It was awesome to be able to follow this fantastic group of friends again. To get back to be witness of the midnight chocolate gatherings, of the quirky banter and the dynamic between these friends. In this sequel, Mallory is the main character. Hope crossed her path, a hot bartender. A woman from a crappy background but determined to become successful in her business. She is strong, tough but also a softie with a golden heart. Mallory and Hope, two completely different women, two very strong personalities that are hugely be drawn towards each other. You can continue to deny it but the passion was inevitable. There were still several bumps along the way to a possible HEA but giving up was not an option. I loved Hope, she (and Hunter) is my absolute favorite. I will miss these great group of friends badly. Needless to say I've enjoyed this book tremendously and I know for sure that you won't be sorry if you read the whole series. It is a heartwarming romance with a load of humor.
I probably could have combined my reviews for Just Three Words and Ready or Not since I read them as if they were one, large novel. In fact, I re-read Kiss The Girl first to remind myself of the story and characters. So, it would be easy to review all of them at once. But that wouldn’t be fair. Brayden didn’t write them all at once, so each deserves a separate review. Plus, it’s very possible you folks out there haven’t read all three yet or, perhaps, are reading them out of order. Because, while they definitely have a linear timeline, I don’t think it’s fully necessary to read them as if they serve as a proper trilogy. You can still find enjoyment from Ready or Not if you haven’t quite gotten around to Kiss The Girl yet. (Though, I do recommend reading them in order…just because I’m sort of OCD when it comes to that.)
Most of my thoughts on Ready or Not mirror those I had regarding the first two books in the series. Brayden did an exceptional job of keeping the characters consistent through each novel. It’s a bit annoying when there are fundamental changes to a character in subsequent books. Character development is one thing, but altering who a character is makes for uneven reading. (This is an issue I had with the narrator for the audio versions of these three books – the unevenness in the performance with each book. But that’s another story for another day and does not have anything to do with Brayden’s writing. The audio books were still very enjoyable.)
As with the previous two novels, Brayden has excelled in offering the reader some excellent dialogue. It keeps the story moving and keeps things interesting. The characters have conversations with each other rather than take turns monologuing. When a character does have the need to share more than just a few crisp sentences, it stands out. It’s important. It means something. It makes everyone – characters and readers alike – sit up and take notice. I think that’s a pretty powerful technique. Whether it’s intentional or not, I don’t know. But it’s effective.
Brayden sticks with many of the same settings – the Savvy offices, the loft apartments, and Showplace (their favorite bar). Only this time, we get to spend more time in places that were a bit more peripheral in the previous two books. Showplace, for example, plays a much larger role in Ready or Not. We get to learn more about the bar, its history, and the people who inhabit that particular part of the world. Previously, it was simply their favorite place to hang out and relax. Now, it’s integral to the story. The same can be said for Mallory’s loft apartment. In the first two novels, it was there and part of the story…but it wasn’t central. So what we have after reading all three of the books is a fully fleshed out setting that includes all of the spaces that are important to the cast of characters. It’s complete.
Quite often, I’ve noticed that readers will ask, “Have you ever thought of making this into a movie? Because that would be awesome!” And, you know what? I agree. That would be awesome. So many novels out there in “Lesbian Literature Land” would make lovely movies. Brayden’s novels among them. But what really intrigues me about the Soho Loft series is that they would be awesome stage plays. Think about it – the cast of characters is fairly minimal, the locations are pretty consistent (Savvy offices, loft apartments, the bar where they gather), and the dialogue is fast-paced and vivid. With the right script, the right actors, and a kick-ass design team, these stories really could work on the stage. I’d go see them.
The one drawback to reading all three stories one right after another (and listening to the audio versions) is picking up on little idiosyncrasies that would probably have been missed reading them months apart. Certain words and/or phrases that are used (one or two are over-used) often tend to stand out and be noticed, thereby pulling the reader out of the story for the briefest of moments. I didn’t find it overly problematic and most certainly does not diminish my enjoyment of the stories. I still think they are just wonderful. But, it is something I noticed.
All-in-all, I’d say that Ready or Not is a very fine addition to the Soho Loft series…and a fitting wrap up to the individual and collective stories of these four friends. Knowing Brayden, this won’t be the last time we hear from these women – I have no doubt they will make cameo appearances in future novels. And I look forward to that.
I really loved so much about this series. The relationships are complex and have different dynamics to each set. The friendship between the four is half the reason to love the books. The setting is hip and fun so you don’t get bored with the details. I admit, it felt a little exclusive, since all the main characters are of the femme variety but I still enjoyed all three books.
This was my favorite of the trio of books in the series. Seemed more developed somehow than the previous 2, tho I enjoyed them also. The thing with Sophie was a little awkward, didn't fit in smoothly I didn't feel (no spoilers here). And while the banter was fun and I mostly liked it, it felt like a little too much at times--not everybody in life has snappy comebacks or wants to. I'd like to see the banter mostly done by a few of the characters, not all of them. Really like the way the bond between the 4 Savvy women is portrayed--enviable friendships, sweet. Love the midnight chocolate solution to all big problems!!
I like this author. This was the second novel in this series and I like all of the friends. I wish we got to hear more about each one individually in each book instead of just focusing on one of the four friends in each book. Their friendship is very important and is what drew me into the book. One thing in the book that I didn't like was the author said "Smooth Operator" by Sade was a cheesy song from the 80's. Anyone that knows anything about music knows that Sade is a legend and there is nothing cheesy about her. But, outside of music tastes from the author. The book is solid.
I loved this series! This third book continues the fun of the Savvy girl friends. This time Mallory, who loves to be in charge, is the story's focus. She is so taken by Hope, the hot bartender, who appears to be so different than Mallory. Oh and Hope is taken by Mallory too! The dialog is witty and the chemistry is simply amazing. If you haven't already read the first two books, I would recommend reading them before this one (in order). It is not necessary, but helps you understand each of the four friends and their quirky, unique personalities. They really, really work so well together and support each other unconditionally. You will love them all!
The final chapter in this series of heart bonded friends was a gold medal winner. I liked it that the stories of all the friends ended with the tale of true love of the leader of the pack. I also liked that all of them found true love and they still remained so important to each other. We should all be so lucky!