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Kissing Max Holden


Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea...

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Swoon Index

  • Heat

    8 (24 ratings)

  • Tears

    8 (29 ratings)

  • Laughs

    8 (24 ratings)

  • Thrills

    8 (35 ratings)

Full Description

“Jilly... If you tell me to go home, I will.”

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn't himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn't know how. So when he climbs through her window one night, she knows that she shouldn't let him kiss her. But she does. When they're caught in the act by her Dad, she swears it'll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, and her parents fighting all the time, Jillian spends more and more time with Max. And not kissing Max is easier said than done, even though she knows he still has a girlfriend. Will Jill follow her heart, and allow their kisses to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden altogether?



I melt into him as he whispers the nickname that never fails to thaw me. “Yes?”

“If you tell me to go home, I will.”

His declaration lets me see us from a distance, unencumbered by his scent and his warmth and his gentle touch. I’m a reasonable person. A smart girl. And Max is a mess. Showing up late—or not at all—for class, ditching football practice, staying out until all hours. Just last week I watched him shove a freshman on the Quad because the kid accidentally bumped into him. Tonight he’s three-sheets and looking for distraction. As much as I’d like to help him out of the hole he’s been hiding in, I won’t be his no-strings-attached hook-up, the other woman to his waning relationship with Becky.

I resolve to tell him as much—that he should, in fact, go home. That he should drink a glass of water and swallow a couple of Aspirin before bed. That I’ll see him tomorrow at school.

But before I can utter a syllable, he’s charging forward, eyes glazed, lips parted. I’m so astonished, so stunned, I let him push his mouth against mine, and even though it’s aggressive and utterly unexpected, I reciprocate.

I can’t help myself.

I can’t process this frantic, feverish kiss, but it shoots straight through me, a streak of heat and want. Oh my God—it’s good.

Just like that, I forget all the reasons why kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.


"Absolutely adorable. . . . Kissing Max Holden is an endearing story with raw and realistic characters that you will grow to love." —Good Choice Reading

"Perfect for fans of Anna and the French Kiss." —Downright Dystopian

"I was rooting for [Jillian] and Max from the get go. . . . A cute teenage love story, about best friends becoming more." —Lovely Alison Reads

"Reading Kissing Max Holden is like reliving your first kiss: the pounding heart, the rushing pulse, the flushed cheeks and the goosebumps." —Northern Virginia Magazine

“This book honestly cannot compare to any others. Swoonworthy and real, THIS is the type of book teens need to read. It takes us on an unforgettable roller coaster, one I did not regret to hop onto.” — Zoie K, Swoon Reader

“KMH has taken over my life for the last three days, and I don't want it to end! I love the complex relationships between family and friends, Jill's passion for baking … and of course, the smokin' hot chemistry between Jill and Max! swoon Love, love, love everything about this little gem!” —writergurl89, Swoon Reader

“"Kissing Max Holden" was an electric, sexy, sweet and deep read. … I think this is a very strong debut, and I wish we get the chance to read more stories by Katy Upperman, she truly has a gift for storytelling and for making me laugh, swoon and ship her characters like crazy.” —Sandra Selvas, Swoon Reader