Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Ellie Cahill’s When Joss Met Matt. I’m excited to be highlighting this great new adult title today! Check out my review and the giveaway and if you want to visit the other participating blogs, click the header above for the schedule. 🙂
When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: eARC, 368 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.
It’s tough to write a book that flashes between present day and past that keeps my interest and doesn’t get confusing after awhile, but Ellie Cahill did it pretty much perfectly here. In fact, her writing style is one of my favorite things about this book. I loved how she used flashbacks to explain the full story of Joss, Matt and Sorbet Sex. It was effective and engaging.
I liked Joss, though I’m convinced she has THE WORST taste in men. (Matt aside, of course.) I wished she would’ve been a little more assertive at times, but that wasn’t her style. Matt was a good, sweet guy who also had terrible taste in women. (Excluding Joss, of course.) I just loved them together. I loved reading along as they interacted. They really were a huge part of each other’s lives and helped each other become who they are. There were times I wanted to throw this book across the room, because I wanted them to be together for more than just Sorbet Sex, and it kinda sucked to play along as they dated other people who were so obviously WRONG for them. It would’ve been an affectionate toss, however, because I liked them so much I had to see them wind up together.
When Joss Met Matt was sweet and schmexy. It wasn’t angsty, but there were a few moments that definitely punched me in the feels. Tears might have been shed. (They totally were.) But, I finished with a smile on my face and a huge case of the warm fuzzies. I’m a fan of Ellie/Liz’s new adult debut. I can’t wait for more.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
“Tell me, for the love of God!” I said, pretending to choke him.
“Okay, wait, I have to tell you the whole story.”
“Ooh, this is gonna be good, isn’t it?” I patted my hands together with a wild grin.
“It’s kind of sick how excited you get to hear about horrible break-ups.”
“Ooh, was it horrible?!”
“I’m getting there. Come on, let’s go sit down where it’s comfortable.” Matt led the way to the living room, and I tucked myself into the corner of the couch, feet extended toward him.
“All right. No more stalling,” I said. “The dishes are done. The dinner is eaten. The wine is poured….” I looked around the room. “Do you have to pee? Make any important phone calls? Pay some bills?”
He laughed. “No. I swear, I’m all set.”
“Then, tell me.”
“Okay.” He stretched one arm along the back of the couch and reached out to press his thumb into the arch of one of my sock-covered feet. I groaned happily and wiggled my toes in appreciation.
“So, anyway…I was thinking about the how we’ve sort of been…less rigid with the whole sorbet thing. Since…” his eyes rolled up in thought, “…since Alex, I guess.”
“Blech,” I said automatically.
He smirked, and continued, “You remember what happened after that, right?”
Oh, I remembered all right…
By default, Matt and I ended up closer friends after college than we’d ever been before. Since we’d both moved to Milwaukee, I saw him a lot. He was the guy I could always count on to be my date to a wedding, see the new big movie, or help me move. We quickly discovered, however, that a male-female duo out on the town does not make it easy to meet potential boyfriends or girlfriends. He started calling me “the anti-wingman.”
Spring rolled around, and I became more and more aware of how long it had been since I’d been on a decent date. I’d been on a lot of first dates, and a handful of second dates, but no one had held my interest for longer than that. From what Matt said, he wasn’t doing much better.
One day at work, Nellie and I were scrubbed in for surgeries all day. The doctors had a full schedule of spayings, neuterings, and de-clawings lined up, and we’d volunteered to assist in them all. I didn’t like the OR as much as Nellie did, but I liked hanging out with her and we’d be able to spend most of the day talking that way.
We had a huge bloodhound on the table, waiting for the vet to come in and neuter him, when the realization struck me.
“Oh my God, Nellie, I’m being involuntarily re-virginized!”
She laughed, eyes sparkling above the paper mask covering the lower half of her face. “Oh come on, it hasn’t been that long.”
“It’s been more than a year.”
“Yes,” I confirmed. “I missed an entire year. No sex.”
“Okay, yeah, that’s a little pathetic.”
“I’ve got to find a human male that doesn’t repulse me, STAT.”
“Talk about lowering your standards.”
“A year, Nell. And four months!”
“You want me to set you up with that friend of my roommate?” Her eyes were the only thing visible, but I could tell she was giving me an evil grin just from the crinkles in the corners.
“So you do have standards.”
“I’m not even sure that guy has a pulse.” I shuddered.
“Tell you what. We’ll go out this weekend and find you someone great.”
“I’d settle for good.”
I called Matt that night to tell him my humiliating revelation. He didn’t even attempt not to laugh.
“The last person I slept with was you.”
“Oh, Joss, I’m so sorry!” He laughed.
“Like you’re doing any better,” I said with an eye roll he couldn’t see.
“Hey, it’s only been…oh man, six months for me.”
“See? All your man-slutting just carved off a few months for you.”
“You heard it here first.”
He laughed. “And last, I bet.”
I decided to ignore his comment. “Nellie wants to take me out this weekend to meet some candidates.”
“Why do I picture Nellie’s wingman style as something like a pimp?”
It was my turn to laugh. “You’re so right!”
He made a couple of those sounds people make when they’re not sure they should say something.
“What?” I asked.
“Okay, you can tell me to fuck off if you want to, but I sort of think we could work something out here.”
I raised my eyebrow. “I’m listening.”
“Well, I’d sort of like to…get this dry spell out of my system. Do you see what I mean?”
“You’re saying that not having sex is giving you bad mojo.”
“And you think that a little sorbet might cleanse your palate.”
“That’s what I’m saying,” he agreed.
“I’m not sure where this fits into the rules…” I mused, already warm to the idea.
“It doesn’t break any of them.”
“I’m just not sure it fits into the spirit of the law, you know what I mean?”
“It’s our contract, Joss, we can bend the rules if we want to.”
“So, what do you say?”
I chewed my lip for a moment, wondering if we were simply making excuses at this point. Oh, who cares? “I say…I need to see you tonight.”
“I can be there in twenty minutes.”
I laughed. “Wow, that’s faster than if I ordered a pizza.”
“Only the delivery time, Alvin, I promise.”