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Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy: FAQs + Books Like It

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

As I'm writing this, it's currently -10°C and snowing. I'm sick of the winter and still a month away from escaping to a warmer climate. So, what do I do? I lose myself in and live vicariously through books that take place on a nice, hot beach somewhere. Case in point, Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy. (Kindle | Kobo | Paperback)

Before I move on to the next book though, I'm going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this one and offer you five suggestions for books like Good Girl Complex to read next. (Warning: This article contains spoilers)

Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy

What Is the Book Good Girl Complex About?

As the daughter of a senator, Mackenzie Cabot's life has been laid out for her. She's to attend college, graduate, get married, and start a family. However, almost as soon as she steps foot on Garnet University campus and into the arms of the local bad boy, Cooper Hartley, Mackenzie realizes the life her parents have planned out isn't the life she wants.

Cooper Hartley just got fired after an altercation with a rich frat boy from Garnet University and he's out for revenge. The plan: steal the guy's girlfriend who just happens to be Mackenzie Cabot. What Cooper never expects though is to develop real feelings and fall in love along the way. Once, he does, he realizes that the lie he's been telling could cost him the thing he loves most.

Is Good Girl Complex Part of a Series? Can It Be Read as a Standalone?

Yes - Good Girl complex is part of a series. Given that it is the first book in the series though and that each book focuses on a different couple, it can easily be read as a standalone. If you do want to read Elle Kennedy's Avalon Bay series, here is the order you should read the books in:

  1. Good Girl Complex - Mackenzie and Cooper

  2. Bad Girl Reputation - Genevieve and Evan

  3. The Summer Girl - Cassie and Tate

Avalon Bay Series in Order

How Long Does It Take to Read Good Girl Complex?

According to How Long to Read, it will take the average reader approximately 5 hours and 39 minutes to read Good Girl Complex.

Is Good Girl Complex Spicy?

Yes - Good Girl Complex is spicy! The spicy chapters are chapters 22, 27, 31, and 38 if you're looking for them.

Is Avalon Bay a Real Place?

No - Avalon Bay is not a real place. It is a fictitious small town in South Carolina made up by Elle Kennedy for the Avalon Bay series. Speaking of which, Garnet University is also not a real place.

How Old are Mackenzie and Cooper?

It is confirmed that Mackenzie Cabot is 20 years old in Good Girl Complex. However, Cooper Hartley's age is never confirmed. We only know that he is a few years older than Mackenzie so there is a bit of an age gap.

Does Good Girl Complex Have a Happy Ending?

Yes - Good Girl Complex has a happy ending! At Cooper and Mackenzie's birthday party, Mackenzie overhears Cooper's friends talking about the real reason why he originally pursued her. Mackenzie then confronts Cooper about the lie and moves out. After a few weeks of failed apologies, Cooper writes on the BoyfriendFails website asking for Mackenzie to forgive him. This gets her to talk to him, so he asks her to meet him at The Beacon hotel. There he has candles, wine, and rocking chairs set up just as Mackenzie once described for him. He apologizes again and the two get back together.

5 Books Like Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy

If you're looking for books like Good Girl Complex that aren't in the Avalon Bay series, here are five similar books I'd suggest checking out next.

Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins

1. Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins

Like Good Girl Complex, Anna E. Collins' book, Love at First Spite, is a contemporary romance that starts out focused on revenge but turns into actual love. Here's a brief description: "They say living well is the best revenge. But sometimes, spreading misery seems a whole lot more satisfying. That’s interior designer Dani Porter’s justification for buying the vacant lot next to her ex-fiancé’s house to mess with his view and his peace of mind. That plan quickly becomes complicated when Dani is forced to team up with Wyatt Montego, the handsome, haughty architect at her firm, and the only person available to draw up blueprints."

Pretty Reckless by L.J. Shen

2. Pretty Reckless by L.J. Shen

The rich-girl-meets-poor-boy trope is always a hit for me. But like Good Girl Complex, L.J. Shen's book, Pretty Reckless, adds the revenge component. Here's what it's about from the male main characters' point-of-view: "They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I’d had four years to stew on what Daria did to me, and now my heart was completely iced. I took her first kiss. She took the only thing I loved. I was poor. She was rich. There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears."

The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee

3. The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee

While it's not exactly about revenge like Good Girl Complex was, The Dating Date by Jayci Lee is definitely in the same realm. As one Goodreads reviewer, Toni, explained, it's about "Tara who is independent, funny, and loyal but isn't exactly in a hurry to settle down, and Seth who is moving to Paris to start his dream job as a photographer in a month. So when Seth comes up with a dare to go on four dates with the condition of not falling in love, the arrangement suits both to a T. Whatever happens in Weldon, stays in Weldon, right?" Like Good Girl Complex, the outcome of this plan is obvious - these two are absolutely going to fall in love - but it's still going to be fun watching it happen.

My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey

4. My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey

If the thing about Good Girl Complex that you loved was that it was a small beach town romance and are looking for another book in the same type of setting, I'd recommend you try My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey. Even though the plot of it is completely different from Good Girl Complex, the two still felt very similar to me. It's about Myles, who is a bounty hunter called in to investigate a murder that occurred in a Cape Cod vacation home. When he arrives, he's determined to finish the job and get back on the road. That's hard though when the schoolteacher/vacation-goer, Taylor, who found the body has inserted herself into the investigation and is constantly getting into trouble. At first, he sees her s a nuisance, but over time, he realizes she's the one he might be willing to put down roots for.

Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

5. Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

Good Girl Complex wasn't exactly a tearjerker? But you know what book was for me - Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover. Like Good Girl Complex, this romance takes place in a small beach town and is about a young couple who have a lot more in common than first meets the eye. If you haven't heard of it, here's a short description: "Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface. She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. With an almost immediate connection too intense for them to deny, Beyah and Samson agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn't realize is that a rip current is coming, and it's about to drag her heart out to sea."


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