FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Random House LLC (via NetGalley).
Publisher: Ballantine Books on February 24, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
Ellie Cahill is poised to coin the term “sorbet sex” with her charming twist on the age-old ‘friends-with-benefits’ story.
Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Wow. You know, I’m not even sure there are words for how much I loved this book! The general story line should have made this just another cute but predictable romance. Two friends with benefits who eventually find themselves feeling more has been done so many times before, and I’ve always enjoyed it. But this one was very different, and I could not put it down!
Joss and Matt meet in their freshman year of college. There’s no sexually charged atmosphere when they first, no fireworks, no epic drama. And that’s what make the story so fascinating. They’re just two people meeting, talking a little, and maybe wanting a kiss that doesn’t happen. So when they meet again in class, a genuine friendship develops, and when Joss’s boyfriend dumps her in the douchiest way possible, that friendship enters an entirely new plane.
The sorbet idea is hilarious and oddly genius. They jokingly but seriously decide to cleanse their palates of exes by crossing that line with each other, like sorbet between courses of a meal. But while this is another point in the story where things could have become cliche, instead they simply continue on with their genuine and unromantic friendship, each knowing they have someone to lean on, but neither seeing the other as a viable romantic interest. And so their arrangement continues through bad dating choices, awkward break-ups, and the journey into becoming semi-mature, responsible adults. The story switches between present day and their shared past, from the moment they met through every major event in between, and while I usually get annoyed with flashbacks, I flat out love the way their story was told here.
Matt is not your typical romance novel hero. He’s attractive, sure, but it’s understated. He doesn’t automatically turn every head in the room, and he doesn’t treat Joss like she’s anything more than his best friend. They see each other through years of relationship, Joss becomes friends with Matt’s serious girlfriend, and she even goes so far as to set him up with someone else. And through all those flashbacks, love sort of just sneaks up on them.
It unfolds slowly, at the perfect pace to see just how much they mean to each other, even when they neither of them realize their feelings are becoming much deeper. I’m usually a bit impatient with this kind of pace, but this one was worth every bit of the wait. In that way, it reminded me a little of When Harry Met Sally, how even though I wanted them to get together, I was having too much fun watching their friendship to want to rush it. But the big moment when they finally get there? It’s been 24 hours, and I’m still swooning!
I don’t think I can properly explain just how great a read When Joss Met Matt is, so you’ll just have to trust me and pre-order it now. Seriously, right now. This is without a doubt one of my favorite New Adult books in years.