got from The Master's Jewels. You can also increase your chances of winning one of FOUR .pdf copies of Kylie's Kiss or Destiny's Dream (Book One in the series) if you leave a comment on all the other blogs that are featuring Delia today in a Kylie's Kiss blog blitz! (A list can be found here.)