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Released: February 22 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Bright Falls #1
Published by Berkley
“I loved the girl-gang created in this one.”~ Under the Covers
Delilah Green left Bright Falls at 18 for New York City and has rarely looked back at the stepmother, stepsister and all the lonely memories from after her father died that she left behind. Except, now her stepsister Astrid has hired her to photograph wedding, dangling an exorbitant sum on the line, so Delilah is headed back to Oregon for two weeks. Her goal? To mess with Astrid as much as possible while still getting paid and feel as few feelings as possible. The second goal goes belly up when she encounters Astrid’s best friend Claire all grown up her first night back in town. And though Claire finds herself drawn to Delilah too, she knows Delilah doesn’t do relationships, and watching her ex and daughter’s father leave them both over the years is enough pain for Claire. Suddenly, Claire and Delilah find themselves drawn together in a plot to save Astrid from her shit-shirt (you’ll get it if you read the book, I promise) fiancé, and start to wonder if it’s worth letting down the walls they’ve built so many years building up.
So you know how the saying (or line from Hamlet, rather) goes: The lady doth protest too much, methinks. And while I didn’t put a ton of thought into the title “Delilah Green Doesn’t Care” before I started reading, it became really clear at the get go that Delilah used not caring as a defense mechanism. Watching her realize that about herself too and go on the emotional journey she went on through this book was really something to behold and Ashley Herring Blake wrote an absolutely masterpiece that made me laugh, cry and put me through an overall emotional wringer. It’s hard to get into specifics about the journey for Delilah and the other characters in this one without getting spoilery, but man, when you watch the character ARCs unfold, you just know you’re in for a hell of a ride.
I think Claire was the perfect match for Delilah, in that she never ever pretended to do anything but care (except for maybe when she was pretending she could do “just sex” with Delilah. Romance reasons logic, ammirite?). Watching her try to co-parent her daughter, come to care so deeply for Delilah and be a good friend to Astrid and Iris was just so moving; I could tell that we would be best friends if we ever met. Astrid refers to Claire as one of the most caring people she’s ever met at one point and it’s just so spot on.
Part of the reason this one was a real emotional journey is that Herring Blake did not pull punches when it came to creating conflict. There is messy co-parenting, there is trauma from the loss of parents, there is cold and distant step/parenting, there’s messy and sticky family relations, trauma from bad relationships. It’s all here, and it’s real and raw. And yet, it’s tied around this hopeful and light and pure love story that strike the perfect balance. It was great.
I loved the girl-gang created in this one and was thrilled to see we’re getting another story in this world in 2023. I can’t wait to continue watching these realistic and tangible characters learn and grow. In case it wasn’t clear, I loved it and I want everyone, everywhere, to read it.
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