Everything Between Us by Harper Bliss is an age gap romance, which I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now is something I love—especially from this author! It’s also the third book in her Pink Bean series. If you haven’t read the first two, fear not, because this book stands alone.
Josephine Greenwood is a PhD student and barista at The Pink Bean whose mornings have gotten decidely more exciting since Caitlin James, famous feminist author and Jo’s megacrush, started coming in for her daily flat white. Jo can’t believe it when Caitlin shows a romantic interest in her, and her insecurity almost ruins a good thing before it gets started. Jo might be doing her dissertation on body positivity, but when it comes to her own plus-sized self, she couldn’t be any less positive. Can Jo learn to trust Caitlin’s desire and intentions enough to give their romance a real chance?
Everything Between Us is written in the first person from Jo’s perspective and we spend a lot of time in her head. Joining along as Jo’s self esteem issues bump up against Caitlin’s very obvious attraction to her is sometimes uncomfortable and sad, but it means we also get to experience her growth as she truly starts to believe Caitlin. I like that Harper Bliss wrote realistically about what it can be like to not have a perfect body, no matter how hard you battle against it. Even more than that, I love that Jo didn’t lose the weight by the end of the book and instead worked on her internalized garbage.
Caitlin is super easy to crush on. She’s brilliant and confident, and the combination of the two make her sexier than her looks ever could. She’s also intuitive, making her an excellent partner for Jo as she grows into being ready for a relationship with someone like Caitlin, and is surprisingly vulnerable in moments that remind us she’s still human and not impossibly perfect.
If you’ve read either of the first two books in the series, you’ll be happy to learn that we get to spend more time with Micky, Robin, Kristin, Sheryl, Amber and Martha. Harper Bliss does a great job of writing friendship and community in this book in a way that I’m not sure I’ve quite seen her do before.
The Writing Style
Everything Between Us has a easy style to it, which helps as we’re reading Jo struggle with her thoughts and feelings. Unsurprisingly, the sex writing is great in this book (let’s be honest, though, it always is in a Harper Bliss book). I particularly appreciated that the sex was handled realistically and that it changed as Jo did. I also thought it was interesting that Caitlin is a big believer in non-monogamy, because that’s not a subject that’s often addressed in lesfic. Her discussions about it with Jo are thoughtful and engaging without being either prescriptivist or judgemental, giving readers a lot to think about.
Everything worked for me in this book.
I can’t think of any.
While this may not be my favourite book by Harper Bliss (to be fair, it’ll be hard to beat In the Distance There Is Light), it’s still excellent. If you haven’t read her before, this could be a good place to start, and if you’re already a fan, you’ll like this one a whole lot.
Excerpt from Everything Between Us by Harper Bliss
“Speaking of that night.”
“Yes.” My heart picks up speed.
“You said something rather startling,” she teases.
“I understand if you’ve changed your mind. After all, I’ve changed mine twice now.”
“Today’s youth. So erratic.” Caitlin pushes a strand of hair behind her ear.
“For the record, I’d still very much like to go out with you.”
“Good.” Caitlin picks up her coffee and peers at me over the rim of the cup. “When?”
“Friday?” I suggest.
“Isn’t that the open mic night?”
“I’ve never been to one.”
“I’m not going to sing.”
“I know.” She takes a sip and puts her cup back down. “Can we go out on a school night?”
“I’m below thirty and you’re a lady of leisure. I don’t see why not.”
“You’ve grown feistier already.” She grins.
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Beneath the Surface
Few Hearts Survive
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9789881491060
- Publisher: Ladylit Publishing
Harper Bliss Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Everything Between Us by Harper Bliss. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.