The first book of this author’s I ever picked up was Get it Right, the first in this series, and that prompted me to binge, uh, pretty much everything else by her. So of course I was ridiculously excited for the next book in the series and even more excited when I heard it was a polyam road trip romance! While this is the second in a series, it can easily be read as a standalone.
After getting fired from her job, the last thing Noelle needs is to walk in on her boyfriend making out with another woman. Except Allie, the other woman, turns out to be lovely, grabbing her water and helping her pack up her few boxes of things. Allie can’t deny that some of the reason she’s helping Noelle out is pity. But even more, she’s drawn to her in a way she can’t explain and hasn’t experienced before. And interestingly enough, her partner Matt is drawn to her, too. Before long, their initial suggestion of her house-sitting while they take a road trip to a festival doesn’t seem like enough. But will the road trip shake things up for all of them in a good way?
“Mixed up was a condition Allie generally went out of her way to avoid. Mixed upcould turn a perfectly enjoyable time into a big mess of drama. Which was usually easy to stay out of, given how rarely she liked anybody who wasn’t Matt well enough to want them around beyond a few hours of fun, sexual or otherwise.”
I loved all of the characters. Noelle’s adorably sweet, Matt is so geeky and gentle, and Allie is, well, a caring person if you can get past her prickles. Matt and Allie are in an open relationship. They don’t really consider themselves polygamous because both prefer hookups rather than longer relationships. Allie is pan, Noelle is bi and Matt is het… kinda. They are all dealing with new facets of themselves they’re not sure about. For Matt, he’s questioning whether he’s as heterosexual as he’s always believed, and viewing some past friendships in a new light. For Allie, well, she doesn’t like like people who aren’t Matt, and she doesn’t know how to deal with being drawn to Noelle. Noelle’s trying to figure out if she should return to her hometown of Chicago to find her next job. After all, there’s nothing else to keep her in Austin – or is there?
“I don’t know what any of this means. It never even felt the same with him as it does with you. You’re my home, Allie.”
Damn, that went right for her heart. “You don’t have to think somebody else is awesome the same way you think I’m awesome for it to be important.”
I love the author’s writing and how skillfully she navigates difficult situations. One of the things that’s necessary for me when reading a book with polyamory is understanding how all the people involved fit together. The author understands that what one character gets out of a relationship with another is not the same as they get with a different one. How Matt and Allie work, how Allie works with Noelle, how Matt works with Noelle, and how they all three fit together are different. Of course I loved the geeky banter between Matt and Noelle, but I also liked the warmth between Allie and Noelle, and the deep sense of comfort between Matt and Allie.
The book feels like a warm hug. Sure, there’s a bleak moment, but it’s an honest and very understandable miscommunication, and everyone involved regrets the pain caused as well as treads lightly around it. Despite that, the communication is otherwise amazing. Everyone is always considerate of the other’s feelings, to the point that Matt gives Allie his blessing to pursue something with Noelle, even though he’s equally drawn to her. I love how they talk things out, and I especially loved how Matt and Allie dealt with Matt’s confusion over his sexuality.
Overall, another excellent entry to this series, and I’m even more excited for the next in the series, fake dating with another character from Knockdown!
I received an advance review copy of this book from BookSprout. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.