This is a fast, reasonably fun read that you really shouldn’t think about too hard. I do want to reassure you that the romance is between a man and a woman, not a man and a dog.
Good Boy is a spin off of Him and Us, and is apparently the first in a new series about the Toronto Maple Leafs. I think one other thing we should all acknowledge, this clearly takes place in an alternate universe where the Toronto Maple Leafs are a team that is likely to go to the play offs.
We met Blake Riley in Us as the lovable, overgrown puppy of a man who strained Wes and Jamie’s relationship by imposing his friendship on them. Blake doesn’t initially come off as all that smart, but he shows himself to be observant, compassionate and generous. Jessie is Jamie’s sister, the family screw up, who had a sexy escapade with Blake and then felt guilty about it. Blake wants to continue having sexy times with Jessie, but no relationship. Jessie doesn’t want anything to do with Blake. Through a series of sexual escapades and being forced into proximity by their relationships with Wes and Jamie, Blake and Jess evolve into friends, then lovers, then into a relationship. Blake becomes less annoying as he shifts from stalkerish bone partner to boyfriend. If you read it on a surface level, it’s a couple of hours of pleasant escape.
Ok, but don’t look too closely. Because the major external conflict is chock a block full of internalized misogyny. Spoiler after the shark.
Blake is a shallow skirt chaser because his ex-girlfriend tried to trap him by claiming to be pregnant when she was not. She’s been lying for years, claiming that she had a miscarriage and then Blake dumped her. She’s also a clingy stalker who won’t let go. And for some reason Blake lets her. It makes no fucking sense. It’s also an entirely unnecessary bit of drama. I had a few moments where I was grateful that she wasn’t a skanky ho. There was at least one brief and also unnecessary appearance of a skanky ho and that was annoying. I sure am tired of the Other Women are Bitches trope. Can we just not?