Review: Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy

⭐⭐⭐ 3 stars |  I love Elle Kennedy. Her Off-Campus series is still one of my faves to this day and I even enjoyed the spin-off series, Briar U, as well. So I was excited to see her venture outside of the college hockey world into something different. But I feel like I should just say right off the bat that this didn't quite live up to her previous work. It was still very readable and quick to get through (if that's what you're in the mood for), but it just didn't have the same heart, humor, and steamy combo that I've come to expect from her books. 

The heroine Mackenzie "Mac" Cabot appears to be your typical rich kid, complete with demanding parents who would love nothing more for her to marry her (terrible) long-time boyfriend. But she's also a savvy businesswoman with a company that's doing incredibly well. She'd rather focus on that instead of going to Garnet College in Avalon Bay like her parents are "making her do." (Side note: Even though I agree college isn't for everyone, I couldn't help but think of all the people who would love to go to the college and can't when she complains about this.) In Avalon Bay, there's a heavy divide between the wealthy college students and the locals. And of course, when Mac meets local "bad boy" Cooper Hartley sparks fly between these two total opposites. While Mac tries to resist him, he has his own reasons for pursuing her which are a mix of genuine attraction and secret intentions. It's the latter that I had a problem with. 

Here's the thing, I actually love the whole city girl/local bad boy trope but this time it didn't work for me. I felt like Cooper's intentions don't bode well for him as a love interest from the get-go and Mac is clearly an intelligent woman so her naivete was a little hard to believe. And their relationship went from zero to sixty real fast. There was just a lot going on. The story would've benefitted from streamlining the story, rounding out Mac and Cooper more as individuals, and letting their romance simmer a bit. 

Do I recommend?
Despite what I wrote, there were aspects I liked and it was quick and very readable. But if you're a long time fan like me, I wouldn't be surprised if you felt similarly so I'd recommend borrowing it from the library first. And if you're trying out Elle Kennedy for the first time, do NOT start here. 

pub 2/1/22 by St. Martin's Griffin
New Adult - Contemporary Romance
Received e-ARC from pub for review


  1. Huh, I was so looking forward to this one because of the tropes plus the coastal town, but I think it's going to move a little lower down in my TBR pile.

    1. Yeah, I wouldn’t prioritize it and I was supposed to buddy-read it with Alexa but she DNF’ed it 😅


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