Tuesday, September 6, 2022

My Summer Darlings by May Cobb


I wanted an ARC of this book so badly because THE HUNTING WIVES is one of my favorite thrillers of all time (possibly even top ten), so obviously when I found out that May Cobb was delivering on another summer beach read of a romance filled with catty women, sexcapades, and murder, I was like, uh, YES PLEASE. But nobody gave me an ARC and I had to watch all my friends who did get ARCs give this book low ratings and talk about how bad it was. #rude

And you know what, publishers? I actually really liked this book. A LOT. The writing was clean (by which I mean, spare-- not clean as in no sex because hoo-boy was there sex, some of it yucky), the pacing was tight, and I thought it really did a good job of being evocative of the summer months, with cold wine and BBQ. But I can also see why people didn't like it. First, the obvious elephant in the room: these women are the actual worst. Like, it's like if you took Real Housewives but then got rid of all of the housewives but three, and they all claimed to be best friends while spending the whole time shouting at each other and screwing behind each others' backs (or is that actually what Desperate Housewives is? I don't actually watch it lol). Anyway, our three ladies are Jen, single mother; Kittie, fading prom queen beauty; and Cynthia, hot artistic mess.

When a new hot guy moves into town named Will, who owns a mansion and has a sexy European accent, Jen immediately wants him. Finally, the husband of her dreams and a new father for her boy! She's practically picking out the monogrammed dish towels in her head. But unfortunately, her two best friends don't think he's too hard on the eyes, either. And even though both her friends are married, Will and his magical incubus cock might pose more temptation than they can resist. And maybe resistance will prove deadly in this idealistic but completely fucked-up backwoods Texas town. Who knows?

I mean, I do. But I'm not telling.

HONESTLY, though. Did I mention that these women were the worst? Especially Kittie. One of my least favorite tropes in fiction is women who can't come to terms with getting older and compete with their teen daughters. I get that this actually happens and is largely a result of societal constructs that have convinced people that women are worthless once they get past a certain age and no longer look good (fuck the patriarchy), but it's still really hard to read. The constant bickering and "you stole my mans" Jerry Springer stage-screaming was also hard to read. Because divas before HE-vas, you know? That's not the 90s girlpower feminism I grew up with, ladies. Despite that, I devoured it like candy, but it went down like candy, too. Ultimately, not that nutritious and smacking of indigestion. But still tasty.

I also really didn't get the appeal of Will, tbh. There was almost a supernatural attraction that he had on literally every woman. Does he ejaculate Van Cleef & Arpels necklaces instead of semen? Do his pores exude some sort of pheromone that smells like rich, supple leather and calorie-free chili cheese fries? I was starting to wonder if he was a vampire or a demon or something (SURPRISE!), but no. I don't think this is a spoiler because the book obvs is not branded that way, but I was getting major SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO VAMPIRE SLAYING vibes.So I was very disappointed when he turned out to be a human, after all. No dick jewelry or french fry attractants HERE, ladies!

Also, this review is dedicated to my sister's boyfriend, who bought me this and HACIENDA for my birthday. She got me a big crate of vintage romances and he bought me hardcovers of my two most anticipated releases of the year. So between the two of them, I've got a fabulous amount of books to read over the next couple months. Thank you both. <3

3.5 out of 5 stars

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