I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler
Series: Radleigh University #3
Published by Self-Published on June 14th, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn't mean she should—not when the person she's eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren't meant to be crossed.
But when Frankie learns she's been on Samara's mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam's not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she's afraid she'll never find it as long as Frankie's in her head.
Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who's been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy...under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she's afraid she might, she doesn't want to throw Samara's life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie's heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.
I love Dahlia Adler, yadda yadda yadda, so yeah, I needed to read Out on Good Behavior the instant it was available to me. And man. This does it. The Radleigh University series is one of the best and most solid new adult series out there. Consider this my vehement recommendation to anyone who has ever expressed any interest in new adult books.
Whereas the previous books in the series have been a combination of romance and familial drama, Out on Good Behavior is pretty much pure romance – and not that drama-filled either. This would be the fluffy and bantery book of the series. If you like banter like I do, you need to meet Frankie, because she is hilarious and a delight. Her wit is just absolutely top notch, and the one-liners and puns are exactly the kind of grade A humor I expect from Dahlia. So yeah, from the very first page I adored her voice and couldn’t wait for her romance.
If you read Right of First Refusal, you saw Frankie and Samara meet for the first time. And there were already crazy sparks and everything there, but just wait, because it gets so much hotter. First off, props for having a F/F new adult romance, because I really don’t see them often enough. But damn, these two girls are pure magic together. I shipped it since those few scenes in RoFR, but I liked how they still had a good fight for their relationship. Frankie is not one to ever go on a date – she’s a pure hook up kind of girl. And Samara isn’t. She’s still in the closet, to be honest, and she’d only give that up for a good reason. They have to really grow towards each other and discover what it means to be dating – monogamously – in and out of the public eye. But the result is that they have way too many cute moments to count. And then, well, there’s plenty of hot moments too.
Shout out to Samara as well, for being a representation of basically all of us. Samara is a young adult reader. For people in the book blogging community, you’ll know Dahlia as one of the biggest advocates of YA books, and Samara could easily fit into our circle. She loves to read. She’d rather read than go out sometimes – and she’s pretty unapologetic about that fact. And she’s occasionally prone to fangirl outbursts, because oh my god that book gave her a book hangover and she’s basically dying. This girl is so adorable. If you are into YA, you should also read this book because Dahlia’s hidden hints to actual YA books in there, which is like the most exciting scavenger hunt.
Obviously, there still has to be a bit of drama, because no book is complete without a story arc. I wouldn’t say that this book is big on character growth but arguably Frankie discovers a lot about herself and relationships. She starts off basically not really believing in love and blanching at her best friends who are now all “committed” (*shudder*) but eventually realizes that if it’s to the right person, then that is a path to an even greater happiness. Frankie and Sam are great together. She just need some time to figure that out. As in most cases, this drama could have been avoided if the two just communicated a little better, but… well. It’s a new adult book. You can’t have it all.
What you can have, though, is heaps and heaps of diversity. I loved seeing Frankie – who is pansexual – navigate through the LGBT community at Radleigh. You see characters of all sexualities and gender identities from different ethnic backgrounds. This tapestry is rich AF. And there are good discussions about some of the terminology so if you, like me, aren’t always aware of what certain terms mean or how people want the world to see them, it can be a good eye-opener. Above all, it’s written and incorporated into the story with so much respect and positivity that it just makes me happy.
But my favorite part of all of the books in this series still has to be the friendship between Frankie, Lizzie, and Cait. They know and understand each other so well. They support each other through everything, even giving confrontational reality checks when needed. They are obviously friends for life, and I am just so jealous. And they have some of the best banter ever, as illustrated by my favorite quote.
“Expecting someone?” I tease, as if Connor’s not here just about every night she isn’t at his grad dorm.I’m not quite sure what it says about me that that quote made me laugh out loud for a good five minutes… maybe that I have the maturity of a 12 year old? But okay. I can live with that.
“Not if I don’t finish my homework,” she says, picking the pen back up and tapping the course packet with it. “Even when he’s not my teacher, Connor’s a pain in my ass.”
“They make lube for that, you know.”
“Get out.” ARC of Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler