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It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake

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What if you made yourself your number one priority? Of all the women and men Noni Blake has pleased in her life, there's one she's often overlooked--herself. After the end of a decade-long relationship, Noni decides it's time for that to change. She's finally going to prioritize her wants and desires and only do things (and people) that feel good in the moment. As she embark What if you made yourself your number one priority? Of all the women and men Noni Blake has pleased in her life, there's one she's often overlooked--herself. After the end of a decade-long relationship, Noni decides it's time for that to change. She's finally going to prioritize her wants and desires and only do things (and people) that feel good in the moment. As she embarks on a pleasure-seeking quest that takes her halfway around the world, she discovers that maybe she can have everything, and everyone, she's ever wanted. Effortlessly hilarious and relatable, Claire Christian spins a fresh, feel-good tale about starting over as a thirtysomething woman who's been living life for everyone else. A story of self-discovery for the ages, Noni's journey serves as a sparkling reminder that life is what we make of it--so why not enjoy it?


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What if you made yourself your number one priority? Of all the women and men Noni Blake has pleased in her life, there's one she's often overlooked--herself. After the end of a decade-long relationship, Noni decides it's time for that to change. She's finally going to prioritize her wants and desires and only do things (and people) that feel good in the moment. As she embark What if you made yourself your number one priority? Of all the women and men Noni Blake has pleased in her life, there's one she's often overlooked--herself. After the end of a decade-long relationship, Noni decides it's time for that to change. She's finally going to prioritize her wants and desires and only do things (and people) that feel good in the moment. As she embarks on a pleasure-seeking quest that takes her halfway around the world, she discovers that maybe she can have everything, and everyone, she's ever wanted. Effortlessly hilarious and relatable, Claire Christian spins a fresh, feel-good tale about starting over as a thirtysomething woman who's been living life for everyone else. A story of self-discovery for the ages, Noni's journey serves as a sparkling reminder that life is what we make of it--so why not enjoy it?

30 review for It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is an entertaining and impactful book about the main character putting herself first and finding herself. Noni has always focused on everyone else and for the first time in her life is putting herself first. Noni decides she is moving to Europe for a few months and temporarily leaves her old life behind. Noni focuses on finding herself and discovering what will make her happy. Noni starts this journey still not over a long term relationship that ended eighteen mo It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is an entertaining and impactful book about the main character putting herself first and finding herself. Noni has always focused on everyone else and for the first time in her life is putting herself first. Noni decides she is moving to Europe for a few months and temporarily leaves her old life behind. Noni focuses on finding herself and discovering what will make her happy. Noni starts this journey still not over a long term relationship that ended eighteen months ago. Noni is a complex character that is relatable at least to some extent. Her trip does not go as planned. Noni ends up in hilarious awkward situations. She is embracing and exploring her sexuality. Noni meets a new friend and finds a job. She finds an unexpected love interest and has to decide what she actually wants out of their time together. It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is full of funny moments but also serious topics. Noni discusses counseling and the effects of a miscarriage even years later. All of the characters are unique and the story is the perfect mix of entertaining and serious. Noni shows the reader that it’s never too late to find yourself. Thank you MIRA, HARLEQUIN Trade Publishing, and NetGalley for It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    4.5 stars With the stress of everyday life, I'm always game for a fun read and this book certainly fit the bill. The writing style reminded me of Sophie Kinsella but with more colorful language and some uh, detailed bedroom scenes. I loved the message of the book which is go out and do things for yourself and quit worrying what other people think. It's been awhile since Noni and her long-term girlfriend, Joan, broke up. Noni has come to the conclusion she needs to make some big changes in her life 4.5 stars With the stress of everyday life, I'm always game for a fun read and this book certainly fit the bill. The writing style reminded me of Sophie Kinsella but with more colorful language and some uh, detailed bedroom scenes. I loved the message of the book which is go out and do things for yourself and quit worrying what other people think. It's been awhile since Noni and her long-term girlfriend, Joan, broke up. Noni has come to the conclusion she needs to make some big changes in her life in order to truly be happy. She's going to stop overthinking things and instead just do what feels good in the moment. Hmm... doing everything she wants. What could go wrong and what could go right? I'm thankful the author chose to feature a bisexual main character as the representation in fiction still remains woefully low. Noni has an active sex life and there are some scenes that are graphic and might turn off some readers. (pun intended) We all have our opinions on romance novels and the steam factor. Personally, I thought it fit in well with the context of Noni being a sexually liberated woman. Noni is a likeable character and while the book is full of humor, you do get background info on a few tough things she's had to deal with in life. The only thing that slightly bugged me was Noni had the ideal personality for this "I do what I want. I choose me." type journey. She's outgoing and it's easy for her to make friends in just about any situation. When everyone seems to think you are awesome, that has to give you a boost in confidence and allows you not to worry as much about other people's opinions. I think the story would have been more interesting if Noni had a quiet and shy personality. Don't get me wrong though, I really did enjoy this book a great deal. Recommend for anyone who needs a reminder that life is short so you might as well do what makes you happy. I won a free copy of this book from the publisher but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    To say that I was eager to read Claire Christian's sophomore novel would be an understatement, as would to off-handedly mention that her books are not really written with a middle aged, middle class, heteronormative white guy in mind. So I was thrilled when I was finally able to pick up an advanced copy. Her debut novel reminded me of all of the many feelings of adolescence so perfectly that I found myself missing my manga sized swoosh haircut and getting out my emo mixtapes, and she has followed To say that I was eager to read Claire Christian's sophomore novel would be an understatement, as would to off-handedly mention that her books are not really written with a middle aged, middle class, heteronormative white guy in mind. So I was thrilled when I was finally able to pick up an advanced copy. Her debut novel reminded me of all of the many feelings of adolescence so perfectly that I found myself missing my manga sized swoosh haircut and getting out my emo mixtapes, and she has followed that up with a modern update of the romcom genre that Netflix would be proud to have in their growing stable of life affirming tales of love and otherness. Claire is very clearly passionate about empowering her audience, and her capacity for joy is evident as Noni Blake discovers the real pleasure of putting herself first via some completely outrageous sexual (mis)adventures, an unanticipated encounter with an Aussie backpacker in Amsterdam (but who hasn't met an Aussie backpacker every time they've traveled?) which made me gasp in delight and the kind of wish fulfilment fantasy that genres are made for. And that's before you even consider the modern take on the classic romantic lead - Beau the educated, emotionally intelligent, insanely handsome, bearded tattooist - dispatched on to the page in an attempt to sweep Noni out of my life forever. There are moments I may never forget, I have already used one of Noni's questionable sex scenes as an anecdote on a date to demonstrate that things could definitely be worse that having a beer with me for example, and I definitely could have done with a lot more of the adventure and less of the romance - see the first paragraph - and whilst on the surface it might appear to be a much lighter novel than Beautiful Mess, Noni Blake's pleasure quest actually tackles the same important themes of self care, self worth, and finding your place in the world, no matter how old you are, how many times you have let yourself down, or how often somebody has covered you in honey during a one night stand.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tabs

