Good Girl Complex – Elle Kennedy

Genre: Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 368
Release Date: February 1, 2022

She does everything right. So what could go wrong?


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.

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Good Girl Complex is a fun and steamy summer romance that dives into socioeconomic differences, independence, and parental and societal expectations.

Elle Kennedy is one of my auto-buy authors, so I’m incredibly grateful to have been approved for the ARC. I didn’t read the synopsis before requesting, so I was pleasantly surprised by the contents of the novel.

Good Girl Complex follows Mackenzie as she begins her first year of university despite already owning her own internet business. Once in the small beachside town, she meets Cooper who upon first appearance looks like your typical tattooed bad boy, but there something below the tough exterior. Not all is as it seems as these two, who are from very different worlds, collide.

What I enjoyed most was watching Mackenzie and Cooper fight their attraction to each other. The angst between the characters was palpable and fire hot as they tried to reconcile their growing feelings and the fact that they come from very different backgrounds. Though Good Girl Complex is not as steamy as some of Kennedy’s self-published work, it does offer a handful of very well written scenes that had me reaching for a glass of cold water.

Though Mackenzie came off as aloof sometimes, her character growth was a pleasure to read as she became more self-aware. I also enjoyed Mackenzie’s struggle with her parents, though I am happy that it was a very minor subplot.

As mentioned previously, Cooper is your typical tattooed bad boy; however, below the surface Kennedy revealed a lot of insecurities that became integral to the plot and his budding relationship with Mackenzie.

Overall, Good Girl Complex is a fun and steamy summer romance that offers more than just a cheap fling between the characters.

*** I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Will you be reading Good Girl Complex?

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