Grade : A

Sleepover is one of the best contemporary romances released in the past ten years.  You don’t need me to tell you that.  But maybe you do need me to let you know that the book’s just been reissued and if you don’t own it, you should run and grab your own copy.

Sawyer Paulson has just started renting a tumbledown house from Doris Wheeling which is, to quote his brother Brooks, “a shithole.”  He and his son Jonah are looking to move on two years after the death of his wife Lucy, and he figures a new home will contribute to that start.  They settle in immediately, and Jonah instantly makes friends with the kid his own age who lives next door, Madden.  When Sawyer sees Madden’s mom, he’s stunned, because the woman happens to look very much like someone he had a recent against-a-brick wall pump-and-run assignation with.

Elle Dunning definitely remembers Sawyer from that one-hour (minute?) stand two months before – to her, he’s the rebound guy, the first one she’d had sex with since her divorce from her ex-husband, Trevor.  Now, Trevor is about to marry the woman he dumped his family for, and Madden is handling things poorly, so his friendship with Jonah is a definite plus.  Elle never planned on seeing Sawyer again, but since their boys get along, there’s no shame in being neighborly.

Elle and Sawyer try to be friends, but it’s pretty hard to resist the temptation to be more.  Can they form a more perfect union and finally find true love with one another?

Definitely, and it’s a fun ride getting there.  The joy of Sleepover is how hard Elle and Sawyer try to suppress their desire until they simply can’t take it anymore.  It’s a bonus that they’re good people, two complex individuals who manage to find love together in spite of their flaws.  Sawyer is still mourning his wife, Elle’s trying to learn how to co-parent with her ex husband without any bitterness being involved.  Together, in that messy mix of emotions, Elle and Sawyer manage to find love.

The kids are wonderful, credible kids, and their friendship and relationship with their parents is wonderfully written. Bell’s writing is so good, so impressive, that it sticks with the reader years later.

Everything about Sleepover is golden, memorable and beautifully done.

Buy it at: Amazon or your local independent retailer

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Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes
Grade : A

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : May 3, 2022

Publication Date: 03/2022

Recent Comments …

  1. Having that problem too – just now, hugely enjoyed Spite House by Olivia Dade, m/f CR done wonderfully. Strong rec.

  2. I really didn’t think you were criticising anyone, so we’re good! There was a discussion on AAR some time ago…

  3. But, queer romance are as real to me as non-queer, so I still don’t understand your thinking. I still want…

Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at, follow her on Twitter at or contribute to her Patreon at or her Ko-Fi at
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