Friday, June 12, 2015

[ARC Review]: "The Girl Next Door"

The Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (June 16, 2015)
Series: Bend or Break, 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance

When it comes to love, go big or go home.

Charles “Cash” Carmichael traded his high-rise condo and family-firm career for a job coaching soccer for Chicago’s inner-city kids. He’s adjusting to living on minimum wage when his young cousin, newly out and running away from home, shows up on his less-than-luxurious doorstep.

Angsty teens definitely aren’t Cash’s thing. He needs local backup, and there’s only one name he can think of: Stephany Tyler. Back in the day, the bisexual Steph was the perfect friend with benefits until she fell in love with a woman.

To his relief, his former friend steps up to the plate. Soon, though, Cash finds himself feeling the familiar need to keep her in his bed, and in his life. But Steph, burned by the ex-girlfriend and by the absentee dad she’s been trying to connect with, won’t risk her heart again.

Good thing Cash believes in leaving it all on the field. If he can just convince Steph to get in the game, there’s a chance they can both win.

Warning: This book contains ex-friends with benefits crossing boundaries a second time, several steamy encounters on staircases, copious discussions about gay sex from a “straight” guy, a shout-out to magic buttons, and an especially memorable going away threesome. 

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Previous Reviews of Cousins's Novels:

My Review:

Do you know why I love the Bend or Break series? For one thing, Amy Jo Cousins follows a group of friends that are ALL DIFFERENT, in terms of sexuality. And I fucking love that, it's something that I want to see more of in series; as if all groups of friends or siblings are straight! (rolls eyes) So for that alone, I'm in love with this series. Add to that the fun writing style and the great cast of characters, and I'm a very, very happy reader.

The Girl Next Door tells the story of Steph and Cash. Steph is . . . amazing, to say the least. She's a tough woman, and has no problems with telling people when they're wrong. I loved that about her. She's also unapologetic about her own sexuality (bisexual) and is not afraid to talk about sex in general. Did I mention that she's fucking awesome?

"Like I told you, I'm only an optimist on the surface. I'm always expecting the worst, so this isn't a big deal. Just confirmation."

But he knew she was lying. No, you're not. You're the optimist all the way through, pretending to be a pessimist on the inside, because you can act like it hurts if you say you knew all along it was going to go down like that.

Cash is great, too, and I loved that while he identifies as straight, he's very open-minded and adventurous about his own sexuality (thanks to Steph, bless her). This also made me extremely happy, because I don't think that's talked about a lot in most romances – it's usually either “straight” or “gay” and instead Cousins gives us a more fluid example of sexuality. Points for all the sex-positivity!

Such a great group of friends, and I enjoyed their interactions and inside jokes, it only added to the story. The side story of Cash's younger cousin coming out was also great, and I'm hoping that we see more of him in the future (hint, hint).

And the threesome scene . . . um, yeah, that was one hell of a going away celebration. That is all.

All is right with the world when your threesome can make Monty Python jokes.

Steph was his person all right. But maybe his idea of who his people were had just expanded further than ever before.

Sex sure was a total mind-fuck sometimes.

If you're looking for a series that is not only great, but explores the different sexuality labels in a NA-ish setting (more so with the previous books, as this one is post-graduation), then you need to pick up this book! I would say you could read The Girl Next Door without having read the first and second book, but why would you do that to yourself? Go read them all!


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Amy Jo Cousins; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them.

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What are you waiting for? Go read this series! 


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Red Iza said...

It looks absolutely awesome, I want to read it !
(Just checked my GR list, that series was already on my radar, I moved it to the next shelf ;) )

The_Book_Queen said...

Definitely worth bumping up the list, I love this series. :D Looking forward to your thoughts on it.