Good Girl Complex by. Elle Kennedy | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Good Girl Complex

Author: Elle Kennedy

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 336

Publication Date: 2/01/22

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Categories: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult, College

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

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. Unlike most twenty-year-olds, all she really 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.

Mac’s 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. 

I haven’t read an Elle Kennedy book in years and I think it was the hockey series, Off Campus, that I had read some of. Good Girl Complex is set in a much different scene, a beachside town, which I love and can relate to since I live in a touristy place. Mac is the rich girl, but the good girl who is yearning for something different. And Cooper is the rough around the edges, sexy local construction worker, good with his hands (and apparently other things) guy that runs his fists into Mac’s boyfriend, Preston. What starts off as a revenge plan to humiliate Preston, turns into something more for Cooper and Mac.

We get a feeling for Mac and Cooper right from the start. Cooper is making ends meet living in this coastal town where the rich come to play and go to school at Garnet college. He is a hot boy who all the girls drool over and he is confident about himself. Cooper has an interesting group of friends who are his chosen family. They are a tight knit group that looks out for one another but they also hate the rich people they basically work for. Mac is the rich girl with horrible, cold parents who don’t really care about her as a person, just as a prop. I love that Mac is self sufficient though. She created an app that has made her a millionaire in her own right and at only the age of 20! When Mac and Cooper meet the attraction is there from the start, but there are things in the way like Mac’s boyfriend and her plan for her future, or more like her parents’ plan.

There is a big cast of characters and I wonder if this will be like the author’s other books and become a series? I’m not sure. There are a lot of names to remember but I think each one was unique enough that they stood out on their own. I liked Steph a lot, she was cool. Evan, Cooper’s twin, grew on me though he has a lot of issues to deal with. He and Cooper had a rough upbringing so it’s only normal they would have issues.

I got emotionally invested in Cooper and Mac’s relationship and was rooting for them to work out. I liked how he was rough and intense but easy going as well. Mac, even though trapped by wealth, really did deserve someone who wasn’t condescending like Preston, he was awful. The happy ending was awesome because I really did love Mac and Cooper together. They had friendship, respected one another, yes they fought but you know Cooper wasn’t going anywhere – he was so into Mac and I thought that was so cute! Also the heat between them is perfect!

Triggers: parental neglect, toxic relationship

One thing I had a problem with – and yes this is a ME problem and maybe I’m just a prude or just old but I was not feeling the friends with benefit relationships in Cooper’s circle. I get the whole “friends with benefits” thing but wow it happens a lot in Cooper’s circle of friends! It gets so complicated when someone catches feelings in a friends with benefits deal as we see with Cooper and Heidi.

The parents in this story are awful. The only kind family figure was Levi who is Cooper and Evan’s uncle.

Why you should read it:

  • craving for a good New Adult contemporary romance book
  • lots of feels between Cooper and Mac – from friendship to all kinds of heat in the bedroom
  • complete book where loose ends are tied up nicely, good pacing

Why you might not want to read it:

  • rich girl/poor boy trope – predictable

My Thoughts:

This whole book is predictable with it’s rich girl/hot poor boy trope but for me it ticked all the boxes I was looking for in a New Adult contemporary romance book. I love opposites attract and wow was there attraction between them. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a New Adult book and I devoured this in one sitting! I enjoyed it from start to finish with Cooper’s bad boy rep, and Mac on the verge of breaking free from her rich girl plans. I was smiling when they got their happy ending because Cooper and Mac are a good couple together and deserve love.

📚~ Yolanda


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