Review–Cheating on Myself by Erin Downing

Cheating on Myself
by Erin Downing
Summary: What happens when good enough just isn't enough anymore?
Stella Dahl assumed her life was as good as it was ever going to get. But after twelve years with a man who’s more a habit than husband material, she walks out on her bland existence, determined to start over. Goaded by her friends and a group of crass retirees she befriends at water aerobics, Stella plunges back into the dating pool. After a few false starts, she meets Joe, the sexy banjo player in a popular children’s band. He’s cocky, a smirking flirt, and a musician...everything she’s *not* looking for in a guy. Even still, she begins to fall — hard.
Just when Stella is beginning to think she could find true happiness, a family tragedy turns her world upside down. As she tries to hold together everything that’s crumbling around her, Stella starts slipping back into old habits — and away from Joe. Soon, she begins to wonder: Is she really destined for anything more than a life that’s good enough?
For fans of Jennifer Weiner and Kristan Higgins, CHEATING ON MYSELF is a touching, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy about starting over and finding your happily ever after.

Release Date: Oct 2, 2013

Genre: Adult Romantic Comedy

Where to Buy: Amazon

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Source: I received a Kindle copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


I loved Cheating on Myself. It was such a feel good romantic comedy that made me laugh and gasp and sigh (in a good way). Every once in a while, I find myself craving a good rom com with characters that I connect with and care about and Cheating on Myself did not disappoint. I’ve read the author’s YA novel, None of the Regular Rules and knew I liked her style and character building, so I’m glad I decided to go ahead and review this adult romantic comedy.

Stella was the kind of character I could really understand and even relate to, being a list person myself. She thought she had everything planned out, but realized not a bit of it actually made her happy. I loved her bravery for putting herself back out into the world by herself. She made me laugh, though I totally understood her frustration at doing things alone and missing the comforts a boring and stale, but stable relationship had to offer. 

Stella’s friends were wonderful and hilarious. They seemed to enjoy her new freedom and encouraged her to push herself and try new things. The old ladies in the water aerobics class she signed up for had me laughing out loud and the advice they gave was so real and blunt! I found Cheating on Myself to be believable and I really rooted for Stella to find her own way in the world. The conflict was very push and pull and I never knew what Stella might decide or what the consequences of certain decisions would be. I didn’t know how it would end, but I found myself eagerly turning the pages to figure out what on earth would happen next.

Cheating on Myself was full of romance, drama, and humor and dealt with the issues of finding yourself, figuring out what you want, and being independent. I loved it and a highly recommend it to anyone looking for a light story with memorable characters. Erin Downing is a fabulous contemporary author. I wasn’t sure how her adult novel would be compared to YA, but I thought it was perfect. She really gets into her characters and is able to pull off an extremely believable and relatable story. Stella dealt with real world adult problems and had to navigate life as a newly single person and I thought the author executed the struggles well. Cheating on Myself is the kind of story I’d really love to be turned into a movie.

Cheating on Myself completes the Humor category in the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2013.

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