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Review: As Good as New by Jennifer Dawson

As Good As New (Something New, #4)AS GOOD AS NEW
by Jennifer Dawson
Series: Something #4
Genres: Contemporary, Adult
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: ★★
Amazon - Barnes & Noble

He was the high school hottie. She was the teacher’s pet. But in private, none of that mattered...

At the tender age of six, Penelope Watkins fell for her best friend’s brother, Evan Donovan, future hunk. By the time they were teenagers, they were having heart-to-hearts…and hot and heavy top secret make-out sessions. All that changed when Evan’s father suddenly died. Abruptly, Penelope lost him to grief—and to his true love: football. But now an injury had ended Evan's NFL career. The notorious bad boy was in a depression no one could penetrate, except maybe the one woman who still knew him best—and still wanted him most…

Penelope is the last person Evan wants to witness the wreck he’s become. So when she shows up at his door he’s less than welcoming—even though the sight of her brings back the same old rush of desire. As a teenager, the emotions overwhelmed him. Now, when he wanted to be overwhelmed, Penelope wasn’t playing. She was telling the golden boy it was time to man up. It may have taken a concussion for Evan to realize it, but that’s exactly what he wants to do—starting with her… 

As a big fan of this series and Jennifer Dawson's writing, I was excited to dive into As Good as New. While for the most part I enjoyed the story, there were a few elements that made this one my least favorite installment in the series.

What makes this series so great for me are the characters. It's definitely where Jennifer Dawson shines at. Penelope, the main character in this book, was one I liked initially. She was headstrong, smart and hardworking - what's not to like? But throughout the book, she really started to bother me with how she treated Evan. I understood why she was so hesitant about him, but even when he had proved over and over again that he was determined to make things work between them, she would push him away and then pull him back in. For me, the constant push and pull got old very fast. Evan, on the other hand, evoked the opposite reaction to me. I was very very wary of him in the beginning and I was sure that I wouldn't like him very much because of his manwhore ways, which I found to be excessive. However, he grew on me with his willingness to forego his old ways and show Penelope that they were right for each other. Having suffered an injury that ended his career, Evan was in a tough position, but I was happy to see him slowly mature throughout the book and find out what he wanted to do with his life.

While I was annoyed by Penelope's constant push and pull, I did enjoy the romance overall because the chemistry was there and it was smoking. I also thought there was nice balance between the emotional side of their relationship and the sexy times, which is always a must for me to enjoy a romance novel. I did roll my eyes though when the big understanding, that I've come to expect from romance novels, came because it was so predictable. My favorite part of As Good as New wasn't the romance, however - it was all the friendships and the sibling relationships. Penelope's girlfriends were all so great. I loved this gang from the start and in this title, I fell even harder for them. Their banter, the teasing and the support they provided each other made my heart so happy. Evan's relationship with his brother, Shane, wasn't the best since they were both really bullheaded, so it took a lot of fixing to repair it and I loved that journey.

In the end, As Good as New was a mixed bag for me. I liked parts and others frustrated me, but no way am I regretting this book because it was entertaining. It might not be my favorite book, but I highly recommend this series overall if you're in the mood for romances, friendships and bromances.

Have you read any book by Jennifer Dawson?
Let me know in the comments below!

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