When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Published: February 24, 2015 by Ballantine Books
Source: Borrowed ARC
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. [goodreads]
This solid contemporary romance possessed everything I wanted in New Adult + so much more. I was intrigued by the storyline -- can friends just remain friends after engaging in an intimate act? The course of this novel takes place over seven years, providing flashbacks every few chapters, telling the story of how Joss actually did meet Matt and where their friendship began. It follows them through their college years, that felt very authentic in my opinion. Even though the story focuses on Joss and Matt, there was a very productive balance among their friends, family, and college life. The storyline kept an even pace that definitely propelled the story forward.
As Joss and Matt continue with their arrangement, I began to wonder, how long can they just remain "friends with benefits"? It started to become very obvious that both parties began to unknowingly sabotage their current relationship, or even seek out doomed relationships from the beginning, just so they could fall back into their "sorbet routine". As the flashbacks grew closer to present day, I became anxious, not sure how their relationship would play out in the end. Would they realize the true feelings they have for one another? Or would someone finally call it quits on the arrangement, and end up hurting the friendship in the process?
Both Joss and Matt were very well developed characters. I felt like I had a good sense of who they were as individuals, as well as something more together. From their shared looks while hanging out with friends, to their heated intimate moments when they were alone, it sent a thrill right through me and had me never wanting to walk away from this story. It's the type of novel you don't want to see end, yet can't stop yourself from racing to the very last page for that grand finale. This book is definitely a favorite in the New Adult genre for me, one I will highly be recommending to friends seeking a solid, rich, character driven story.
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