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Meryl Wilsner

Author of Something to Talk About

5 Works 804 Members 51 Reviews

Works by Meryl Wilsner

Something to Talk About (2020) 401 copies
Mistakes Were Made (2022) 257 copies
Cleat Cute (2023) 144 copies
Untitled 1 copy

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I was expecting a bit more tension especially concerning the replacing part and the injury. Both didn't really have any effects on the story in the end so I was just expecting something different going into this.

If I had been more aware from the start that they fall into this friends with benefits situation right away I might have had an easier time with my expectations.
½
 
Flagged
umbaliaG | 7 other reviews | Mar 24, 2024 |
Phoebe, an up-and-coming soccer star from middle-of-nowhere America is star-struck when she meets her long-time idol Grace Henderson. Grace, however, can’t be bothered to get close to anyone, let alone another rookie…not after what happened last time. But when they end up on the same Women’s National Team they realize they’re going to have to get along or risk screwing their chances at the World Cup before it even begins.

As the pair grow closer despite their obvious differences, they find their chemistry is undeniable, both on and off the field. But after an injury sidelines Grace and Phoebe is poised to take her place their already rocky friends-with-benefits situation finds itself in a tricky spot. Can Grace see past her own insecurities and actually let Phoebe in? And can Phoebe listen well enough to support Grace in the ways she needs? All while learning how to work together instead of against each other on the field?

Meryl Wilsner does it again! I knew going into this it was going to be a steamy one and this read did not disappoint. But as I’ve come to appreciate with Wilsner’s writing the spicy scenes serve a purpose in the plot and aren’t just forced in. The story and characters would have different outcomes without those scenes and they push the narrative compared to hindering it...

Often in romance, it feels like there’s a trade-off between plot or character development. But Cleat Cute left me with both a high-stakes plot and characters I deeply cared about. And I learned a ton about professional soccer. I did truly believe too that these characters were real because of how well the backstory was woven in. After reading it I wanted to google “Phenom Soccer” or look up Grace Henderson’s many interviews. And it was a bit of a disappointment when I realized I couldn’t but that’s a testament to the quality of writing Meryl gives us.

One of my favorite things about the book is its treatment of lesbianism. I rarely ever see the word “lesbian” even in WLW romance novels so to see two lesbian-identifying characters was so exciting. Not only did we get lesbian-on-lesbian action but we got two vastly different approaches to lesbianism. Phoebe, an out and proud lesbian who weaves being queer into every part of her identity is far more like me. However, Grace is much more reserved in her sexuality. And although she isn’t closeted, her identity does not crop up in her life much more than who she chooses to be with romantically. I know it’s a small aspect of the overall book but having characters that truly feel queer really does elevate the story.

This book is also what I call a queer WLW book. And what I mean by that is the only thing gay about Cleat Cute isn’t just that the lead characters are AFAB and into each other. But there are a variety of queer characters and multiple queer topics are discussed. It is a queer book for queer people and doesn’t try to make its content more “digestible” or heternormative. Which is a huge plus.

All in all, I would definitely recommend Cleat Cute if you like complex opposites attract romance and hot sex scenes. You’ll find yourself relating to both Phoebe and Grace at different times and rooting for them throughout the whole story. Plus there’s a World Cup to win! Happy reading!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending this eARC for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
… (more)
 
Flagged
the.lesbian.library | 7 other reviews | Jan 15, 2024 |
Very taboo subject matter that was handled fairly well. I loved Erin and Cassie, but I couldn't stand Parker as a character until the very end of the book. Solid 4/5.
 
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ddallegretto | 13 other reviews | Jan 11, 2024 |

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Works
5
Members
804
Popularity
#31,726
Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
51
ISBNs
18
Languages
1

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