Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review!

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is a cute and snarky sapphic romance. Delilah has a lot of growth and healing in this book. She returns to her hometown and her toxic stepfamily and is determined to be as much trouble as she can be while working as a photographer for her stepsister, Astrid’s wedding. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book, especially not a romance, where one of the main characters is the villain in someone else’s story. I found myself sympathizing with Delilah’s desire to get revenge on her family for how they treated her as a kid while also disapproving of some of her more childish antics. This book does a great job of fleshing out all of the characters and giving them lots of dimensions so that most of them don't feel one-sided. I really connected with all of the characters (except Delilah’s stepmom) and was rooting for all of them to get their happily ever afters.
It was really interesting unpacking both Delilah and Astrid’s childhood trauma and how differently they experienced their shared childhood.
There were a few steamy scenes but overall the novel focused more on the various interpersonal relationships between all of these characters who had known each other for decades.
I will definitely be picking up the next book in this series!

Was this review helpful?

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book because it's my first by Ashley Herring Blake. I also know it's her first foray into adult romance, but by the end of this I had completely forgotten that!

Delilah Green Doesn't Care has become one of my favorite books, period. Which is no small feat, because I don't have many favorites. Blake managed to capture not only one of the sweetest romantic queer relationships I've ever read, but also one of the best sister reconciliation relationships, which I completely wasn't expecting!

She made me care about all the major side characters: Iris, Astrid, even Josh who got his own small redemption arc, and the fact that we saw significant character growth from the three of them as well as in Delilah and Claire, our heroines had me rooting for the entire cast.

I think Astrid was particularly well done because I HATED her at the beginning of the book, but by the end of it I really wanted her to be happy and for her and Delilah to have a chance at a real sisterly relationship.

Delilah's character arc and maturation over the course of the book was also done amazingly well. She had the most to heal from, I think, and the most trauma to deal with from her past so to see how far she had come by the end of the book was beautiful, especially since she found Claire along the way.

I also really loved Claire's journey. Outwardly, it didn't seem like she had as many problems as Delilah, but she was dealing with her own demons from her past: her unresolved relationship with Josh, her slight overprotectiveness of daughter Ruby, and always putting other people before her own happiness. The fact that she was able to address all of that and finally find love while putting her own needs first was *chef's kiss*

The romance in this book was sooo breathtaking! Even though from the beginning Claire and Delilah swore there were no feelings involved, they straight up lied to themselves (which of course they later realized). But the tenderness and sweetness of their relationship along with the passion was just PERFECTLY done! There were parts where I just had to put my phone down because there were just too many feelings and I needed to take a breath. And I fully sobbed at Delilah's speech near the end of the book (I don't want to spoil it, but it's when they're in Claire's bookstore after she gives her the framed picture).

So now that I've read this I must immediately read Blake's other writing while I (im)patiently wait for Astrid's book to come out. And I'll of course be rereading this one when it releases since I already pre-ordered it :D

Was this review helpful?

I'm not sure I can fully express how much I loved this book. It was fantastic! Delilah is your local badass, tattooed artist trying to get her big break in New York. Claire is your bookstore-owning, single mom trying to co-parent while supporting her soon-to-be-married best friend, Astrid. The thing is, Delilah was cast in the role of "evil stepsister" to said soon-to-be-married Astrid. And to Delilah, Claire was part of her ice queen stepsister's coven.

There's misunderstandings, plotting against the groom, and sweet sweet romance. I loved it. Plus the cover is gorgeous! Leni Kauffman has done it again!

Thanks to Netgalley for a review copy!

Was this review helpful?

This was a lovely book. I so enjoyed the characters and the storyline and just everything about it!
I often don’t connect with sapphic romance and I’m not sure why that is… maybe because there just isn’t as much of it available, so I’m not finding the really good stuff? idk… Anyway, that wasn’t the case with this one. I thought it was well written, the main group of characters all had depth and were actually significant to the story. And, while I am not a lesbian photographer, I felt a connection with the MC, Delilah Green, with her feelings of loneliness and friendlessness and how that can really shape who you are and how you interact with the world.
Would definitely recommend and I’m so glad it was recently recommended to me!

Was this review helpful?

Source of book: NetGalley (thank you!)
Relevant disclaimers: None
Please note: This review may not be reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, without explicit consent from the author.

Oh. My. God. This book is EVERYTHING. It made me feel so happy and seen and spoken to as a queer person that I literally hugged my kindle to my chest on several occasions while I was reading it.

So this is pretty complex stuff, okay? I know I’ve discussed the queerness of queer romance in various other reviews and let me just make very clear yet again that I am not trying to position myself as any sort of gatekeeper of queerness. Queer is not a monolith, we all see ourselves reflected in different ways and in different things, and that’s how it should be. But I will say that I have a sense that queer romance is in a complicated place publishing-wise at the moment: it’s been comprehensively proven there’s a market for it, but I think there’s a natural conflict at the heart of this market concerning the needs of queer readers versus the expectations of the dominant cishet audience. All of which is to say that I personally (and I am speaking purely personally here) can often find reading queer romance quite an alienating experience. This has nothing to do, I hasten to add, with the identity (or even the skill) of the author. It’s purely about my perception of who the book is speaking to.

