Author: Lizzie Stanley
Published: March 31, 2021
HEA: Yes but see review below.
Page Length: low 300s. I received this as an arc from the author and my old ass screen-cracked Kindle on its last leg didn’t really give me a good page number. It is a full length novel.
Wet Panty Changes: 2.5 to 3. I struggled with deciding on this one.
Review: I’m going to be honest. This was a good one for me. It was so good for me, that I’ve added this to the list of my favorite books on the front page of my blog. That’s how good this debut is. I’m not even kidding.
So why 2.5 to 3 on the wet panty meter? Hold your roll. I did the same thing to Wallbanger and you all know I love that book. I’m being fair because full blown sex doesn’t happen until very late in the book. When it FINALLY happens, it’s amazing and fully deserving of new panties. But waiting around for it was agony. There were some masturbation and oral sex scenes a bit earlier throughout the book that were also very well-written. But this book wasn’t fucking all the time. In fact, it wasn’t fucking for the bulk of the time. It was a lot of romance and sub-plot, that was actually really fucking good, so I’m not even mad, bro. But yes, for a good chunk of this book, I wanted to scream, “Just FUCK already because I’ve been ready for a good Eli/Emily fuck for 100 pages!”
So what made this so good that I’m willing to give this 5 stars even though there is late late late sexy time? Let’s bullet point this.
- Yes, there is a HEA, but the climax to the sub-plot happens in the last 10% of the book and it’s intense. So there’s not a lot of barf-worthy schmoop. Bravo to the author if this was done on purpose. If there’s one thing that will get a bad review from me it’s when the HEA has been decided by 60% in and then we have to listen to a bunch of beta assholes buying their girls lillies and dabbing ice cream on their nose for 150 pages. Fuck no. This wraps up nicely with a realistic solution to the subplot and a nice HEA for our HEA lovers in the last few pages. Easy peasy.
- These 3 dudes that work at this tattoo shop sound like a bunch of Jason Mamoa types. How could that be wrong? Answer. It can’t.
- The side character of Sadie. I get that her story and Leo’s will probably be told in a sequel, and I’m cool with alternating points of view for it. However, I’d really love a good chunk of it to be Sadie’s internal monologue especially for the Peter scenes. I absolutely adored her.
- And oh, mama. Dean. Dean broke my heart a million times over.
Let’s talk about the M/C of Emily. You know I like my female characters a bit hardened and tough. Scrappy if you will. Emily has a great back plot and she really proves her metal throughout the book. I also liked that she was who she was and tried to get back to that. Case in point, her being a gamer “nerd” (her words) and her embracing that even though it wasn’t necessarily Eli’s thing. This character being somewhat self-actualized made me love Eli even more because he tried to join in and help her hobby along. You won’t hear it from me much, but it was sweet and considerate. And it managed to be sweet without becoming beta bitch.
Let’s also spend some time on the writing. Dear Lord Jesus, the writing was stellar. This is a debut and I could not love it more. There were a few errors in the last 33% of the book, as if the editor was going through for the 400 millionth time and just glossed over a few things, but nothing so glaring as to detract from the plot. A lot of indie published authors actually do their own editing, and this may have been the case. If so, everyone should be more forgiving because how would you like to read a full length novel literally 75 times during the editing process? Not easy, nor is it fun. So I will definitely give her some grace if that was the case. The writing with the detail and character development was exceptional to the point that I’d read this author’s grocery list if she published it. To be honest, I feel like she’s a case study in how to properly develop characters and world-building.
In summary, fuck yeah. Get this book. As for Leo and Sadie’s story…