My rating: 5 of 5 stars
5 Cheezus stars!!!!
ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Before starting this book, I was a wee bit wary. Even though I knew Blake and Jess’ story would be fun, I had been quite annoyed by Blake’s attitude in Us, always intruding in Wesmie’s moments, and was afraid that he’d turn out to be too over-the-top, boisterous, loud and in-your-face.
Guess what? Blake Riley is exactly that, but somehow he became my favorite character in the series. Shocker, I know. I can’t find a single defect in his character. Also because all that brash attitude is also coupled with so much adorableness and sweetness, it checks all the boxes for me.
Blake is hilarious, cute like a labrador under steroids, always active, always up to something, and with a dirty mind. I think what surprised me the most about him was his commitment to Jess. Not for one moment he doubted that he wanted her. He was the chaser in the relationship. Also, the angst was definitely low thanks to his attitude towards the whole situation. Jess was a hard nut to crack, but he never gave up and he never saw her rejections or her unwillingness to admit they were together as anything other than a challenge. And this kept the whole book’s atmosphere upbeat and light.
Jess was a nice surprise too. I wasn’t sure I’d like her 100% because I tend not to relate to flighty characters, but in this book we see her both struggling with her indecisive nature and finally taking her life in her own hands and trying to do something with it.
The banter between the two of them is priceless and just top-notch fun. Plus, I loved how humbled she was when, after denying her feelings for him, she found out exactly what a wonderful man Blake is. Their feelings grew steadily and not without caution, especially on her side (as I said, Blake is positive about wanting her, and not just in a biblical way. Let’s admit it, behind the joker’s facade, he’s the nicest of nice guys, the type of man you introduce to the family and who hits it off with everyone after two seconds of meeting them).
“You know,” he continues, “when all the babes would throw themselves at me nilly-willy.”
“Willy-nilly,” I correct.
“It’s willy-nilly. The willy comes first.”
He winks at me. “I’ll let you have this one, but only because you’re right—the willy always does come first.”
The plot was quite simple, definitely character driven, but it was just perfect for the couple.
It starts with Jess being supremely annoyed by Blake (and even more at herself for having slept with him and finding him attractive), and with Blake seeing her refusal to admit her desires as a chance to tease her and entice her. Soon their relationship grows, but I wouldn’t call it a friends to lovers. More like a friends with benefits to lovers. And I know that lots of you are not fans of this progression, but I can assure you the whole situation reads very little like a friends-with-benefits’ one, due to Blake’s conviction that they’re actually together. Now, I’m not gonna spoiler, but I can tell you that something in his past happened and the way he dealt with it, it truly made the difference between me liking him and me falling in love with him head over heels. It was a revelation that I would had never expected, totally not-cliché, and it showed a mature, selfless, and caring part of him that you need to look beyond the surface to notice.
When Jess found out about it, things definitely changed between them, in the best of ways.
Last, but not least, all supporting characters were terrific, from the WAGS, to Wesmie (<3), to Blake’s family. Now I can’t wait for the next instalment in this series to come out, knowing that the Bowen-Kennedy duo is now one of my favorites on the market.
So, if you liked Him and Us, make sure to read Good Boy. You won’t regret it. I would specifically advise you read it when you’re in need of a pick-up read, a good laugh, or that little heart-tugging caused by utter male cuteness. You’ll be rolling with laughter and swooning non-stop. Also, you’ll probably start saying cute-weird things like Cheezus and Samesies and Nilly-Willy.
P.S.: I loved how he would make up new words and just roll with it. Everything’s a thing if you make it a thing” Blake is the kind of unapologetic person that doesn’t give a dime about what other people think of him and just shines like the crazy diamond he is.