And I think part of what’s extraordinary about Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is that the book delivers everything you’d want in a romance (it’s sexy, it’s funny, it’s heart-wrenching, it’s tender) alongside a sensibility that feels, to me, effortlessly and unabashedly queer. For example, there’s the fact one of the protagonists—Claire—is bisexual, and it feels genuinely like part of her identity, rather than a word on the page, shaping how she understands herself and relates to the world around her. Or there’s a throwaway line that I personally found so well-observed, which is when Delilah (who is not attracted to men) is at a bar, and the (male) bartender keeps hitting on her, and she’s irate that she’s probably going to have to come out to this random stranger to make him leave her alone - that sense of coming out as a permanent state imposed upon you resonated with me so hard. And, now I come to think of it, there’s the fact an entire subplot concerns Astrid (Delilah’s sister and Claire’s best friend) and her impending marriage to a dreadful cishet guy. That just feels like … the queerest thing in the world to me. That half-bewildered, half-alienated sense of watching your heterosexual friends make terrible romantic decisions with other heterosexuals, wondering to yourself are the straights all right, and is there anything you can do about it. The book is full of little moments like this, from the profound to the trivial, that make the fictional world the characters inhabit feel familiar and real and—to me, at least—recognisably and undeniably queer.

Anyway. The actual plot here concerns Delilah Green, a thirty-ish photographer, currently trying to make it in NYC having fled the small town where she grew up. Tragically orphaned at a young age, she was cast upon the care of her emotionally distant stepmother and her apparently perfect daughter, both of whom made no attempt to make the grieving Delilah feel welcome in their family. The perfect daughter, Astrid, is now getting married and Delilah has been summoned back to Bright Falls to be the wedding photographer. While Delilah has come along way from the lonely, insecure girl she once was, returning to the place where she grew up can’t help but stir up old memories and old hurts, particularly when it comes to Astrid and her close-knit friendship group who always contributed to Delilah’s sense of rejection.

There’s a lot going on in Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, including some Bridesmaids-style hijinks involving champagne glass towers, but I think what struck me most forcibly about its storytelling is its generosity. It’s very kind to its characters, allowing them plenty of scope to be as complicated and as damaged as they need to be, while simultaneously letting them shine in their relationships with each other, their deep needs to love and be loved. Hell, even Iris who is like Friend Trope #2673 (loud and red-headed) has her own shit going on that gives her depth and nuance beyond the usual “saying the thing” role such characters tend to be relegated to. Ruby, Claire’s pre-teen daughter, is exactly as endearing and frustrating as you’d expect from a girl of that particular age. And Claire’s irresponsible but well-meaning ex-husband gets his own little maturation arc that feels genuinely earned. Yes, there are a couple of villain figures in the narrative who come across as slightly cartoonish in their awfulness, especially compared to the rest of the cast, but by the end of the book their general irrelevance has become its own significance.

Because ultimately this is a story that is far more interested in how we show love to each other, than taking revenge on those who have hurt us, and I absolutely adore it for that. It is a gorgeous sapphic romance, a celebration of found family and a beautiful exploration of the way home and freedom, in the right context, with the right person, can feel like exactly the same thing.

A thousand heart-hands for this book. You all need to read it.

Was this review helpful?

I had high expectations and this lived up to all of them. Great tropes, great chemistry, amazing cast of characters. I love to see this kind of romance with fleshed out adult characters with complicated lives and pasts who are just trying to get their shit together. Plus it was funny and made me cry.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

CW: death of a parent (past), grief, toxic relationship with step-parent, teenage pregnancy (past)

I would recommend if you are looking for (SPOILERS)

-f/f insta attraction
-only one bed
-best friend's sibling
-single parent
-elements of second chance
-great friend group

I adored this book so much. Delilah Green coming home and getting a second chance at finding family and home. About being your authentic self, finding love and how easy it is to think you are putting yourself out there or misinterpret things.

Delilah was just herself, artistic, goal oriented and prickly. Her sexual tension with Claire was crackling from the moment they were first on the page together and I was cheering these two on so much. I love a good single parent romance and these two just got each other in a lot of ways. The wedding hijinx, some parent trap elements, and just a lot of fun all while Claire and Delilah try to pretend that its nothing more than sex.

Steam: 3.5

Was this review helpful?

This book is SO GOOD. The characters were well developed and the chemistry between Delilah and Claire was just perfect. I also loved that the book wasn’t just about romantic relationships, but also family and friendships. By fleshing out these other aspects of the character’s lives, I felt like I really got to know them and it made the romance more believable. I cannot wait for this book to come out so I can buy a physical copy. I can already tell it’s going to be one of my comfort reads.

