Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kiss Me Hard Before You Go by Shannon McCrimmon

Title: Kiss Me Hard Before You Go
Author: Shannon McCrimmon

Publisher: CreateSpace

Published Date: May 14, 2014

Buy on Amazon: Kindle  &Paperback 

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Author Website: www.shannonmccrimmon.com


Every summer, Gray Barnes and his eighteen-year old daughter, Evie, open up their farm in the foothills of South Carolina to Kip Kierkin's Carnival of Wonder. The carnival attracts hordes of locals and out-of-towners, and it brings in the extra cash that Gray and his daughter need to keep the family estate running.

Evie decided long ago that she wants nothing to do with the carnival or the farm that her dad so desperately works to keep afloat. She doesn't understand her father's appreciation for the land or the work that it takes to maintain it, but that's all about to change when she meets Finch Mills.

Finch is a lifer – a carny since birth. He's spent all of his twenty-two years on the circuit and longs for a different path. He's never paid much attention to Evie, not until this eventful summer of 1978.
My Thoughts:

Kiss Me Hard Before You Go, by Shannon McCrimmon, is a wonderfully heartwarming story about first love, true friendships, and family. McCrimmon did a fantastic job of hooking me into her novel during the first chapter. I instantly grew attached to Evie, the main character, who is a spitfire with a heart of gold and spunky personality.  

Evie is not a normal young adult in that she keeps to herself, doesn't date, and works on the family farm day and night. She has one best friend, Katie, who has been her BFF since Kindergarten. Evie's dad, Gray, owns a beautiful piece of land in South Carolina where they farm and raise cattle. Gray is a single father but makes up for it by providing Evie with all of his love and support. He really is an A+ father. However money, as with many farmers, is always tight. To help make ends meet, Gray built and runs a skating rink on his property and also rents a parcel of his land out to a traveling carnival every summer.

Year after year, the carnival comes and sets up for a month and Evie hates every minute of it. Sitting on her porch she can smell the sweetness of the food, see the lights from the rides, and hear the music and laughter. It's enough to make her dread the long summer month and wish she were anywhere but there. Gray, on the other hand, is in little boy heaven during carnival season. He loves everything about the carnival, especially the rides.

The year that Kiss Me Hard Before You Go takes place finds Evie in a surly mood. She is worried about her future and starts dreading the possibility of working on the farm for the rest of her monotonous life. Day in and day out she wakes up, cooks breakfast, takes care of the cattle and other farm issues, and then falls into bed exhausted. However, what she doesn't realize is that this year is different. Her life is about to be turned upside down in more ways than one.

Finch, the carnival maintenance man, has been a carny all of his life. His mother and father were both from the carnival circuit and it never occurred to him that he could do anything different. He runs into Evie as the carnival is setting up and they quickly get off on the wrong foot. Her snappiness brings about his sarcastic cockiness and Evie decides he is a horrible boy. However, fate has other plans for the two as they run into each other again and again and their chemistry is undeniable. What follows is an unforgettable summer that will change Evie's life forever.

There are many stereotypes about carny’s that have existed for years. They are gypsies, crooks, drunks, can't be trusted, etc. McCrimmon touches on many of these stereotypes in Kiss Me Hard Before You Go. While a few of the carny’s were less than stellar individuals, four of the most kind hearted people in the novel were carny’s. Finch, Doris, Mouse, and Friedrich are not related by blood but are each other's family. They are there for each other and make sacrifices that many related by blood would not make. I LOVED these characters. Doris, Mouse, and Friedrich are side show attractions. Doris is the 'largest' woman alive, Mouse the 'smallest' man alive, and Friedrich is known as the tattooed man. These characters receive insults, snickers, and constant stares everywhere they go, but learn to take it all with a grain of salt. When Evie meets them she sees past their outward appearances and embraces their kindness.

I really can't say enough about Shannon McCrimmon's Kiss Me Hard Before You Go. I have read three of her books and loved them all. I have learned that McCrimmon writes stories with wonderfully developed characters, catchy plots, and beautiful settings.  Kiss Me Hard Before You Go does not disappoint- in fact it exceeded all of my expectations which is very hard to do! This has quickly become the best novel I have read in a LONG time. I finished reading it five days ago and Evie and Finch are still occupying my thoughts. My fingers are crossed for a sequel to this wonderful story!! If you buy one book this summer season to read trust me, buy Kiss Me Hard Before You Go. You won't be disappointed!!!

Shannon McCrimmon

*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, Kiss Me Hard Before You Go, for the purpose of review.*


  1. Thank you so much for the review, Candace!

    1. Thank YOU for writing such a great book! ;) It was my absolute pleasure!