    DNF'd at 12%. I picked this up because the premise sounded fun and I'm always down for disaster bisexuals. In the first couple of chapters, I found myself liking a lot of things including the author's voice, the queerness, and the main character's best friend. But then the story started taking a bizarre direction and I was done. (view spoiler)[I flat out don't want to read a book where the main character has reluctant sex with a white supremacist. There are a myriad number of ways to show a char DNF'd at 12%. I picked this up because the premise sounded fun and I'm always down for disaster bisexuals. In the first couple of chapters, I found myself liking a lot of things including the author's voice, the queerness, and the main character's best friend. But then the story started taking a bizarre direction and I was done. (view spoiler)[I flat out don't want to read a book where the main character has reluctant sex with a white supremacist. There are a myriad number of ways to show a character hitting rock bottom that aren't THAT, FFS. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake is the second novel by Australian novelist and playwright, Claire Christian. Eighteen months out of a nine-year relationship, Noni Blake is still, unintentionally, celibate, until a one-night-stand with the firefighter. The tragic event that follows is the impetus to stop “putting on twelve kilos, dyeing my hair too dark, spending way too much money on therapy” and start trying again. The result of a late-night drinking session with her best friend since third gr It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake is the second novel by Australian novelist and playwright, Claire Christian. Eighteen months out of a nine-year relationship, Noni Blake is still, unintentionally, celibate, until a one-night-stand with the firefighter. The tragic event that follows is the impetus to stop “putting on twelve kilos, dyeing my hair too dark, spending way too much money on therapy” and start trying again. The result of a late-night drinking session with her best friend since third grade, Lindell and his partner, Graham, is the list of the Should-Have-Boned. Ever her sounding board for all things, Lindell supports and encourages her to take the big step: Europe, and the last name on that list, Molly. “Doing this may disrupt the very comfortable fabric of my life. And that’s petrifying, because I’m very comfortable here. I know how things work. How I work. I’m happy being relatively unhappy.” When Molly becomes a major disappointment, Noni’s unfailing London friends step in to comfort and distract, and an Edinburgh retreat results in Noni’s Pleasure Quest. This includes quite a lot of sex, a trip to Amsterdam, a tattoo (and encountering a Viking-like tattoo artist, Beau). It’s likely that Noni, both in thought and action, will initially strike the reader as immature: thirty-six going on sixteen. She lacks self-esteem, has body image issues, fails to listen to the inner voice, and makes poor decisions, some of which she justifies with “Sometimes we need to experience things to know they’re what we don’t want.” She does, eventually, get it together (“I feel like an idiot for thinking diving into my past would change anything about the present”), even if she spends way too long in angsty self-analysis. There’s copious use of expletives which, while perhaps fitting for the characters and their cohort, may bother some readers, as may Noni’s rampant promiscuity and the explicit sexual descriptions. But Christian does have a way with words: “Like I’m a blob of paint and a brush has come in and swirled me in a perfect circle” and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Christian does give her characters some wise words and insightful comments: “I think aging is actually just about getting used to yourself, you know? Getting used to the way you are, the way you work, the way you process things, the weird things that make you unique. I think we spend so much time early on figuring that out. Or fighting against it.” While it won’t appeal to everyone, Claire Christian’s second novel is funny and ultimately feel-good. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Text Publishing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fiction Addition Angela

    You know when a friend, a book friend tells you to read a book, you think ohh this is going to be good. Wrong.... this is all the way to the moon and back, orbiting somewhere in the galaxy, fantastically good. Noni is having a melt down, she’s ended her relationship after 9 years with Joan, the one night stand she just rather enjoyed, the fit firefighter tragically dies, and after a deep and meaningful conversation with her two male gay friends she decides to hop it to Europe and in her words go You know when a friend, a book friend tells you to read a book, you think ohh this is going to be good. Wrong.... this is all the way to the moon and back, orbiting somewhere in the galaxy, fantastically good. Noni is having a melt down, she’s ended her relationship after 9 years with Joan, the one night stand she just rather enjoyed, the fit firefighter tragically dies, and after a deep and meaningful conversation with her two male gay friends she decides to hop it to Europe and in her words go on a ‘pleasure quest’ - what’s that? It’s doing small things, everyday things, that you really want to do but tell yourself you can’t because... because well because you just can’t bloody do them you’ve got to be sensible and pay bills, go to work, you get the drift and besides what will people think? You know we all think it, and feel it and if your truly honest, we all have a million conversations in our head each day about what you want to do, wear, think, feel, and how you SHOULD behave... well, Noni has those conversations. Reading this you are nodding and smiling in agreement as she sets off on a mission, and gets brave and begins her quest of finding out what will make her happy. Meeting Beau along the way who is an extremely savvy, sexy Viking no messing god of a man helps and if you think this is just another Rom - com and your eyes are now glazing over your wrong. This book is a romance but is also about being true, doing what you totally want, - to eat,✅ drink,✅dye, ✅kiss, ✅fuck✅ (yes there’s a lot of that kinda talk and action in this one) and hell yes getting a tattoo ✅if you think you really should. This is about Noni taking control of her life, sex with who she wants (that will have some squirming) (and some smiling). A book that tackles, self love, self care, finally being just you. Strong language, sex scenes and normal life! Thank you Claire Christian for making me smile for 300 plus pages and Net galley for this cracker of an advanced copy and Text Publishing you’ve got a hit on your hands here. 5 pleasure quest stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Publishes 29 September in the UK and February for the USA

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cathi - LovesBooksMore

    This book is a great inspirational read. As we follow Noni on her ‘Pleasure Quest‘ to Europe to find what pleases her specifically- it gives the reader insight as to what we all need... to find ourselves again in the crazy world. The journey was so much more, but the story warmed my heart to follow Noni and her emotional roller coaster.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (Diva Booknerd)

