Good Girl Complex is a new adult romance novel by Elle Kennedy and my first read by this popular author. This is the first book in her Avalon Bay series, and it was a lot of fun. It threw me back to college, first romances, and all the drama associated with them.

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The summary, from Amazon:

*USA Today and Toronto Star bestseller*

Full of romance, hijinks, and longing, Good Girl Complex is Elle Kennedy at her very best.

She does everything right. So what could go wrong?

Mackenzie “Mac” Cabot is a people pleaser. Her demanding parents. Her prep school friends. Her long-time boyfriend. It’s exhausting, really, always following the rules. All she wants to do is focus on growing her internet business, but first she must get a college degree at her parents’ insistence. That means moving to the beachside town of Avalon Bay, a community made up of locals and the wealthy students of Garnet College.

Twenty-year-old Mac has had plenty of practice suppressing her wilder impulses, but when she meets local bad boy Cooper Hartley, that ability is suddenly tested. Cooper is rough around the edges. Raw. Candid. A threat to her ordered existence. Their friendship soon becomes the realest thing in her life.

Despite his disdain for the trust-fund kids he sees coming and going from his town, Cooper soon realizes Mac isn’t just another rich clone and falls for her. Hard. But as Mac finally starts feeling accepted by Cooper and his friends, the secret he’s been keeping from her threatens the only place she’s ever felt at home.

Buy Good Girl Complex here.

Mackenzie, or Mac, grew up wealthy, the daughter of a senator. However, she has money of her own after starting a popular website and app. She convinced her parents to let her take a year off before college, but ultimately wants to please them, so now she is starting her freshman year later than most. Mac has been in a long term relationship with Preston, the son of family friends. It’s assumed by everyone that they’ll marry after college. Though Mac has a head for business, everyone expects her to live a life like her mom and dedicate her time to charities and galas once she marries.

Cooper, or Coop, is a townie in Avalon Bay, the town where Mac and Preston’s college is. Towards the start of term, Preston, who is serially cheating on Mac without her knowledge, gets in a fight with Cooper after sexually harassing Cooper’s friend at the bar they work at. Cooper and his friends plot revenge after Preston has him fired. They find Mac on social media, and Cooper plans to seduce her into leaving her boyfriend and then rub it in Preston’s face. However, the seduction ends up being genuine when Cooper falls for Mac. The two form a friendship before Mac realizes how awful Preston is and leaves him for Cooper. But what would happen if Mac found out the truth about why Cooper pursued her in the first place?

This was a really fun read, full of college small town drama. It takes a while for Cooper’s band of friends to accept Mac, someone they view as an enemy from the get-go. But Mackenzie’s kind nature wins them over eventually. The romance between Cooper and Mac is steamy and dramatic, just like all romances between people of that age should be – if a little problematic, but it also feels appropriate for that age group. Overall, I enjoyed this fun read that transported me back to one of my favorite periods of my life.

Good Girl ComplexGood Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this one! Fun and steamy.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Describe the relationship dynamic between Cooper and Mackenzie.
  2. Who is more similar to Mackenzie – Cooper or Preston? How so? How are they both different?
  3. How does Mackenzie change over the course of the novel? How does Cooper change?
  4. Who was your favorite character? Why?

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