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Book Review: Love, Only Better

Life is falling apart around Rebecca’s ears. First, her boyfriend breaks up with her, calling her frigid and an ice queen. Then, her best friend moves out, leaving her fully alone. And that’s not counting her boss steamrolling her at work and her parents alternately ignoring then influencing her life. What Rebecca needs is a change. Something to spice her life up. Something she’s never had… an orgasm.

So at the advice of her doctor, she enrolls in a sexual satisfaction study and her life will never be the same.

So, you may have noticed from my blurb that there wasn’t a lot of focus on the relationship with the guy next door. That’s because for a good chunk of the book (and way too much if you ask me) he wasn’t really present or important. For the first third of the book, he wasn’t an entity at all, which since this book is presenting itself as a romance is way too late.

Second, the romance isn’t as important as Rebecca’s story of putting her needs first. Oh Kyle, the hero, is important and he does matter and is a part of her happy ending. But her real happy ending is dealing with everything that comes with her inability to experience orgasm and coming to terms with her worth. It’s the story of one woman’s journey, and it is less about the romance.

This book isn’t for everyone. It’s not bad, but it will not be everyone’s cup of tea. The heroine is hard to like… but that is because in a way she is too relatable. She’s got too much self-hatred and self-esteem issues which can be off-putting. It made it difficult for me to read because she hurt too much and that in turn made me hurt. I don’t go into fiction to experience pain like this, but I know some readers might find it cathartic. While others want the escape. Different strokes, I guess.

I really did love the open and frank discussions of female sexuality including masturbation, sex toys, and intercourse. I liked that the book acknowledged that women so often focus on a man’s pleasure that they lose the ability to find their own. This is Rebecca’s story. Everyone else is supporting.

It’s good women’s fiction. But it’s not something that I personally enjoy. It’s written well, and I loved the honesty about sexual dysfunction. There’s some great details… like the fact that the new cantor of her synagogue sings the prayers to a different tune than she’s used to so she can’t sing along. It’s something so very real that I loved. It’s also good Jewish rep. What this isn’t is a romantic comedy. There’s too much angst for that.

That said, I liked that Rebecca was an interracial heroine… part Jewish/part Latina. I liked that she had multicultural friends and experiences. I did feel that the author captured the reality of life in New York and the trouble with living in a place so filled with humanity that it can be lonely even if you’re never alone.

It’s a good book, but it’s also a difficult book to love. I’m going to give this:

Three and a half stars rounded up to four.

If this is your jam, you can get it here.

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I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley

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