    Noni Blake lives her life in shades of beige, she's dependable, steadfast and on the verge of embarking on a pleasure quest throughout Europe. Noni is a formidable woman, we first meet Noni as she's healing from the breakup of her nine year long relationship with Joan, sharing a mortgage and child of the four legged variety. The split was amicable but while Joan has seemingly moved on, Noni uses the opportunity to step out of her beige comfort zone and take life by the balls. Leaving her fabulous Noni Blake lives her life in shades of beige, she's dependable, steadfast and on the verge of embarking on a pleasure quest throughout Europe. Noni is a formidable woman, we first meet Noni as she's healing from the breakup of her nine year long relationship with Joan, sharing a mortgage and child of the four legged variety. The split was amicable but while Joan has seemingly moved on, Noni uses the opportunity to step out of her beige comfort zone and take life by the balls. Leaving her fabulously gay best friend behind in Australia, Noni departs for London, a to do list in hand, quite literally. Molly is the one that almost was but neither she or Noni could get their shit together and hook up. So rather than always wonder, Noni plans on making the next six months count. Sexy times, horrendous sexual encounters, new lingerie, posing nude, drinking, indulging and one incredibly sexy viking later and Noni finds herself the embodiment of female empowerment. The new sexy and confident Noni lives her life to the fullest and I absolutely adored her. She's plump, a bit of a bogan and responsible for her own orgasms. She's bright, outgoing and is learning to embrace her imperfections and find comfort in her own body. I loved Noni's authenticity. She's insecure and vulnerable and completely relatable. She owns her sexuality and after years of teaching and putting others happiness before her own, she's finally finally putting her own needs first. Noni is bisexual and after her nine year relationship ended, a one night stand prompts her to pack up her life and travel. It's inspirational, not to mention incredibly brave. In much the same way that Marie Kondo asks, does it spark joy, Noni is seeking pleasure through travel, friendships, lovers and finding moments of happiness. Temporary pleasure comes at the hands and mouths of people she meets along her journey, from a female firefighter, high school principal, magician, the one who could have been and the Viking, the gentle and kind tattoo artist Beau. Her sexual misadventures are hilarious, even kinky in some instances but Noni takes each experience in her stride and along with her close circle of friends from home and abroad, is discovering she prefers unbridled, adventurous Noni. The Viking was delightfully unexpected. On a whim, Noni decides to get herself inked while in London, walking in off the street into small tattoo studio where she meets artist Beau, bearded, burly and gentle and as he marks her skin, she's fantasising about getting on on the table and girl, merry orgasm to you my friend. Beau isn't just a conquest, he could very well be the love of Noni's life but beyond her pleasure quest, her new life of saying yes, of friends and parties and painting the town not quite red because she's still a responsible adult, Noni has her friends, family and career in Australia and Beau seems content to enjoy their fling while it lasts. Oh how I loved It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake! It's fun, flirty and outrageously funny but beneath the surface lies a book about falling in love with yourself. There's a little bit of Noni in all of us.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Text Publishing

    The following book reviews have been shared by Text Publishing – publisher of It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake ‘The dialogue is preppy, fun and sharp…I wanted to jump inside the world Christian has created…This is an all-round feel-good read, and utterly charming.’ Jessie Tu, Women’s Agenda 'This is a frank and funny novel that is refreshingly, unabashedly, queer and inclusive. Noni is many things: witty, self-deprecating, fat, loving, considerate, and bisexual; and the fact that Christian has mana The following book reviews have been shared by Text Publishing – publisher of It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake ‘The dialogue is preppy, fun and sharp…I wanted to jump inside the world Christian has created…This is an all-round feel-good read, and utterly charming.’ Jessie Tu, Women’s Agenda 'This is a frank and funny novel that is refreshingly, unabashedly, queer and inclusive. Noni is many things: witty, self-deprecating, fat, loving, considerate, and bisexual; and the fact that Christian has managed to include almost every iteration of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum into this delightful book without making it A Book About Being Queer is actually kind of radical. For readers struggling through a quarter-life crisis, a Saturn rising, a breakup, a tough year, It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is the romantic comedy you want to lose yourself in. As Noni embarks on her life-changing pursuit of pleasure, you’re taken along on a joyous, absurd, and sex-filled ride. But, underneath it all, there is a great depth of feeling.’ Readings ‘Noni's comic voice is so refreshing, so endearing...I truly felt a bit bolder after reading this book…It felt pleasurable—and we can all do with a bit more pleasure.’ Age 'A funny, engaging, and light-hearted story… I recommend it to anyone who is in desperate need of a holiday (or a mental escape at least), or a bit of saucy fun mixed with disaster people. I assure you, you won’t regret it one bit!’ Nerd Daily ‘A vibrant story of self discovery…Both a celebration of pleasure and a dissection of the restrictions people place on their own lives, this is sure to capture readers’ hearts.’ Publishers Weekly (starred review) 'The perfect rom-com book to carry with you as you take your mind off 2020. It is so comforting to read a story about a queer, single woman in her 30s, seeking out whatever makes her feel good. I laughed out loud countless times.’ Jessie Tu, Sydney Morning Herald 'This book’s amazing. This is hilarious…If you thought Bridget Jones needed more smut, this is for you.’ 3RRR 'All in all, this is a highly entertaining and effervescent romp, that also manages to encompass the type of deep self-reflection and learning that comes when life requires big changes from a person.’ Leanne Hall 'Delightful… A celebration of pleasure and a dissection of the restrictions people place on their own lives, this is sure to capture readers’ hearts.' Publishers Weekly

