Review + Character Interview: The Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins

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I’m so excited because Cash from The Girl Next Door agreed to stop by and answer some questions for me.

Hi Cash, thanks for joining me here and answering a few questions for me!
Since we saw you last you your life changed a lot which was really surprising to see at first. One of those major changes included moving away, on your own, to Chicago. What was your favorite and least favorite thing about living in Chicago?

Chicago totally rocks. My one favorite thing? Gaaaaahhhh, I can’t pick just one! The lake is awesome and the people are super cool. I got my favorite tamale guy. Ooh, there’s a giant sculpture fountain thing downtown where you can splash around in this really shallow pool of water. It’s mostly kids who do it, but dude, taking off your shoes and stomping around in a giant puddle on a hot day? Nothing better. I got Steph so wet when we went there. *pauses, laughs at your gigglesnort* I meant I splashed her! Jeez. Mind. Gutter. But yeah, that’s awesome in the summer. Um, least favorite thing? When my window AC unit breaks down in July. I don’t know if Chicago was built on a swamp or what, but man, it gets fricking humid and hot here. You can sweat your balls off.

First your best friend came out to you a few years ago and you became really good friends with his boyfriend. Then you became friends and even friends with benefits with Steph who’s bisexual and now your rather young cousin who is newly out shows up on your doorstep in Chicago. What do you think it is about you that draws people to you?

*looks down, scratches his head* Aw, I don’t know, man. The world is full of people who are dicks sometimes, you know? I try not to be a dick. I think my friends know I got their backs and, like, there’s nothing they can tell me that’s gonna make me not like them. I mean, except if they’re, I don’t know, serial killers or something. I got limits. But being gay or bi or whatever? No biggie. People who freak out about that are scared, maybe. And I get it. It was weird at first. I mean, dudes kissing was all gross, no way, dude for me at first. But now I’m like, “Yo, get off your boyfriend. We’re playing Call of Duty here.” *shrugs* Don’t be a dick. That’s a good rule.

Speaking of Steph, she’s pretty badass, which makes me kind of love her. What did you miss the most about her when you weren’t in contact?

*turns pink* I’m maybe not gonna say the first thing I thought of here, okay? But seriously, Steph is just…awesome. She’s a badass who doesn’t take my shit. Or anyone’s shit! She’ll throw down in a heartbeat. But the thing is, she’s really a softie on the inside, so you gotta make sure to take extra care with her. Because it’s easy to think nothing can hurt her, but that’s like the opposite of true. Plus, she makes me laugh my ass off. Oh, and she totally murders songs when she sings in the shower. Don’t tell her I said that. But girl cannot sing. At all. It’s totally great. Cracks me up.

One of my favorite things about you and Steph as a couple is that you listen to each other when it comes to sex and fantasies. And even better is that you indulge them occasionally! Which leads to a ridiculously hot threesome scene with another guy. Do you have any regrets about that and would you do that again?

No regrets, man. None. Nope. That was fucking hot. The thing is, we talked so much about it and we both knew it was totally okay to call it off at any point, so we had, like, a safety net. And that made it super chill. Man, talking about sex is so hot. I’d do that all day long. Would I do a threesome again? Now that I’ve done it, I can see how that kind of thing can go way wrong, so I don’t know. I think the circumstances and the people have to be pretty damn perfect. We got hella lucky. I’m not about fucking up friendships or making my girl feel bad. And Varun moved back home! Which still sucks. I miss that guy. But if we all ended up alone together in a room again? Yeah, things might go down. *laughs* Or up. I don’t know which way sounds dirtier!

Okay, just one silly question for you – if your love story with Steph were going to be made into a movie who would you cast to play her? And who would you cast as you?

Who’s the hottest chick out there? That smoking hot, smiling girl from Game of Thrones, Natalie Dormer. Give her dark hair and shave the side of her head and yeah, she could play a mean Steph. And me? Chris Pratt. That dude’s awesome. He’s funny as hell and has a great ass. That’s me all over. *winks*

Thanks so much for stopping by, I really appreciate it! You’re one of my favorites.

Thanks! You’re totally awesome, too. This was a ton of fun. But seriously, don’t tell Steph I said that thing about her singing in the shower. She’ll kill me.

So obviously I love Cash. He’s just a great character from start to finish. Anyone who has read any review of mine knows I have a thing about covers and this cover is wonderful – featuring such a strong looking woman on it that it’s truly why I wanted to read it immediately. I actually read this completely out of order and fell in love with this book so much that I then went back and read the first two books. Since then I’ve read this another two times and my enjoyment hasn’t changed at all. The cover had almost everything to do with me reading out of order. The Girl Next Door is part of the overall series but works as a standalone. I didn’t feel lost when I read this the first time, I knew what was going on so if you jump right in here don’t worry about that. I will say that you get more enjoyment if you read book 1 though because you’re introduced to both Steph and Cash in that book.

At first I gave this 4 stars but after having this book stick with me for 2 months and recommending it to everyone I know who likes this genre- and people who don’t- I realized it was actually a 5 star read for me. Steph is a complete badass, a complex heroine, which is the kind I love. And Cash I fell in love with in Off Campus where we first met him. He’s hilarious yet tender hearted and so incredibly open minded. This couple is definitely one of my favorites in all of NA and that’s saying a lot with how much I read in this genre.

If he was going to bare his soul, he’d do it with this girl, and no one else, but he’d cop a feel at the same time, because hey, multi-tasking.

This is both a really hot book and a very touching one. Some people have questioned why the author wrote a m/f book in the middle of a m/m series but it worked so well for me. The heroine is bisexual and the hero is best friends with the gay couple from the first book. I think that more and more series having a book be m/m in the middle of a m/f series like Sarina Bowen did and Amy Jo Cousin did here can only make things better and move things along for diversity.

ARC received via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

5 Stars

~Melinda

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