All the Good Men by Cindy Jacks
(buy link—available in Kindle edition)
Summary: Dahlia is sure the hackneyed platitude is true: After a certain age, all the good men are married or gay. She feels her thirty-eight years put her well past that 'certain age.' Her best friend and her sisters dare her to put her fate where her mouth is. The terms of the challenge? During the month of October, she has to end her five-year-long man fast and go on dates with men of their choosing. Oh, and she also has to go out with anyone else who asks.
As the date disasters pile up, the vindication almost makes the torturous evenings bearable for Dahlia. But a handsome new neighbor, Jackson Carmichael, moves in, changing the rules of the game. Retired after twenty-six years as a pro firefighter in Boston, he volunteers with the local fire department, coaches a youth hockey team, and appears for all the world to be the perfect man. He just might throw a wrench into Dahlia's plan to die lonely and single...that is if she doesn't scare him away first.
All the Good Men has a great combination of quirky characters, hilarious situations, and witty dialogue.
I loved the characters. Dahlia and her sisters—who are all named after flowers because her mother adored flowers—are all so unique and funny in their own ways. Watching their interactions with each other was a hoot. I loved Dahlia's best friend, Fiona. She was almost a nice-bad-girl. Her father Jet was at first slightly depressing, but as the story went on and things changed for the better, I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the stories about the horrible dates she went on to satisfy her sister's dare. I loved her gay friend. And I adored Jackson Carmichael.
The thing that really made this story was the dialogue. The characters are included in that, but the dialogue was great because it flowed well, it matched the characters, and it was entertaining and engaging. The writing wasn't bad, but the dialogue was great.
The only thing that felt slightly off was near the end, as Dahlia and Jackson started to fall for each other. I guess I expected either more of an epiphany or a revelation from him, or maybe more of a conflict from her, but I was still satisfied. To that point, there wasn't a lot of conflict through the whole story. There were her problems with her dad, and there were her personal wars, but there wasn't a lot of tension between her and her man—outside of sexual tension… and her personal fear of scaring him off.
The end of the story had great closure, and left me with a very fulfilled feeling and a smile on my face.
Content: Some language, but not overwhelming. Some sex.
Recommendation: Ages 18+