Was this review helpful?

Well this was a refreshing little read! While I don't normally stray to romance, I was drawn into Delilah Green doesn't care by a cute cover and a fun blurb. Good news, it was as cute and fun as I'd hoped it would be. The characters have fun personalities without being Too Much and you get invested in the relationships well beyond the main heroines. But man, I loved the heroines.

It's not changing the game, but it was sweet and fun and a very happy read!

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! It was so steamy. I loved the characters. i also loved the side plot between Deliah and her sister.

Was this review helpful?

I really liked this book! I thought the setting and stakes were clear and well-designed, and I liked Claire and Delilah a lot. I was less sold on Astrid and I'm not super sure I want to read a whole book about her, but I will give her a chance in 2023!

Was this review helpful?

Delilah Green Doesn't Care tells a familiar romance story that feels expected and trite. Built on undeveloped writing and stereotypical characters. The benefit of this story is it's unrelenting upbeat nature and sickly sweet feelings.

Was this review helpful?

Drama! Queer photography! Weddings!

I thought this was a fantastic, sarcastic, witty, queer romcom that I cannot wait to have the entire world discover. Delilah and Claire were full of depth and personality, and the plot flowed seamlessly from one point to the next.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next installment of Bright Falls so I can see what our MCs get up to next!

Was this review helpful?

Incredible story based around romance and sisterhood. Alongside the budding romance is an exploration of family complexities and different loves and affections we can feel for one another. Absolutely buying this one when it releases!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for providing me with an eARC.

5/5⭐️ This book was EVERYTHING!!

This story was such a delight to read. I aspire to be as confident as Delilah, as sweet as Claire, as outspoken as Iris, and as strong as Astrid. I enjoyed every single second of this story. This is exactly want I want when I read a rom-com is was the perfect balance of humor, swoony/spicy moments, and drama. It had moments when I started tearing up and moments where I felt like I was learning such important life lessons. The love that Claire and Delilah shared was so beautiful and sweet!! AHHHH I love them soo much. I can’t wait for more people to read this book. You definitely won’t be disappointed! ❤️

Was this review helpful?

Just a delightful queer romance that got me right from the beginning. Such fun and I look forward to the next book in the series.

Was this review helpful?

This! Romance! I'm such a sucker for the trope of "the grumpy one likes the sunshine-y one." I love how fully formed each character is, including all of the side characters. The romance was fun but believable, and you couldn't help rooting for them against the odds. If you're looking for a super cute queer romance with fun small-town and tight-knit friend group vibes, this is totally it. I want, like, 100 more books just like this.

Was this review helpful?

Looking at the cover alone was enough for me to want to dive headfirst into this romance! Delilah Green Doesn't Care follows- no surprise- Delilah Green as she reluctantly returns to her hometown of Bright Falls to be her stepsister's wedding photographer. After a childhood spent feeling unwanted and unloved by her stepsister, Astrid, and stepmother, Isabel, Delilah is content with causing some trouble for her dear sister.

What better way to get under Astrid's skin than to romance her best friend? Claire and Iris have always been Astrid's best friends, and the group is used to ignoring Delilah, thinking she doesn't care to be involved. Trying to raise her moodier-by-the-minute daughter Ruby while also struggling to have faith in her ex's fatherly duties doesn't give Claire a lot of time to put herself first, resulting in Iris demanding that Claire find someone to help her relieve her stress.

Cue Delilah Green in Bright Falls. Claire doesn't recognize her at first, but when Delilah and Claire meet (again), sparks fly. Slow-burn seduction follows, and suddenly Claire is doubting she can handle a casual relationship while Delilah is second-guessing her desire to be with Claire only to irritate her sister.

Even though the whole plot occured within a month, making the romance more of an insta-love story, I entirely enjoyed reading this novel. Throw in some family drama, hilarious banter between girlfriends, a shit-boot of a fiancé, and an "accidental" champagne tower fiasco, and you're set with the perfect light w/w romance.

Special thanks to NetGalley for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange for my honest opinions.

Was this review helpful?

There was something about the writing that felt forced, unfortunately. I can enjoy rom coms but this one wasn't for me.

Was this review helpful?

This book was just wonderful. There was so much I appreciated and admired about it: the setup was perfect, the setting charming as heck. But most of all, I love how complex ALL of the characters and relationships were, how much growth was accomplished not just in the main romantic coupling but in side characters, as well. (Except for Isabel, of course. And Shit Boot.) The plot line between Astrid and Delilah was really compelling and moving (and made me super excited for the next book). I especially appreciated the character of Josh--that he wasn't just an evil ex, but a decent human who had made poor choices in the past. Even if Claire's frustration and hurt with him was completely justified and relatable, you still knew that he wanted to be a good dad, and were secretly rooting for him to succeed, too. I also just really loved having a parent of a tween as a romantic interest, without that being a hindrance to the romance whatsoever. Just a delight!

Was this review helpful?