What Matters Most by Georgia Beers is a book that had me interested from the first time I saw her talking about it on social media, and it did not disappoint! A few months into her new life in Chicago, Kelsey Peterson is in the thick of running her own scents store in an up-and-coming neighbourhood. The shop is doing brisk business, Kelsey’s employees are great, she’s making friends, and she’s regularly flirting with another patron at her local Starbucks. Even the stress of learning her business rent is getting jacked up isn’t enough to stop her from finding happiness as something good starts to happen with Theresa. Everything comes into question when she receives the building paperwork, though, forcing Kelsey to really think about… (wait for it…) what matters most.
Although What Matters Most is a romance—and trust me, it is—it’s really Kelsey’s book. It’s told in the third person from her perspective, so we learn everything through her. Kelsey is immediately likeable, the kind of person I could easily see myself befriending. We go on quite the journey with her as she deals with things like risk to her business, trying to keep boundaries in place with a friend who wants more, and moving from flirtation to relationship with Theresa. I didn’t always agree with how she handled things, but those were the moments that kept her human and led her to who she was by the end of the book.
Theresa is a fabulous romantic interest and I maybe have a crush on her (yes, fine, of course I do). The way they meet at Starbucks, each with the wrong name on their cup, is adorable, and their chemistry is delicious every step of the way. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that when the crisis hit, I was 100% team Theresa all the way even as I sympathized with Kelsey.
The Writing Style
There’s a lot to love about the writing in What Matters Most. I enjoyed reading about a small business owner and the challenges that go with following your dream, even down to the small details like what it means for her personal finances. It made it easier for me to relate to Kelsey even if I don’t know anything about procuring body lotion or shower gel. And while I’m tempted to talk about how the plotting and pacing are just right, because they are, that feels like table stakes at this point for a Georgia Beers book.
What I appreciated most about the writing in this book—apart from the smoking hot scene that will never let me look a pool the same way again—is that it doesn’t just follow the typical structure of meet cute – date – sex – breakup – makeup – I Love Yous. There’s so much more going on, from the way they flirt to how they each learn who the other really is, the way their feelings come about to how the conflict is resolved and where the relationship is at by the end of the book. All the right romantic elements are there, packaged in a way that kept me interested, surprised, and often smiling.
That pool scene, tho. Ahem.
Wait, I meant everything. Everything about this book worked for me.
If you’re a Georgia Beers fan, you’re going to love this book. If you’ve never read her before and enjoy a great lesbian romance, What Matters Most is a fabulous place to start. I will definitely be rereading this one and I highly recommend it.
Excerpt from What Matters Most by Georgia Beers
The ding of her phone pulled her back to the present, indicating a text. It was from Theresa and couldn’t have come at a better time. Kelsey smiled as she picked it up.
The name Rinaldi’s and an address were staring at her. She was about to punch it into her Maps when a second text came through.
Meet me there at seven. It’s very near my house, so maybe we’ll go back there afterward for a nightcap, yeah? Bring your bathing suit.
Kelsey’s eyebrows raised up into her hairline at the same time her thighs clenched all on their own and she realized exactly how much power this woman had over her. So much, so soon. It was frightening and exhilarating at the same time.
“Bring my bathing suit, huh? Well, that’s ballsy, assuming I’d just automatically wear a bathing suit in front of you. Which, of course, I would.”She glanced at the security monitor then, just to make sure Jeanine wasn’t near enough to hear her.
I’ll be there, she texted back. Can’t say I’ve ever had a nightcap in my bathing suit, but I’m willing to try anything once.
Theresa’s text came back almost immediately. I am jotting more notes.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9780996677493
- Publisher: Brisk Press
Georgia Beers Online
Note: I received a free review copy of What Matters Most by Georgia Beers. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.