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    I read this book as an arc through Netgalley. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity. However, the thoughts that follow are my own. Keywords: LGBT+, Bicon, romcom, inspirational, body-positive This book resonated with me in a way I wasn't expecting and was honestly unprepared for. Especially considering that I almost put it down and walked away early on. Within the first act, I really struggled with the titular character Noni Blake. This novel is frequently compared to Bridget J I read this book as an arc through Netgalley. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity. However, the thoughts that follow are my own. Keywords: LGBT+, Bicon, romcom, inspirational, body-positive This book resonated with me in a way I wasn't expecting and was honestly unprepared for. Especially considering that I almost put it down and walked away early on. Within the first act, I really struggled with the titular character Noni Blake. This novel is frequently compared to Bridget Jones' Diary, a book I've never been fond of personally, and Noni's early self-deprecating mindset and interpersonal awkwardness were really hammering home that Bridget Jones comparison. But before I scare you away with my early grumpiness about this book, let me tell you that It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake not only gets better but becomes the true pleasure that its name suggests. I gave Noni Blake four stars out of five because of that early frustration, but this book has become a recent favorite. If you're a character-driven reader, then this is going to be such a satisfying experience—Noni's journey from awkward to self-actualized is one of the most validating and empowering character arcs I've read in contemporary fiction. Stuck in an only vaguely-satisfying job as a high school counselor and still smarting from the end of a long-term relationship, Noni Blake starts to imagine "what if?" What if those people I had the opportunity for love (or at least a good time) hadn't passed me by? Feeling inspired, Noni tries to track down those folks on her f*ck-it list, including her ultimate missed opportunity in love, Molly, who runs a hostel in Europe. Nothing goes as planned in Noni's adventure, which ends up being set largely in the UK. Without dropping any spoilers, Noni discovers that love isn't in the place she expected but the real adventure is finding it in yourself first. Sounds cliche, I know, but this book made me laugh uncontrollably and sob into a pillow mere pages later. I promise the emotional depths are there. For me, this was an emotional read that took me by surprise. It was sex-positive, body-positive, and dealt with anxiety and grief so beautifully that it was humbling. I also loved that Noni was in her mid-thirties and didn't have it all together; instead of that being the pivot point for depression or stasis (something I think mid-thirty-something female characters are too often subjected to in literary fiction) Noni changes everything and sends the message that your life isn't over after a certain age. As someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, and a healthy self-image, Noni Blake was relatable but also so inspiring. There's so much I want to gush about in this book because there are some scenes that just hit home or had me in a swoon. I hesitate to say too much in case of spoilers, but I do want to emphasize the value of all of Noni's relationships in this book. Yes, there's a dynamite romance component with some deliciously steamy scenes scattered throughout. But I also valued all the types of love you get a peek into throughout the novel—found family, deep friendships, long-term marriages, and parent-child dynamics—all of it shows up in meaningful ways. There's just so much more to this book than I anticipated and it's meant more to me than I can say. Thank you, Claire Christian, for writing a book I didn't know I needed!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pauline [paulineisreading]

    This novel gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings, got me laughing out loud AND swooning over its characters and their relationships. It’s fun, it’s sexy, and it’s got so much heart. Although it may be light-hearted, it’s in no way ‘fluffy’ and covers some harrowing topics too. I read it during a time when i was feeling a bit fragile physically and mentally and it felt like such a big warm hug. Noni Blake is a 36 year old high school teacher who’s been getting over a break up of a long-term, com This novel gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings, got me laughing out loud AND swooning over its characters and their relationships. It’s fun, it’s sexy, and it’s got so much heart. Although it may be light-hearted, it’s in no way ‘fluffy’ and covers some harrowing topics too. I read it during a time when i was feeling a bit fragile physically and mentally and it felt like such a big warm hug. Noni Blake is a 36 year old high school teacher who’s been getting over a break up of a long-term, committed relationship. When the joint property Noni owned with her ex gets sold, Noni decides to use the money to travel and embark on a ‘pleasure quest’ where she puts herself and her happiness first. The diversity of the characters feels so organic and natural which was so lovely to read and not feel forced in any way. Sometimes when a book ~tries~ to be diverse, you get the sense that the writer’s just trying to tick all the right boxes, but this wasn’t the sense that i got with Noni. Noni herself posesses the perfect balance of having insecurities that we can all relate to, but also remarkable self awareness and self-love qualities! I also love how much the characters are able to communicate throughout the book. This sounds like something minor but i often find that most romance books’ premise is built on the miscommunication between its characters that gets dragged out which can be so frustrating! There’s no slow burn moments with Noni, things get resolved quickly but again always in an organic, satisfying way. I also love the fact that this is a queer novel without it solely ‘about’ being queer. Noni is so comfortable with her sexual identity and it was very refreshing to see. I don’t think i could love Noni more if i tried - so do yourselves a favour and give this one a read too!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bec

    When fuck is in the opening lines you know it’s going to be a good book. You know the feeling when you’re trying to pick and book and nothings scratching that itch. This book was my book, it made me feel all the feels. And made me stay up to midnight because it consumed me. Noni is in a rut. Her life ended when her partner of 9 years Joan (the house, the dog and the failed ivf) left. Noni struggled to find herself and couldn’t build her confidence back up form a negative value. The best way to get When fuck is in the opening lines you know it’s going to be a good book. You know the feeling when you’re trying to pick and book and nothings scratching that itch. This book was my book, it made me feel all the feels. And made me stay up to midnight because it consumed me. Noni is in a rut. Her life ended when her partner of 9 years Joan (the house, the dog and the failed ivf) left. Noni struggled to find herself and couldn’t build her confidence back up form a negative value. The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else right? A sexy firefighter sparks her interest they hit it off and she has a one night stand. Tragically she dies and Noni has a midlife crisis moment and decides she needs a fuck it list of all the people she wish she’d fucked and a plan to begin her pleasurequest. Noni backs her bags and heads to Europe in search of fulfilment, pleasure and exploration. Then she meets Beau, the hot, tattooed, Vikings that changes the course. Happiness is always the right choice.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kahlia

    There wasn’t one big thing that bothered me about this book, just a bunch of small things that rubbed me the wrong way, unfortunately. In particular, I didn't like the conflation of 'pleasure' and 'self-enlightenment' with sex/romance, at the expense of exploring Noni's feelings about her parents, her career, and whether or not she wanted to have a baby. I didn't like how cheaply the encounter with the firefighter who kicks off this story was treated. And, I also found the dialogue to be 'off'; There wasn’t one big thing that bothered me about this book, just a bunch of small things that rubbed me the wrong way, unfortunately. In particular, I didn't like the conflation of 'pleasure' and 'self-enlightenment' with sex/romance, at the expense of exploring Noni's feelings about her parents, her career, and whether or not she wanted to have a baby. I didn't like how cheaply the encounter with the firefighter who kicks off this story was treated. And, I also found the dialogue to be 'off'; I wasn't convinced by how open and brash everyone was with each other, all the time. I did like that this is a queer book that's not about being queer (Noni's bisexuality is a total non-event), but I wish I'd enjoyed it more.

