Monday, August 24, 2015

The Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins

I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to admit I was a little leery when I saw that the third book in this series was going to be a het romance. I have nothing against het romance, but I've been reading them for over 20 years, and I'm more than a little burned out on the genre. I was pleasantly surprised that this was far from the same old same old het romance.


I really loved Cash. I loved how much he cared about his friends, and how respectful he was of those around him. I liked how secure he was in his own sexuality, and how open minded his was when it came to his own pleasure, and other people's sexuality. I liked how he took ownership of his own feelings, and didn't hold Steph responsible for his jealousy. I also liked that he wasn't perfect, and how deeply insecure he was about what he saw as his own limits. I liked how those insecurities made him more sensitive to other people, and more willing to ask for help. He was far from the typical alpha male douche that populates a lot of het romance.


I liked Steph as well. It was nice to have such a strong, confident female that wasn't a complete bitch. I don't know why so many authors seem to equate female strength with bitchiness, but they do. I liked that she was bisexual, and I loved that she was sexually confident, and adventurous. No shy stereotypical virgin trope either. I appreciated that she was the character who had the most trouble committing to a relationship, with understandable reasons, and it was nice to see it was more Cash pining for Steph than the other way around. I love it when a trope gets turned on its head. I loved their banter, and the balance of the relationship felt very equal to me, which I also appreciated.


The plot of the book was nicely paced, and I loved how the entire book wasn't focused on the relationship. It was nice to see Cash come into his own, and see how much he changed over the course of story. I loved the secondary cast, and how they played into the main narrative. The resolution felt well done, and I loved the pacing of the romance. One of the best romance novels I've read hands down.


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