Laura breaks up with her cheating fiance, and starts a business venture with long-time friend Matt.
(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 3.5 -- Plot has unique elements and no major holes, but a few shaky bits. I don't get the Brad-and-Lydia-public-dancing bit, and I feel like too much time is given to Laura's mom's opinion to not let us see her reaction to their engagement. Setting is somewhat unclear, in that I'm not sure we're ever told what city they are located in. I only know it's DC area from reading the rest of the series.
Characters: 4 -- Main characters are relatable, realistic, interesting, and dynamic. Minor characters and villains may be slightly stereotyped or simplified. I don't get Brenda at all. Why is she going crazy exactly? Also, pretty sure it was Janelle who Laura griped about early on as one who is so bad at cleanup that she's not sure why anyone would hire her--then later, she suggests hiring Janelle.
Writing and Mechanics: 4 -- A handful of typos, punctuation issues, or word errors, but nothing that seriously hinders understanding. Good use of alternating POV. Generally skillful writing.
Redeeming Value: 3.5 -- Incidental uplifting themes. Hints of believing in yourself and not settling for something less than you deserve in a relationship or job. That's about it. Sex, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified, but some shaky ground, eg. Laura's rather eager violence against Ryan, justified as it may be. If I read this without already "knowing" Laura and Matt from the other books, I might not be convinced that they had a strong enough basis for such a sudden engagement.
Personal Enjoyment: 4 -- I liked it a lot. Highly enjoyable and very entertaining, with perhaps an issue or two that tempered my pleasure. I’d enjoy reading it again.