  14. 4 out of 5

    mindful.librarian ☀️

    (free review copy) ❤️ FAVORITE READ OF 2021 (so far) I can’t even describe how much I love this book. So I won’t try. Just know it made me sublimely happy reading it and it’s the most sex positive book I’ve read in a long long time. Also I want to marry Beau in an alternate life. I wish I could say everyone should read this book, but what I’ll say instead is that everyone who is very very comfortable reading about lots and lots of sex with many different partners should read this book because it (free review copy) ❤️ FAVORITE READ OF 2021 (so far) I can’t even describe how much I love this book. So I won’t try. Just know it made me sublimely happy reading it and it’s the most sex positive book I’ve read in a long long time. Also I want to marry Beau in an alternate life. I wish I could say everyone should read this book, but what I’ll say instead is that everyone who is very very comfortable reading about lots and lots of sex with many different partners should read this book because it’s absolutely delightful ❤️

  15. 4 out of 5

    Star

    I received an e-Advanced Reader Copy from Text Publishing via Net Galley to read and review in exchange for an honest opinion. This has not impacted my views. The first thing I want to say is that I love the few interactive videos in this e-ARC, that was fun. Especially the one that was in the middle of the book. I'll miss that in a physical copy, I think. This was a fun, sexy, adventure filled rom-com that so many people will enjoy, and I can't wait for it to be out in the world. How does one bein I received an e-Advanced Reader Copy from Text Publishing via Net Galley to read and review in exchange for an honest opinion. This has not impacted my views. The first thing I want to say is that I love the few interactive videos in this e-ARC, that was fun. Especially the one that was in the middle of the book. I'll miss that in a physical copy, I think. This was a fun, sexy, adventure filled rom-com that so many people will enjoy, and I can't wait for it to be out in the world. How does one being to summarise their feelings for a book like It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake? It’s been 24 hours since I finished it, and I am still trying to form the words that are good enough to comprehend how I feel, and how this book made me feel. I love that Noni is unapologetically bisexual. And that she’s a disaster human because I feel like we can all relate to that just a little bit. One of the best things about this book is reading Noni’s pleasure quest – her ability to just go for things, while still having the fear of doing them, and yet desiring to continue anyway. Noni is ballsy, brave, has a wicked sense of humour and is someone that I’d love as a best friend. This isn’t a very good review, but I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of this book and I am so glad that I requested for an ARC (and was approved, too!) because this is a book I will be recommending to everyone I possibly can. 4/5 stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anna Reads Here

    Oh my god, where do I even start with this book?! Okay, first of all, A MILLION STARS FOR THIS WONDERFUL WONDERFUL BOOK. Secondly, I have never felt more seen by a book than this one and I can’t tell if I’m glad that it got to my truths or if I’m horrified about that. But all of that doesn’t matter when this book was so damn beautiful. “It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake” is a story about love, but not just romantic love. It’s about platonic love with friends, it’s about loving the people that you’ Oh my god, where do I even start with this book?! Okay, first of all, A MILLION STARS FOR THIS WONDERFUL WONDERFUL BOOK. Secondly, I have never felt more seen by a book than this one and I can’t tell if I’m glad that it got to my truths or if I’m horrified about that. But all of that doesn’t matter when this book was so damn beautiful. “It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake” is a story about love, but not just romantic love. It’s about platonic love with friends, it’s about loving the people that you’ve lost, but most importantly, it’s about loving yourself. The amount of self-love in this book will make anyone happy and to have a group of people who support you through your best and worst times is just the added bonus. So, Noni Blake is a 36 year old teacher. She’s slowly starting to recover from the end of her very long relationship, while trying to move on in any way she possibly can. One night stands galore fill her time, some of them exciting and some she would rather forget completely. But it all makes her realise something - she needs to do something else, get away and find herself. Leaving her job behind for a six month trip around the world does sound daunting, but for the first time in her life, Noni wants to be selfish and take some time for herself. Plus, she’s made this list and she wants to cross things off her list and reconnect with the one woman that got away. What could possibly go wrong? I haven’t felt this connected to a character like I did with Noni. She’s the same age as me, she’s also feeling a little stuck in her life, she’s bisexual and she’s plus sized. While Noni has more game than me with both genders, her inner monologues spoke to me on every level. So Noni goes to Europe, taking the time she needs to find herself, where she reconnects with her friend Naz (who is honestly one of my favourite fictional friends of all time) and her husband Tom. But when she goes on a retreat with them, her original ‘fuck it list’ turns into a ‘pleasure quest’. Noni is going to find things in her life that give her pleasure. Not just sexual pleasure, but the kind of pleasure that makes you proud of yourself, makes you giggle with glee and honestly, pleasure that just satisfies every part of you. “But there’s one relationship I’ve neglected my whole life: my relationship with myself. I disregard my feelings. I don’t value my desires. I don’t nurture myself. I’m mean. Holy shit. Pleasure isn’t a person. It’s personal. And I need to work out what it looks like to me.” Her journey takes her to places and through experiences and also into the arms of a very sexy Viking named Beau. He’s not really a Viking, but he’s got all the makings of it. And quite honestly, he’s so damn sexy that you wish he was real. Their first meeting is over a tattoo and it’s hilarious and entertaining and also incredibly sexy. But things with Beau don’t end there. It starts casual, grows into something more and evolves into a fling and well...you know the rest. But, Noni is still on her pleasure quest. And while Beau plays a big part in that, their time together is numbered. Beau and Noni don’t let that get in the way, they know what it’s temporary, they enjoy each other endlessly and for the first time in her life, Noni lets someone else into her life. Someone who hasn’t known her since she was a kid. The book is filled with hot sexy times, awkward and hilarious sexual misadventures, a host of incredibly entertaining characters and the best quest to find yourself. Even though Noni finds a lot of her strength in Beau, her journey to really discovering who she is and what she wants is so damn beautiful to witness. Noni is sunshine personified. She enjoys everything, she’s fearless and she’s outgoing, she’s the kind of person that you wish you had by your side to push you to do things even if she’s not going to do them right away. Just everything about Noni was beautiful. It took me so long to put my words down about how much I loved this book, but if you get the chance to get your hands on this magical story, please don’t hold back. It will change your life. Thanks to NetGalley, Text Publishing & Claire Christian for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carly Findlay

