*I received this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.*
Totally Worth It by Maggie Cummings
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Series: Bay West (as stated in this first book published by the author)
Review Rating: 3.65 out of 5.0
Read: January 19 2015
This is the first book I've read by this author.
The last review I did I said something I have to say this time as well, ironically, or not, or the opposite reason. Fair warning, but I appear to be an outlier with this book. What with how I ended up, rating wise, at least, compared to everyone else who has read this book.
There are two main points of view plus moments when a third point of view pops up sparringly every once in a while.
Meg McTiernan worked for a specific company for a number of years as an administrative assistant while attending night classes to get a college degree. She then went off and got an MBA at Wharton business school. Paid for by her company. To which she returned as a business consultant.
The book opens with her moving into a special kind of community on Staton Island, in New York. Bay West, a lesbian community. At the same time she's relatively nervous about starting her new position at her old company. Also, she just broke up with her longish term girlfriend of several years (2? 3? I know there were 2 years that involved Meg knowing Becca wasn't really into her, but I forget if there were more years before that).
She's smart, hard charging, and eager to develop new friends, and explore relationship possibilities. Her old friends, baring one who lives far away (California), were actually Becca's friends, so naturally they are no longer hers. So she needs a new group. Especially since she's found that lesbian bars/meeting places are not like the movies. Go there by yourself/single, and there isn't a woman who will instantly pounce on you. Instead, you are something of a reject.
While moving in, that day and the next that is, Meg runs into two people of the Bay West Community. First is Lexi Russo, her next door neighbor. Lexi helps Meg figure out what keys are while Meg just kind of stares at her door. It's her first new home, that she owns, doesn't rent. She's in a kind of shock state. Lexi's nudge allows her to actually enter her place. Second, I believe the next day, is a meeting with Jesse Ducane. They have a friendly little meeting. Though for the life of me I can't exactly recall what all occurred during the meeting. Just that it was as super quick as her meeting with Lexi, and that afterwads Meg feels like a loser because her second opportunity to make a friend in Bay West ended with her missing her chance.
Lexi Russo lives in the townhouse next door to Meg McTiernan, and across the street from Jesse Ducane. Two things to note immediately - Meg has drooled, maybe literally, maybe not, over Jesse for years. She's just absolutely fascinated with her. So much so that Lexi's best friend, Sam, makes a joke at some point about how Lexi directed her career just so she could get a job at Jesse's work place. Which is the second thing to note, in a week or so, law student Lexi will be interning at Jesse's law office.
Hi, my name is Lexxi, I have a law degree. I live in New York. In he area the people in this book seem to go to for a good time, instead of staying in this magical land of lesbians, i.e., Brooklyn. I say all this so I can next say that I kind of don't like Lexi. The Lexi Russo of this book. Who lives on Staten Island.
Why do I feel this way? Many reasons. I'll just note that Lexi is a sweet good natured woman who lusts over a much older woman. No, that's not my problem. My problem is the combination of that plus her kind of causally accepting the advances of a woman who lusts over her. There's this Julie, see, who is a renter (there's a section of Bay West where the 'renters' live, literally, the rent, hence 'renters'; they tend to be closer to Lexi and Sam's age, so they tend to try to get wander near to them to get them to notice the two of them so they can join their parties). Sam and Lexi (and Meg, she's along too), meet up with a gaggle of renters (a gaggle is a thing, right?) at a bar in Brooklyn. You live in a lesbian mecca, but you go to Brooklyn to party. hmms. By the way, I've been to every bloody borough of NY except one. Staten Island. Because it's so bloody difficult to get to and from there. You basically have to do what the people in this book do - drive. It's one thing to decide to live in the most suburban of the boroughs, but to then drive into Brooklyn? Or Manhatten? Bypassing the massive subway and bus system . . . okay, I got all annoyed there, sorry.
Obviously I got annoyed. Let me back track. Lexi is a sweet young woman of 24 (I believe) who lusts over a woman of 36 (at one point there is a comment that Lexi is 24, another that Meg is 26, another that Lexi is 12 years younger than Jesse, and yet another that Meg and Jesse are "exactly" 9 years apart; my math skills cannot make this work). While lusting over this woman, Lexi joins that woman's law firm. Just to be closer to her (you know, closer than living across the street). At the same time there's this renter named Julie who gushes to Sam about how much she just lusts over that runner (I'm wording this wrong, I'm sure, point being Julie lusts after Lexi). Lexi is happy to get into a relationship with Julie. She's kind of a bitch about it though, by accident. Because she keeps fucking up their dates. Again I'm wording this badly, because it gives the wrong impression. Julie and Lexi date for a really long time. It's not one or two failed dates messed up by Lexi getting distracted by her lust over Jesse. It's . . .. Well, let me just stop and just say that there are moments I don't really like Lexi.
Jesse Ducane is a high powered lawyer with her own law firm. She's 36 years old. She lives across the street from both Lexi and Meg. There is at least two passages where her point of view comes to the forefront in this book.
Meg moves into her very first home that she owns heself. She initially meets two women in Bay West but so briefly that she isn't able to immediately make them her friends. She then spends the next, oh, many weeks very very busy at work, so much so that her townhouse is filled with boxes. She just doesn't have the time to unpack. Meanwhile she flirts with people.
Lexi dates Julie. Works, indirectly, then directly, for Jesse. Lusts after Jesse.
Lots of action at bars. And community parties. And . . . stuff. I'm being kind of rambling because I really don't know what to put here. It's a slice of life type plot inserted into a romance novel that has more than one point of view.
I spent the majority of this book thinking two things: (1) who the bloody hell is the couple in this book; (2) please don't let it be Lexi and Meg, please don't let it be Lexi and Meg.
The romance consisted of randomish hook-ups (deeper connections than that implies, but close enough for me to use that phrase) mixed with deep layers of miscommunciations.
On one level I enjoyed reading about a lesbian community in the same city I happen to live in. On another level I was somewhat frustrated trying to figure out where the romance was that I was supposd to be on the look-out for.
Despite some of the things I say along the way, I actually did like most of the people, at least those who had enough substance for me to get a handle on them. Even Lexi is likable. Just very immature.
In the end I'd give this book a rating of, say, exactly 3.65 out of 5.0 stars.
January 19 2016