Book Review: The Girl Next Door

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Book Three in the “Bend or Break” Series

The Cover

The intricacies of braiding beyond the two-strand twist and what it takes to make a friendship bracelet will forever exceed my skillset. Wowzers. She looks ready for the hunger games and a hair show. I’d strike up a convo if only to ask, “How the heck did you get your hair to do that?”

The Story

Charles “Cash” Carmichael comes off like a stereotypical poor little rich boy. On the run from a life of unearned privilege, he’s ditched his high-paying gig in the family business (and all its fringe benefits) for a fulfilling yet meager-salaried nonprofit job coaching kids’ soccer in Chicago. He’s learning how to make a dollar out of fifteen cents when his teenage cousin shows up, announces he’s just come out to his family, and that he’s run away from home. Cash summons the cavalry in the form of his friend Stephany Tyler, who altered their mutually-agreed-upon hookup plan by falling in love with a woman. Steph’s bisexuality wasn’t an issue; it was that she fell in love someone else. Can Cash resist the desire to go back down memory lane? Is that a path Steph’s willing to take?

Hot Sex on a Platter

If you’re the type to clutch your pearls at even a hint of sexytimes, THIS IS NOT THE BOOK FOR YOU. Seriously, don’t waste your one-click. Because when I say this story rolls with no brakes, I mean that. Cousins took me through it! Peep this “warning” from the description:

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.

What more do you need?!

Telling Quote

He wasn’t fooling himself. She’d been nothing but clear with him. Steph had never been a woman for bullshit, laying it all on the line with frightening clarity. So what they had would end, eventually. There was no other option on the table, although Cash was starting to think that there should be.

Final Thoughts

Cousins has crafted characters I instantly wanted to know, complex and complicated in the best ways. Thank the literary spirits there’s two previous books in this series to dive into because Cash’s squad had me alternately hollering with laughter and on the brink of tears. THE GIRL NEXT DOOR deftly combines romance, humor, and erotica, leaving you wanting more.

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR publishes June 16, 2015. Pre-order and enter the Goodreads giveaway here. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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