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. CW: IVF, pregnancy loss I just adored this book. Noni Blake is a 36 year old bisexual fat woman, who is trying to find herself again after a nine year relationship. After the settlement of the unit she and her ex partner had together, she takes a sabbatical from her teaching job and goes to the UK and Europe. She’s on a pleasure quest - which involves saying yea to sleeping with different people, and finding herself too. Travel, a tattoo, dancing alone, Noni meets Beau when she got a tattoo. He’s CW: IVF, pregnancy loss I just adored this book. Noni Blake is a 36 year old bisexual fat woman, who is trying to find herself again after a nine year relationship. After the settlement of the unit she and her ex partner had together, she takes a sabbatical from her teaching job and goes to the UK and Europe. She’s on a pleasure quest - which involves saying yea to sleeping with different people, and finding herself too. Travel, a tattoo, dancing alone, Noni meets Beau when she got a tattoo. He’s like a Viking - she keeps saying how beautiful he is, and he feels the same way about her. What started as a fling leads to something much bigger. Their relationship was #CoupleGoals. They were wonderful, I cheered for them. And Beau was such a good communicator, so in touch with his emotions. I want to see more of this. There’s a great exchange in the book about how, even though men have treated women badly, men are let down. So poignant. There’s some hot sex scenes in the book. Claire knows how to write a good sex scene without cliche, and with humour. There were also some terrible sex scenes. Noni’s friends were so great - so well developed. I really liked Lindel and Lil. Even Beau’s son Zeppelin had in-depth character development and interesting dialogue. The dialogue was fantastic, and it was LOL funny. The trumpet! There are some great body positive and body neutral messages in the book. - i loved it when Noni felt fabulous in her clothes; and also the nude photo shoots - especially with the woman with scars from her. breast cancer treatment and removal. I also loved the paragraph admitting to clumsy ableism - which I hope makes readers think about disabled not being homogenous. I would have liked to have seen a little more diversity represented though - writing explicitly describing different races, disabled and trans characters would be great. It’s not enough to make shite, non disabled, cisgender the default - we need to see diverse representation written down. There’s also a great storyline about fertility treatment and same sex couple family planning - an insight into the difficulty of the IVF process. It also covers the depth of grief attached to losing a pregnancy. This is a coming of age book as an adult. It’s about trying new things and also being happy with yourself. And not settling for bad sex or toxic people. It’s also about letting yourself be loved, no matter your body shape or size, or the way you feel about it. I have followed Claire on Instagram for a few years, - and I’m so glad I have. I see the confidence Noni has in Claire. The representations in this book are so important - LGBTIQA+, body positive and fatness, bodily difference and also a woman who really enjoys sec. I listened to the audiobook and devoured it. Such a great read. I stayed up almost all night reading this.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    I liked the cover for this book and was interested in the synopsis. I just couldn’t strike a chord with this book. Noni is out to seek pleasure for herself and grabs life and sex with gusto. I just couldn’t relate to the story. I’m sure it will be appealing to many readers, but this book was a pass me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    I’m on a joy-seeking reading quest so have been looking forward to this. It is pretty charming and delightful and the sex is very good but the dialogue didn’t quite ring true to me and Christian’s style is a little wordy for my taste (as in she uses too many of them to get to where she wants to go and there was many a darling that should have been killed). And I wish I could be so articulate after two bottles of wine! But I’m being fussy and there is much joy to be found here. If you’re needing I’m on a joy-seeking reading quest so have been looking forward to this. It is pretty charming and delightful and the sex is very good but the dialogue didn’t quite ring true to me and Christian’s style is a little wordy for my taste (as in she uses too many of them to get to where she wants to go and there was many a darling that should have been killed). And I wish I could be so articulate after two bottles of wine! But I’m being fussy and there is much joy to be found here. If you’re needing or looking for lightness and joy (or sex with a tattooed Viking) then it can be found here.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    This book was an absolute pleasure to read! Noni Blake takes a journey of self discovery- with a focus on her pleasure from her home in Austraulia to Europe. There are a few fumbles along the way, but once Noni discovers to listen to herself and what she wants instead of doing only the things she feels she should do or is obligated to do, This is something so many of us could learn from as too often we lose sight of the things that truly make us feel alive. While my personal pleasure journey woul This book was an absolute pleasure to read! Noni Blake takes a journey of self discovery- with a focus on her pleasure from her home in Austraulia to Europe. There are a few fumbles along the way, but once Noni discovers to listen to herself and what she wants instead of doing only the things she feels she should do or is obligated to do, This is something so many of us could learn from as too often we lose sight of the things that truly make us feel alive. While my personal pleasure journey would look quite different than Noni's I completely enjoyed being able to witness Noni's in thiss book. This book is very steamy- part of Noni's pleasure project includes hookups with a number of different people. Many will make you cringe, but are good comedy and some - especially with "The Viking" are downright hot. Beau was an absolute dream of a romantic interest - definitely swoon worthy and hunky and his unfiltered honesty was refreshing in a genre that too often hinges on miscommunication tropes. While there did end up being some things the chacters were hesitant to discuss he was always willing to say what he was thinking which is a great trait in a man and a romance novel. I also appreciate how inclusive this book is- both in terms of LGBTQ representation and plus-sized heroine. Many to MIRA and NetGalley for the advance copy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    chooksandbooksnz

    It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake - Claire Christian What. A. Book! If you want something heartwarming, funny, sexy, validating and uplifting that is very readable and relatable... this is the book for you! This book made me howl with laughter and took me by surprise a few times (in the funniest of ways 😂😳) but this was all part of the adventure. Noni underestimates herself- big time! She beautiful inside and out, she lights up any room she walks into and everyone can feel her warmth. But she does It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake - Claire Christian What. A. Book! If you want something heartwarming, funny, sexy, validating and uplifting that is very readable and relatable... this is the book for you! This book made me howl with laughter and took me by surprise a few times (in the funniest of ways 😂😳) but this was all part of the adventure. Noni underestimates herself- big time! She beautiful inside and out, she lights up any room she walks into and everyone can feel her warmth. But she doesn’t see any of this. It’s all about finding confidence, happiness and adventure while stamping out that awful, doubtful, invalidating voice in our heads that hold us back. Ultimately this book is a feel good, hilariously surprising and fun adventure. The characters are all very well built and It felt like Noni was one of my dear friends and I was genuinely super proud of her for getting out there! You do you Noni! It truly has been a pleasure, Noni Blake. Such a brilliant read! 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  22. 4 out of 5

    Misha (Heartsfullofreads)

