The title points to the premise: the heroine Merritt is recently divorced and hurting, and had only one serious relationship before her marriage. Her Sassy Gay Friend decides that what she needs is more experience, some confidence boosters, and lots of good sex, and sells her on the idea of dating one new man per month of the new year.
It’s really a brilliant plot device. There’s a reason to have a wide variety of very different lovers, all in a context that makes sense, and there’s the chronology moving forward, but in a contained amount of time.
As a reader, I fell immediately into the same trap Merritt did: I really liked Mr. January! Why couldn’t she just stay with him?? But at the same time, I did buy into premise, that it’s hard for Merritt to really know what kind of man is best for her if she’s never had very many. So, like her, I regretfully watched the very sexy Mr. January exit and Mr. February enter (and he was great too). The Lovers of the Month were all sexy, and all in different ways. Merritt is, as they say, “good, giving, and game” and she gives them all a fair chance; treats none of them poorly; and has just a ton of hot sex.
It’s also a plot device that could bog down if adhered to too closely. If Chapter 1 was January and Chapter 2 was February, and so on, till December in Chapter 12, you might find yourself getting bored with the predictability. But a few surprises and twists kept the plot from seeming too forced.
Things I especially liked about this book (in addition to Mr. January): 1) very good sex scenes, 2) the various subplots; 3) the writing style, which was light and often humorous, but still conveyed some surprisingly touching feelings very well.
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