Review: Zoey And The Nice Guy (Big Girl Panties #1) by Carter Ashby

For Zoey Odell, the definition of family is her two best friends, Maya and Addy. So when Maya makes the decision to leave her abusive husband, Zoey is only too happy to lavish her with support and a temporary home. Unfortunately, taking in her best friend also means seeing more of that no good do-gooder, Kellen Bradley.

For Kellen, the definition of family has just been shattered. After finding out that his brother is an abusive monster, he can't help but question himself and his parents. The one thing he knows for certain is that he'll do anything to take care of his sister-in-law and her children. For them, he would walk into gunfire, pass through the flames of hell…even go head-to-head with Zoey Odell.

Zoey has no intention of letting him in, but Kellen is done taking her crap. Life has just gotten real and he’s more than ready to shed his nice-guy image. When he finally stands up to her, Zoey starts seeing him in a new light. As the attraction turns mutual, she finds it more and more difficult to hide behind her carefully formed walls. And Kellen is finding himself more and more driven to tear those walls down.

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

No guy wants to be the nice guy. Nice guys finish last and all that. Though with Kellen, that reality hits him real hard when friends gladly give him their sisters' numbers, because they know he will take care of them. This never used to bother him. He likes being nice and friendly, it's just that girls don't seem to want that, not really. Definitely not Zoey, she eats nice guys for breakfast.

Zoey can be a witch. The woman has no filter, curses worse than a sailor and tends to speak her mind with no regards to other people's feelings. Honestly if she's not your friend you probably won't like her. So it took some time for me to warm up to her. There was absolutely no reason to behave so badly towards Kellen all the time. The guy is not his brother, and has been nothing but supportive when it comes to his sister in law Maya, even rejecting the rest of his family in the process.

Now the thing is that Zoey is very protective when it comes to her friends, so letting in Kellen is not easy and she doesn't like it all. Well that's just too bad, because she will just have to deal with it. Zoey really manages to bring out the worst in people. Sick and tired of her hostile behaviour, Kellen finally shows he's not a wimp. The guy knows what he wants, he's just not into the heavy drama, normally. The attraction between these two is sizzling and no matter how hard Zoey tries to fight it, she is going down.

Overall a very fun romantic novel. Zoey does get tiresome from time to time. I don't mind some drama, but coupled with her anger issues it gets a bit too much sometimes. Certainly when her mum enters the picture, then all sanity just flies out the door. She turns into a completely other person, being more of a witch than usual and catering to the woman's every need. Truly bizarre. Honestly there were moments when I believed Kellen deserved better. Yes, he's a nice guy and he deserves someone who can appreciate that fact about him, which Zoey did not, a lot. The other characters were pretty great. I really liked her two best friends and I'm totally into the setup of their own stories. I think I will be reading those, as hopefully they will be way less dramatic, but still fun.

The Author
When I got my first email from the man who would one day be my husband, it was very clear that he did not want to email me. Friends had set us up and he was obviously bowing to their pressure. His email consisted of a numerical list of facts about himself that he clearly meant to be the end of our correspondence.

My snarky response was a numerical list of facts about myself, and for some reason, he liked it. So that’s what I’m going to do here, since I’m not so good at writing about myself.

Carter is not my real name. Imagine how you would feel if your strictly right-wing religious family and friends found out you wrote stuff with sex and bad words in it.

I’ve been married 11 years and have three kids and two dogs.

I like to garden but I DO NOT like to talk about gardening. So please, let’s not talk about gardening.

I’m deeply introspective and welcome anyone who wants to bitch-slap me back into reality, should I float away a little too far into my own thoughts.

I think fiction is a basic and essential element of our existence as humans. I think it’s part of what makes us human. And I think we relate better to each other through stories than we do through fact–bitch slap me now, I’m getting introspective.

I’m a little flighty about hobbies. Reading, writing, and bread baking are the only ones that have stood the test of time. Current hobbies include mixing drinks, making mead, gardening, fermenting stuff from the garden…I think that’s all at the moment.

I’ll read anything. Most of my loved ones stick to their favorite genre, so I will go read what they’re reading so we can have stuff to talk about at the dinner table.

I homeschool my children. Not because of religious reasons. Not because I hate the system (although I’m not overly fond of it). But because I just want to be with them. And playing school is fun. Remember that? Playing teacher and making your younger sister do a bunch of homework? Was that just me?

Last one: The first time I dropped out of college was because I was having one of those existential crises teenagers are so fond of having. When I went home, I found stacks and stacks of notebooks in my closet full of unfinished (and god-awful) stories. I didn’t even remember writing them. But that’s when I realized that I was a writer. Because I have to do it. It’s who I am. The publishing thing is virgin territory, but I have always, and always will, write. Because I have to.

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