    Noni Blake was about a woman finding her truth. There were aspects of the story I enjoyed. I liked that Noni embraced her body and learned what she wanted out of life. I liked that she chased down what she thought she wanted. I never really cared for Noni though and I'm not sure why. Some of the dialogue also felt a little unbelievable to me. All in all, the story wasn't a bad story. It just wasn't a story for me. *EArc Provided by Netgalley for my honest review* Noni Blake was about a woman finding her truth. There were aspects of the story I enjoyed. I liked that Noni embraced her body and learned what she wanted out of life. I liked that she chased down what she thought she wanted. I never really cared for Noni though and I'm not sure why. Some of the dialogue also felt a little unbelievable to me. All in all, the story wasn't a bad story. It just wasn't a story for me. *EArc Provided by Netgalley for my honest review*

  23. 4 out of 5

    Madelon North

    sex positive, body positive, bisexual representation. WE ARE HERE FOR IT. I devoured this. I fell into Noni’s world hard and I didn’t want to leave it. I laughed, I cried both happy and sad tears. The messages of liberation, finding your pleasure, and putting your own needs first throughout where exactly what I needed. I also wish I had a teacher like her in my life when I was a teen. One may go into this thinking that it would be fluffy and lighthearted, but some of the topics that it tackled d sex positive, body positive, bisexual representation. WE ARE HERE FOR IT. I devoured this. I fell into Noni’s world hard and I didn’t want to leave it. I laughed, I cried both happy and sad tears. The messages of liberation, finding your pleasure, and putting your own needs first throughout where exactly what I needed. I also wish I had a teacher like her in my life when I was a teen. One may go into this thinking that it would be fluffy and lighthearted, but some of the topics that it tackled definitely pulled at the heart strings. I also loved that not every sexual encounter Noni had was good, because that’s life isn’t it 💁🏼‍♀️😅 realistic and raw. I also loved that her sexuality just was. It wasn’t a plot, it was there and accepted and wow what a world that will be when we get there! It was liberating, sexy, and full of mostly wholesome wonderful relationships. The support that each of them had for one another was so refreshing, it was unconditional and non judgemental and we need more of that. The communication in the relationships too also struck me, Noni learns how to do this better as the book progresses and I’m going to be sure to add “what do you want?” to my vocab. Oh and my god Beau. We all need a Beau equivalent 🥰 CW for miscarriage

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily Wrayburn

    Originally published on A Keyboard and an Open Mind 26 October 2020: I have followed Claire Christian on Instagram ever since reading her debut YA novel Beautiful Mess so I had been seeing a lot about this new release. I decided to grab it when I saw it at the library, but I had no idea how much it would affect me.  I'm writing this review two weeks later, and I've been thinking about the book all this time. The idea of a woman taking control of her life and making choices on the fly and not worry Originally published on A Keyboard and an Open Mind 26 October 2020: I have followed Claire Christian on Instagram ever since reading her debut YA novel Beautiful Mess so I had been seeing a lot about this new release. I decided to grab it when I saw it at the library, but I had no idea how much it would affect me.  I'm writing this review two weeks later, and I've been thinking about the book all this time. The idea of a woman taking control of her life and making choices on the fly and not worrying about what people might think... I'm trying to embrace that these days and seeing a character who also struggles with it but learns to really lean into her own desires and wants... that was very inspiring!  Noni is such a relatable character and I saw a lot of myself in her, especially the way she struggled with insecurities. Even towards the end, she was still trying to convince herself that her Pleasure Quest had just been for a little while, and that all good things must come to an end and she has to go back to how things were. The idea that living her life for her could only be a temporary thing was so ingrained. We are so conditioned to put other people before ourselves.  It's worth noting that Noni's Pleasure Quest is not just about sexual pleasure, though that plays a significant role. It's pleasure in the little things - dancing at a club and not caring who sees, feeling incredible as you stride down the street in a new outfit you would have never dared wear before, or being comfortable enough in your body to take part in a nude photo shoot.  If I had not started this book in the evening and needed to go to bed, I would have read it in the one day. It was engrossing and delightful and I couldn't put it down.  This review is part of my 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Morelia (Strandedinbooks)

    4 to 4.5 stars! *TW: IVF, miscarriage, infidelity Noni was everything to me! MY HEART The writing in this book was *chef’s kiss* and the story this author told was just superb. I’ve never been so invested in a character’s life before and rooted for them the entire way full-heartedly. Also, QUEER REP!!! We stan a chaotic bi While some scenes I just wasn’t the biggest fan of, I reveled in the romantic plotline we eventually stumble onto (my GOD, was it my favorite romantic plotline everrrr) and Noni’s 4 to 4.5 stars! *TW: IVF, miscarriage, infidelity Noni was everything to me! MY HEART The writing in this book was *chef’s kiss* and the story this author told was just superb. I’ve never been so invested in a character’s life before and rooted for them the entire way full-heartedly. Also, QUEER REP!!! We stan a chaotic bi While some scenes I just wasn’t the biggest fan of, I reveled in the romantic plotline we eventually stumble onto (my GOD, was it my favorite romantic plotline everrrr) and Noni’s quest for pleasure gave *me* pleasure! There’s actually a lot to unpack and get into with this book, but I’ll just leave it at this: you’ll want to pick up the audio and love Noni for yourself.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I am so glad that @nellreadsbooks encouraged me to get this one, and like the essence of this book, jump straight into it without worrying about any expectations I have around my monthly TBR! Noni is 36, still dealing with her long term breakup from 2 years prior and various other traumas in her life. While spending most of her time “towing the line” she realises its time to do something for her. And so she begins her “pleasure quest” in Europe to say yes to all the things she’d previously been t I am so glad that @nellreadsbooks encouraged me to get this one, and like the essence of this book, jump straight into it without worrying about any expectations I have around my monthly TBR! Noni is 36, still dealing with her long term breakup from 2 years prior and various other traumas in her life. While spending most of her time “towing the line” she realises its time to do something for her. And so she begins her “pleasure quest” in Europe to say yes to all the things she’d previously been too responsible or shy to do. I bloody loved this book. It was like a modern day “Eat Pray Love” but with less religion and spirituality, and more sex 😅 I could totally relate to Noni’s sense of responsibility and always making the life decisions that seem like “the right thing to do” Whilst I don’t personally feel trapped in my life, I can understand how Noni got to that point in hers. And ticking off to Europe for 6 months is probably exactly what I would do too 😅 I loved the realness of her various sexual encounters, that felt like episodes of Sex and the City to me. I also loved, loved, loved Beau. I mean, a Viking-type who can communicate and thinks she is totally sexy and beautiful - I think that’s everyone’s type isn’t it? 😅 Whilst I think her staying in Scotland with Beau made total sense, I thought a bit more European travel wouldn’t have gone astray. I know personally I always want to SEE IT ALL after I’ve done the 21 hour flight over! I thought the LGBTQI representation in this book was good too, it existed so naturally and without labels and I loved that. I felt totally inspired to consider whether I’m living my own life with enough “pleasure”, which was interesting timing on the eve of returning to work after holidays 😂 But the messaging was great, and I think so many will love this book like I did

