Title: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In the tradition of New Adult superstar Jessica Sorensen, Ellie Cahill’s debut novel is a charming friends-with-benefits story . . . with a twist!
What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to help “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, someone you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet.
Joss and Matt have been friends since freshman year of college, meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her boyfriend. After a few drinks, Matt humors her with a proposition: that he’ll become her go-to guy whenever she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: They’ll never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.
Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for each other when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or can they?
With a unique and refreshingly angst free storyline, When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill is an absolutely delightful New Adult romance. This marvelous friends with benefits-ish novel is a light-hearted read that begins when Joss and Matt meet their freshman year of college and follows their rather unusual friendship for the next seven years. It is a very charming story with an appealing cast of characters and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary romances.
When Joss and Matt first meet, there is a spark of attraction between them, but Joss is in a long distance relationship with her high school sweetheart. When her boyfriend dumps her, Matt proposes a somewhat unorthodox plan to help her get over him: Sorbet sex. A meaningless encounter that replaces the bad experience with a pleasant one. As a result, their unorthodox “friends with benefits” arrangement is born. To protect their friendship, the two make up a list of “rules” that range from silly to aww, sweet and over the next seven years, Joss and Matt date other people, but they always end up back in one another’s beds. Is there more to the arrangement than two friends simply helping one another get over their last relationship? Will Joss and Matt finally figure out what is blatantly obvious to everyone else in their lives?
Written in first person from Joss’s point of view, When Joss Met Matt begins in the present but quickly flashes back to Joss and Matt’s first meeting. The story then follows both Matt and Joss through the ups and downs of their relationships with other lovers. Some of their relationships were meaningful and left them with battered hearts while others were just blips on their dating radars.
Joss and Matt always maintain their close friendship no matter if the other was in a relationship or not, and eventually, they anticipate their sorbet sex more than their current romance. While both are careful to keep their emotions out of their sorbet encounters, it soon becomes clear that there is more to their relationship than casual sex. For Joss, her fear of losing Matt’s friendship make it difficult for her to admit to herself, let alone Matt, that she might be in love with him. Just as Joss is beginning to come to terms with her unexpected feelings, Matt re-evaluates his life after a tragic loss and a misunderstanding soon threatens their entire relationship.
When Joss Met Matt is an enchanting novel that is relatively drama free. The novel is well-written with witty dialogue and a cast of genuine and likable characters. The sex scenes fade to black with few details so it is a mostly clean romance. Like many novels set during college, there are several drinking references, but nothing too over the top and the characters do behave pretty responsibly. Overall, Ellie Cahill avoids most of the clichés that are typically found New Adult romances which makes it an engrossing and extremely entertaining novel.