Nicola Rendell’s latest novel, So Good, is a friends-to-lovers romance that is so swoony in its sweet simplicity.
Funmbi’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
It’s been nearly a year since the first time I read Nicola Rendell’s debut novel Prof-essed and she turned me into the most “swoony-devout” of readers 😉 . Since then, her subsequent novels have continued to bring the most beautiful romance with her poignant prose, compelling characters, and the sexiest sexy times. I haven’t met a Nicola Rendell novel that I haven’t loved, and I’m thrilled to say that the trend still holds with her latest book, So Good.
I was actually with my Team WSN sisters at Comic-Con when I started reading this book, and Katie and T.J. will confirm that it wasn’t very long before I was flaily-giggling and “OMG this is SO GOOD”-ing. So Good is a sweet friends-to-lovers story that’s delightful in it’s simplicity. Yes, the summer is winding down, but there’s totally still time to enjoy this novel as you’re looking to savor a final fling of the summer.
Max Doyle and Rosie Madden have been best friends since Max moved to their sleepy New England town in middle school. Throughout high school he crushes on her, but is content to be good friend (and a shoulder to cry on) as Rosie pursues romance elsewhere. Now, as 30-somethings, the trend continues. Rosie is a children’s book illustrator who’s renovating the house she inherits from her grandmother and, as usual, Max is her right-hand man. It also really helps that Max is a construction, repairman badass and willing to do with work for meals and cupcakes. So Good begins with Max in the midst of doing some repairs on Rosie’s roof and things get… heated when he sees her, through the skylight, naked while changing in her bedroom. And all of Max’s feelings come roaring to the surface, so much so, that when Rosie’s latest date turns out to be the embodiment of sleaze, Max makes his move. And LAWD does Max have moves. He totally knocks Rosie (and us) off kilter and it’s scrumptious! At the same time, Rosie is concerned that her bad luck in relationships will translate into this new thing with Max. Potentially losing him if their romance goes wrong isn’t something she’s willing to risk. And things get even more complicated when her dream job in the big city moves closer to her reach…
Max and Rosie’s relationship is such a pleasure to read. I truly enjoy every moment of their friendship and romance, even the awkward transition period. They love one another so much and truly want the best for the other person. Max and Rosie are kind and generous. I just adore them, quirks and all. It’s so nice to experience an adult relationship like their’s, one that’s mutually giving and edifying.
At it’s core, Max and Rosie’s relationship is all about taking care of each other. It’s just really, really juicy when that “care” evolves to include sexy times because HAVE MERCY:
“You deserve to be treated right…”
It was a turning point, and I knew it. I could step back, I could walk out of the bar. I could deprive myself of my air, my water, the voltage that kept me going. But she had me burning hot, and there was no fucking way I could turn away. I took that beautiful, perfect face in my hands. I looped my fingers into the hair at the nape of her neck. I pulled her close. I felt the softness of her skin against my stubble.
And then I looked her right in the eye, telling her, “…I want to be the one to treat you like you deserve.”
And kissed the hell out of her. I wasn’t a gentleman about it. With my tongue, I made her understand all the shit I hadn’t yet said. I want you. I adore you. I need to be inside you. At first, she pulled me closer, and the head of my cock pushed against the inside of my zipper. Her hands made fists of my shirt, and she leaned back onto the pool table, damn near hooking her legs around me. Fuck yeah, fuck yeah.
“You don’t know everything about me, Max,” she said, sliding her thighs against one another, squirming with anticipation. “Not even close.”
Her smell was on my stubble and welling up in her pussy, so fucking close I could almost taste it. Honey sweet, and so much more. Maybe I didn’t know half of what I thought. Maybe I didn’t know half of what I needed. Maybe all these years I’d been running my engine on low-octane fuel.
She shook her head and gracefully moved her hair over one shoulder with a roll of her neck.
“Maybe you don’t know anything at all.”
Awww, fuck. I answered her first with a dirty suck of her clit that made her gasp. I let it go and said, “Maybe you don’t know anything about me either.” Again, I moved my tongue along her, pressing into her opening, parting her lips with my fingers, getting in as deep as I possibly could. I could have lived on that taste and nothing else forever…
…“Say please,” I told her as I climbed on top of her. I positioned my cock right at her opening. She squirmed for it. She pawed for it. She licked my ear.
“Say please,” I growled at her. She groaned in a way that told me I’d hit the spot with that—that she liked it. I knew she was right; there was a whole lot about her I didn’t know at all. She was apple pie on the surface. But even apple pie can get molten hot.
“Say it.” I edged into her, but not far, not even enough to lose my head inside her, and pulled out. Fucking torture, but it was worth it, because she was dying for it. Same as me… “Beg for it.” Again, she made that low nnnnnn, like a purr. She squirmed. She bucked. She panted. She laughed.
Then finally, she said, “Please. Please. Please.”
Yeah. Fuck. Yeah.
He caged me in underneath him, his hands to my ass, and pressed into me. I sank my teeth into his shoulder, and he took me even harder. He didn’t go slow this time—it was like he couldn’t, like he was nothing but instinct and need… With each drive, the headboard smacked the wall behind us. Pound, thump. Pound, thump. I found myself pressing my hand to the wood to quiet the noise so I could focus on him and only him. But it didn’t work. Pound, thunk. Pound, bang. But as he powered into me with another thrust, this one so intense that I really did feel my eyes roll back into my head, the thump changed to more of a…crumbling noise. And it was then that I felt something…powdery, almost. And it was coming down on top of us. I looked up, and I realized he was taking me so hard that he was cracking the plaster. He was breaking the house. That was how passionate he was…
…Max looked up, but he had no response. With one quick tug, he yanked me out of the line of the dust, into the middle of the mattress, so my head was off the pillows. He put his forearm in its place, a perfect fit under my neck. Deep inside me, he paused for a second. He moved my hair off my cheek, he sank down as if for a kiss, but didn’t kiss me. Lips touching, no kissing.
“Fuck this house. Fuck everything. Fuck the world. Fuck everything but you.”
I squeezed down on him hard.
“Or maybe fuck me, especially.”
YAS YAS YAS, I am telling you! These are my fave types of sexy times, the type that span chapters, that drown us in the decadence, and we can just gorge ourselves. SO JUICY! There’s also sexy times scene that involves Home Depot, zip-ties, and Fifty Shades references…
Once Max and Rosie get together, their lives really do overlap almost seamlessly. There is the issue of Max’s adoptive chihuahua pup, Cupcake, and Rosie’s cantankerous elderly kitty, Julia Caesar, not getting along. But even this is hilariously adorable to witness.
An obstacle does arise when Rosie has a job opportunity in the big city, and being who he is, Max wants the moon and stars for his girl, even if that means she can’t be with him. With that said, their HEA is joyful, simple, and a perfect ending to Max and Rosie’s story.
So Good is MUSTREAD for contemporary romance lovers, especially if you’re looking for a friends-to-lovers story, something relatively angst free, and an alpha-hero who is “all for kink, but not at the expense of safety.” 😉
So Good is out TODAY! Check out more teasers below, then go HERE to read the first chapter. Make sure to add it on Goodreads and grab your copy!
On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.
Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.
But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?
It feels so good.
Many thanks to the author for an advanced review copy.