  27. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian Text Publishing Within 2 pages of this book, I was on Noni Blake’s side. I felt immediately that I wanted her to succeed in whatever her adventures were going to be and I wanted them to happen right now. Christian’s sophomore novel (but debut in the adult stakes) is warm and open-hearted, just like it’s protagonist. The aforementioned Noni is a teacher, queer, and just recently ending a sex drought of 2 years after breaking up with her ex, Joan, It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian Text Publishing Within 2 pages of this book, I was on Noni Blake’s side. I felt immediately that I wanted her to succeed in whatever her adventures were going to be and I wanted them to happen right now. Christian’s sophomore novel (but debut in the adult stakes) is warm and open-hearted, just like it’s protagonist. The aforementioned Noni is a teacher, queer, and just recently ending a sex drought of 2 years after breaking up with her ex, Joan, after nine years together. She’s trying to work out her next steps when she comes into some cash after selling the place with the ex and decides to follow up on cases of missed love from her past. What plays out is a fictional eat, pray, love sort of travel thing, but without the bullshit. Noni is about getting into the meatier side of things and as a 36-year-old millennial, she’s fed up with nonsense and wants to explore and experience pleasure. I know she went 2 years without getting laid, but she gets it A LOT during this book. And it’s funny. I don’t know what it’s like to bed a man with rubber sheets, but I imagine I don’t need to now after reading this book. This book was a wonderful palate cleanser. I’d been reading some heavy non-fiction (and some heavy fiction now that I think about it) and this book really helped me clear the pipes and rediscover how joyful fiction can be. I liked that identity and who Noni was wasn’t up for debate – her love of humans (men and women) was well documented and accepted. I loved that she didn’t really have a process of explaining being bi or queer. She just was. This book is a rom-com in the truest sense of the word and it has heart (unlike a lot of rom coms). I really enjoyed Noni’s character growth and self-reflection. I genuinely laughed out loud multiple times (my god, the Kevin McCloud wide on conversation was sublime). And whilst some of the sex bored me, it was supposed to as Noni was also bored. Her mates are a real godsend and I loved them and their support of Noni. They felt genuine and well rounded and not just flat spaces for Noni to talk to herself to develop the next eureka moment. I wanted them to feel good and succeed with their hopes, along with Noni I felt the conclusion coming, but I wanted it to wind up the way it did. Noni was a character I was really endeared towards. This will be on my list of fun summer reads for friends!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cotes

    Such a fantastic discovery of a book. I knew I’d like this book within the first couple of pages; Christian’s writing is sharp and funny, full of little observations that reveal so much. Her characters are warmly and fully drawn. Even characters that we don’t spend much time with come alive through just a little dialogue or description. I actually laughed out loud at early hijinx, and that’s a rarity when I’m reading. This book was billed as a romantic comedy, and it is hilarious and has a happy Such a fantastic discovery of a book. I knew I’d like this book within the first couple of pages; Christian’s writing is sharp and funny, full of little observations that reveal so much. Her characters are warmly and fully drawn. Even characters that we don’t spend much time with come alive through just a little dialogue or description. I actually laughed out loud at early hijinx, and that’s a rarity when I’m reading. This book was billed as a romantic comedy, and it is hilarious and has a happy ending. But it also wrecked me. I ugly sobbed multiple times, not because of plot machinations but because the distance between me and the moment in the book collapsed. Noni is a fat thirty-six year old woman who realizes that she hasn’t been very happy. Life hasn’t been miserable, but a jolt happens and she feels the need to shake up her life. She travels, she sleeps with different men and women (I noticed that one of the other reviews said that they didn’t like the “one night stand lifestyle”, which Is both judgmental and dumb. Reading about a character having one night stands which are completely in character and in plot is not the same as doing it yourself), she spends time with herself. What I especially like about the book is that while there’s a romance with a really terrific love interest (the descriptions of his long hair alone are delightful), the focus is Noni. This is her journey; she’s the one who’s pushing outside her comfort zone. As cliche as it is, the biggest love story is the one Noni has with herself. This is one of those books that, after I finished, stuck with me. I can’t wait to revisit it in a few months to see how it reads a second time. To get technical, my rating would probably be 4.5****, since this is a book that I really wanted an epilogue for, just to make sure everyone is doing well a year down the road. It’s not a perfect book, but reading it was a pleasure, which Noni would approve of. *I was provided with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.*

  29. 4 out of 5

    VL

    Whew, okay. I loved this book. Like truly adored it. Noni is the hot mess that we all are and try to hide. She decides to embark on a pleasure quest - doing what makes her happy. She writes out a list of things she wants to do but isn't afraid to add to it. Unexpectedly, she meets a Viking (trust me, it makes sense when you read it) who offers to aid in parts of her quest. Noni isn't a size two but it's not an obsession like some other books. She's also bi but again, it's not an obsession. I lov Whew, okay. I loved this book. Like truly adored it. Noni is the hot mess that we all are and try to hide. She decides to embark on a pleasure quest - doing what makes her happy. She writes out a list of things she wants to do but isn't afraid to add to it. Unexpectedly, she meets a Viking (trust me, it makes sense when you read it) who offers to aid in parts of her quest. Noni isn't a size two but it's not an obsession like some other books. She's also bi but again, it's not an obsession. I love how Christian has normalized all the parts of Noni that are so often seen as plot devices. At the end of the day (and the book), it's all about Noni finding out what makes her happy and letting go of what doesn't. This feels like an all over the place review but I loved this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This was the balm my soul needed right now. Body positive, sex positive and like the best most life-affirming therapy sesh with a beloved friend. I loved this ‘pleasure-quest’ of self reflection & discovery. I imagine I’ll be revisiting p146 and absorbing Noni’s What Pleasure Looks Like To Me:A List until it fully sinks in

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