Benched by Blythe Rippon

Benched is a sequel. If you haven’t read Barring Complications, well I am kind of jealous of you because goodness, that book is amazing and to read it for the first time… let’s just say to me that the book is enthralling. You cannot put it down! So a sequel is tricky business, it’s either an amazing chance to reconnect with characters you have invested in or worst case scenario…a dud! Benched is no dud my friends, this is a fantastic book. It every bit holds its own with its predecessor.

Barring Complications was unique in a way in the two mains, Victoria and Genevieve had this pull towards each other. Even when they couldn’t communicate verbally, because of a pending case, they had this undeniable connection. I loved that about that book, it really drew me in and I was amazed by how well Rippon was able to connect that with the reader.

Where Benched comes in is Victoria and Genevieve have had their whirlwind romance and real life is settling in. Two very powerful players in D.C. whose paths have crossed in a monumental court decision that changes the political landscape of America are destined to meet again professionally. How do they navigate these new waters now that they have become lovers? EEK, problems arise, and neither of them handles it very well.

This is where I think their differences in personality really become fleshed out. Victoria has always struggled with being out while Genevieve is the cover of Advocate. So they struggle and they make missteps that make them wonder if they can forge ahead a cohesive unit or do they need to go separate ways. Is love always enough? I’m not going to lie there were a few moments that I thought, Holy mackerel sapphire what is happening, why are they doing this to each other, but in the end romance prevails.

4.25 out of 5 stars


Stowe Away by Blythe Rippon

Stowe Away by Blythe Rippon was a pleasant surprise. I have never read anything by this author and going into this book I only had the basic premise of the story to go by. I found myself totally into this book, and fascinated by its characters.

So what’s the story about? Samantha “Sam: Latham is a college freshman at Yale and our main character. Yeah, Sam is super genius level smart and has a voracious appetite for learning. She has amazing skills in the science department and is headed to become a medical doctor with a strong desire to do research. Sam has school down, she reads and studies with vigor and college is a chance for her to really unleash her love for learning. This one is one of those college kids who does not freak out every time she had a test (totally unlike myself). What she does not have down is social skills. She is very limited on how to interact with friends and let’s just forget about any type of game with potential ladies.

Natalie is the polar opposite of Sam. She has not known her whole life what she wants to be when she grows up, and she has a “don’t tie me down” attitude about life. She goes through lovers, male and female, at a staggering pace. Natalie also changes majors at Yale at about the same rate. She makes no apologies for this. Natalie is going to have the full on college experience, whether her best friend, Sam likes it or not.
So why does Sam care? Well Sam falls head over heels in love with Natalie on the very early days at Yale, and spends the next 4 years pining away. She for the life at her doesn’t understand why Natalie does not see why they are perfect for each other. It’s actually at times hard to read. I wanted to grab Sam so many times and say “wake-up, she’s just not that into you”, I resorted to shaking my Kindle instead.

Now I’m about to spoil it, so if you are interested in this STOP.
The first part of the book fine, but what really saved it and made me really, really like the book was Maria. Once Sam goes home to Stowe to take care of Eva the book really hits its stride. Sam becomes more that Natalie’s eager beaver. She grew a backbone and has to begin acting like an adult rather that an overly smart petulant child. That romance that develops between Sam and Maria was sweet and endearing. It was what a good romance should be. I had both fingers crossed Sam wouldn’t screw it up by going ass end over Natalie again.

While Natalie totally screwed up by sleeping with Sam, I had to applaud her for knowing that in her heart their “love wasn’t enough. Sam for the life of her could not see that she was in the friend zone. Natalie, while at times an ass, knew that she wasn’t the one for Sam. She totally could have settled, but I thought it took courage to keep looking for her one and send Sam on her way even though it was going to hurt them both. Sam zeroed in on Natalie and until her life got thrown a giant curve ball, she wasn’t going to look for anything else.

You can read again!
I enjoyed that Blythe Rippon could create characters that you at times wanted to smack and other times you wanted to hug. I thought this was a well thought out book, and she gives you enough room to really get into the characters and understand their motivations. Solid book, interesting characters and I would definitely read another book by Ms. Rippon.

4.25 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Stowe Away
by Blythe Rippon