Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Book Review: Love, Only Better

I'm going to be giving you book reviews like crazy the rest of this week! I have finished up quite a few and I want to get as many out to you because the best activity for fall is, and will always be, book buying. You can fight me on this but you won't win, so just go buy books. That's my PSA for today. 

Love, Only Better - Paulette Stout

For Rebecca, sex is a joke missing a punchline. No crashing waves. Only pangs of inadequacy. At twenty-eight, shouldn’t she have had one by now? Her snickering ex thought so. His taunts echo in her ears as he rolls out of her bed. Then out of her life.

Lost, Rebecca seeks expert help, joining a study for women who can’t “finish” in the bedroom. There is such a thing? It’s unconventional, for sure, but she’s desperate for answers. The no-sex mandate is a no brainer. Who’d want to be with her anyway?

Then Kyle moves in. Her blue-eyed, black motorcycle-riding dream of a neighbor lives a heartbeat away. Sparks flew immediately. But could the timing be any worse?

If he learns her secret, she’ll lose her best chance at love. But if her lessons fail, she’ll be left eternally broken. Unlovable.

What started as a search for fulfillment, has suddenly become a quest for something far greater.

Love, Only Better is an intimate quest full of heart, blending a fun next-door romance with steamy dates-for-one. Perfect for fans of Helen Hoang (The Kiss Quotient), Jennifer Weiner (Good In Bed), Jojo Moyes and fans of women's fiction full of wit, spice and soul.
Oh hey, this is the review that you'll get to really know me, friends. Welcome. Ha! 

I'm going to start by saying that if you look at the Goodreads reviews, you're going to be like, good lord, Sara. Which, I know. This is going to be one of those times where I will tell you to take those reviews with a huge grain of salt because this book, admittedly, isn't for everyone. If discussions about sex, sexual acts, masturbation, etc at all make you uncomfortable, this book isn't for you. And that's okay. This is where I come in with my mom voice and ask you what you thought it was going to be about after reading the description? I'm not sure how you got confused along the way. This isn't a romance so much as a women's fiction, so know that going in. 


I really enjoyed this book and maybe it's because I understood where our main character was coming from. Fun fact, I didn't know what an orgasm was until just after I turned 20. I'm not joking. I remember having sex for the first few years and wondering what the hell the hype was about? Why the heck was everyone raving about this because frankly, it seems kind of pointless? Sure, you make babies, but I wasn't trying to have babies as a teenager, what was the point of any of it? Fast forward to about age 20, I'm dating my now husband and all of a sudden one day, I finally understood. It literally all made sense, it was like a whole new world, and then I was like, ugh- I dated some real losers, didn't I? I sure did. 

So as I went through this book, I really understood Rebecca and all of the feelings she had (or didn't have) and understood how isolating it feels. It's like being excluded from the inside joke everyone knows about you.... except it's a way worse feeling. I remember what it's like having the boyfriend who clearly thought it was you and you alone that was the problem, and then believing them because you don't know anyone else having this problem (or if they did, they certainly didn't talk about it). I wish I had known sex therapy and pelvic floor therapy even existed back then because I would have literally beat their doors down. 

Now I'll be honest and say I understand why some parts of this book would be considered not appealing. Things like how crappy her friends were (they really are, but think of the friends you had early on as a twenty something and the ones you've weeded out- they were the worst), disrespectful jokes/humor Rebecca's mom and friends had (which, agreed, but think of your own parents and just that generation in general- they aren't exactly known for being appropriate with their humor so while these are not OK things to say, these ARE things said in many homes and the kids just smile and keep their mouths shut because it's not worth the fight), and people being skeptical of the therapy... oy. I'll be honest, if I hadn't gone through pelvic floor therapy this year, I also would have thought it was a weird stretch but for real, I had a woman's hand in my vagina, feeling around, asking me to squeeze and if I felt anything when she pushed on different parts, I had vibrators inserted and had to do exercises with it, etc. All services I had to do, while naked from the waist down in a dimly lit room and have a conversation about sensations without laughing like the child I am. It was weird, BUT it was helpful, and I learned a whole lot about your vagina, the muscles in and around it, all of the parts that make up female sexual function and organs, and everything in between. Don't knock it until you're talking about quality of lube with someone. 

I feel like if you've ever experienced any kind of sexual issue, or heck, maybe things just don't work like they used to, this is a book you are going to relate to and find the humor in it. If you're young, your baby birthing days haven't started or haven't ruined your body completely, you maybe aren't going to appreciate this book for what it is. It's funny, it's the book that should make an appearance in mom book clubs because more of us are dealing, or have dealt, with it than we like to admit, and I ultimately thought it was a nod to female empowerment. Our body is our own, we aren't sexual playgrounds for our partners, our needs are worth something too. 

A huge thank you to PR by the Book and Paulette Stout for having me on this tour and sending me a copy for review. I'm late in life and I wish I hadn't been sick so I could get everything out when I had planned, but I'm glad you are all seeing this now. You can follow Paulette on Instagram and I'll put the links for book purchase below. If you've read this, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. 
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