[ARC REVIEW] “The Kiss List” (STFU, Fulton U rivals #2) By: Maya Hughes

The second book in the St. Francis U series, aka the Fulton U rivals, is here! I was lucky enough to get to read an early eARC of the book, and now you can go read it too!

What is “The Kiss List” by Maya Hughes about?

If I were on fire, she’d break out the marshmallows.

It’s not that we don’t like each other, more like hate with the fury of a thousand suns. But it wasn’t always that way.

I still remember how her lips tasted. How they felt pressed against mine. How I wanted more.

How I still crave her. Our disastrous night together ended with her storming out, me wondering if I’d ever be able to show my face on campus again and us as bitter enemies.

When a campus competition is announced to find the most in love couple, she’s the last person I thought I’d turn to for help. But the prize could change both our lives. An internship for her and a chance to finally connect with my father. It’s too hard to resist. Just like her heated glares and tempting curves.

To win, we’ve got to prove to everyone we’re a couple. Head over heels, can’t keep our hands off each other in love. Fake the hell out of it for our chance at glory.

Maybe we’re a little too good at selling it to the whole campus because the lines haven’t just been blurred, they’ve gone up in flames.

Can I convince her I want us to be together for real and keep the prize? Or will I lose them both?

A Fulton U rivals standalone. Explore a whole new campus with the rivals in this enemies to lovers, fake relationship romance.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review:

“The Kiss List” is a great follow up to “Kiss and Tell,” the first book in the St. Francis U/Fulton U rivals series. The first book follows Reid and Leona’s love story, who we get to see repeatedly throughout this book, which I loved! This book has three of my favorite tropes, enemies-to-lovers, sports romance, and fake dating!

We get to delve into more of the STFU campus life in this one, with “The Kiss List” showing an adjacent side to the college than we saw in “Kiss and Tell,” which showed us more of the buttoned up ‘political’ side for lack of a better term, and gave us an introduction to campus, although Coach Mikaelson continued to be one of the antagonists in both books, just in a different way. We get to see what secret Cole has been hiding, and learn more about Ezra in preparation for his book, which releases in May. (I think “Every Little Kiss” will give us more glimpses of Fulton U, which I’m excited for!) 

Kennedy and Cole are the first enemies-to-lovers in the series, and they take the ‘enemies’ title seriously. While their hatred for one another was shown in “Kiss and Tell,” we really get to see the two of them go at it until their tentative truce for the Puppy Love contest. We got a taste of what their story would be at the end of “Kiss and Tell,” which was a great setup and made me look forward to their story even more. 

I was kind of surprised that no one other than Josh called them out on suddenly acting super in love just in time for the contest, but no one (other than their friends being suspicious but trusting) did. Although the people constantly live streaming or taking videos of the two of them when they were out in public reminded me of that one Black Mirror episode.

Still, the two of them ended up being a great match for each other. We never really get to see them interact with the other’s parent(s), which I think could’ve been some interesting scenes, but it was nice to see how Cole and Kennedy’s sister, Hannah got along – maybe Hannah will show up in a future series! I liked how Kennedy asserted her boundaries with Cole, which stemmed from the messy situation her parents have created. The way she navigated her and Cole’s relationship in light of the one that she had grown up around was interesting, and I think done well – the same goes for Cole’s struggle with his father and promise he made to his mother. 

I loved getting to see their tight knit friendship group again – we already knew them from the first book, but this one delved deeper into how close the guys living at The Zoo are to each other, along with how emotionally intelligent they are when learning of each other’s problems. 

I still don’t know how Coach Mikaelson hasn’t been fired yet, especially with the new information that we learn about him in this book, but I’m hoping that that day is coming, and soon. One of the other coaches that we meet in this book seems like he would be able to transform the team for the next season – although I don’t know if I’d be rooting for Fulton U or St. Francis…I can’t split my loyalties like that! I would love to see all of the characters from both series in scenes together, though. 

Overall, I thought that the two of them had a fun, although at times tumultuous, love story. I’m looking forward to Ezra’s book coming this May, and would definitely recommend this series to whoever loves the Fulton U series! (It’s been awhile since I’ve read the FU books, but I think this series might be my favorite of Maya’s so far!) Although you technically don’t have to read the first book in the series to understand this one, I highly recommend starting at the beginning. 

As with all new adult romances, I recommend it for mature audiences due to some of the sexual content. Huge thanks to Maya for letting me read an early ebook copy! The book is available now.

***

Read my reviews of the Fulton U universe!

“The Perfect First” (Fulton U #1)

“The Second We Met” (Fulton U #2)

“The Third Best Thing” (Fulton U #3)

“The Fourth Time Charm” (Fulton U #4)

“The Art of Falling for You” (Falling #1)

“The Sin of Kissing You” (Falling #2)

“The Hate of Loving You” (Falling #3)

“Kiss and Tell” (STFU aka Fulton U Rivals #1)

Check out my playlists for the Fulton U universe!

“The Perfect First” (Fulton U #1) ♪

“The Second We Met” (Fulton U #2) 

“The Third Best Thing” (Fulton U #3) ♪

“The Fourth Time Charm” (Fulton U #4) ♪

“The Art of Falling for You” (Falling #1) ♪

“The Sin of Kissing You” (Falling #2) ♪

“The Hate of Loving You” (Falling #3) ♪

“Kiss and Tell” (STFU aka Fulton U Rivals #1) ♪

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