ARC Review: Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy

Title: Good Girl Complex
Author: Elle Kennedy
Release Date: February 1, 2022
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★★★★


Mackenzie “Mac” Cabot is a people pleaser. Her demanding parents. Her prep school friends. Her long-time boyfriend. It’s exhausting, really, always following the rules. Unlike most twenty-year-olds, all she really wants to do is focus on growing her internet business, but first she must get a college degree at her parents’ insistence. That means moving to the beachside town of Avalon Bay, a community made up of locals and the wealthy students of Garnet College.

Mac’s had plenty of practice suppressing her wilder impulses, but when she meets local bad boy Cooper Hartley, that ability is suddenly tested. Cooper is rough around the edges. Raw. Candid. A threat to her ordered existence. Their friendship soon becomes the realest thing in her life.

Despite his disdain for the trust-fund kids he sees coming and going from his town, Cooper soon realizes Mac isn’t just another rich clone and falls for her. Hard. But as Mac finally starts feeling accepted by Cooper and his friends, the secret he’s been keeping from her threatens the only place she’s ever felt at home. 


Good Girl Complex gave me the perfect wrong side of the tracks trope that was once overused and is now difficult to find. The entire cast of characters really captivated me and gave me the found family feels. I also really enjoyed the setting of the rich and prestigious college that was in the middle of quaint little beach town.

More money more problems right? Mackenzie has a lot to worry about, money not being one of them. Her dad is a powerful US senator and her mom runs a bunch of charity organizations. They filled their quota to have a kid and them promptly forgot about her unless they could strategically use her. The typical stuff you’d expect from a 1% family. Mac was a breathe of fresh air though, she wanted more than to fit into the mold her parents had created for her. She was beautiful of course but also smart as heck along with being so kind and compassionate. Not the typical “clone” the locals dub the rich college kids.

Cooper was the boy your mother warned you about. Tatted up and walking around with a chip on his shoulder he’s the dark haired bad boy you want to take a walk on the dark side with. Truth is he’s a total cinnamon roll though with a big heart that’s been broken a few times. His story was truly heartbreaking but he had the best friends, brother and uncle who tried to always support him. His life hadn’t been easy and the clones that invade his town every year that treat him like crap don’t make it any easier. One takes it too far and ends up costing Coop his job, so of course revenge is in order and what’s better than stealing a rich pricks girlfriend? He didn’t quite plan on truly falling for her though and Mac might be the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Even as I’m writing this now, I’m not sure if I’d label this relationship as toxic or not. Both Coop and Mac are headstrong and stubborn which leads to a lot of fights. Their chemistry was off the charts and they definitely had sparks. The tension was unreal and I found myself groaning anytime Mac was a good girl. There were so many cute moments though and I enjoyed their banter and silly nothing fights. They really believed in each other’s dreams though and we’re so supportive of the other going after said dreams. I’d like to think they make it and wish we’d gotten an epilogue.

I really enjoyed this book and ended up reading it in one sitting. It never lulled and I was constantly on edge waiting to see how it was all going to play out. There was the perfect amount of steam and I loved Coop and Mac’s little moments. I know they’ll steal your heart like they did mine.


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