From the publisher:
Two best friends say “I do” to living together, for better or worse, in this bold women’s fiction novel from Alexa Martin.
Jude Andrews is famous. Well, at least on Instagram. Her brand is clean eating, good vibes, Pilates, and casually looking like a sun-kissed goddess. In real life, however, she’s a total disaster. She has a strained relationship with her fame-hungry mom and her latest bad decision emptied out her entire savings account.
Lauren Turner had a plan: graduate medical school and become the top surgeon in the country. But when she became unexpectedly pregnant, those plans changed. And when her fiancé left her, they changed again. Now navigating the new world of coparenting, mom groups, and dating, she decides to launch a mommy podcast with all the advice she wishes someone had given her.
Jude and Lauren don’t have much in common, but maybe that’s why they’ve been best friends since the third grade. Through ups and downs, they’ve been by each other’s sides. But now? They’re broke, single, and do the only thing that makes sense—move in together, just like they talked about when they were teenagers. Except when they were younger, the plan didn’t include a five-year-old daughter and more baggage than their new townhouse can hold.
“Full of laughter, romance, and a few startup scares, the latest from sports romance author Martin (Snapped; Blitzed) packs a punch…Readers of this hilarious, heartfelt novel will feel like they’re chatting with their BFF. It dives deep into family issues but keeps readers on their toes as Jude and Lauren deal with what life throws at them.”—Library Journal
“I can’t wait to see what she writes next.”—USA Todayhttps://amzn.to/3Vdm8rf
I missed this when it came out in September, but I’m so glad I found it! This book is a bit of a departure for Martin who has been writing the best sports romances, although her most recent book, Better Than Fiction, didn’t have sports figures but rather was a romance between an author and a bookseller (right in my wheelhouse!) This book moves her out of the romance genre and into women’s fiction, and she does it with the same strong storytelling, character building skills that are in all her books.
Let me add kudos to Berkley for not forcing her to change her name to some pseudonym because she’s writing in a new genre. I hate when publishers do that. Most recently I felt like I was scammed because Scandalized by Ivy Owens was publicized as this fabulous debut novel, but turns out it was written by Lauren Billings, half of the “Christina Laurens” writing duo that has written several terrific books. Because this was only written by Billings, they changed her name altogether which I totally don’t understand. Why have this bestselling author write under a pseudonym? No wonder it was so well written – this woman is a pro! Why not tell people that? Even after dealing with them for over 20 years, I still don’t understand how publicists’ minds work.
Anyway, back to Mom Jeans. This is a book about women’s friendships and it was so good! Jude and Lauren have been friends since they were kids. When Lauren’s husband dumps her and their daughter, they move in with her parents, but that just isn’t a sustainable way to live. There is too much friction there; Lauren dropped out of medical school when she got pregnant, and her lawyer mother is none too thrilled about that. So Jude, Lauren, and her young daughter all move in together and form their own “sister wives” family. Everybody benefits until Jude makes a tragic mistake that sends Lauren packing.
Meanwhile, Lauren’s ex has found a new girlfriend, Stephanie, and surprisingly, Lauren really likes her – she’s kind and thoughtful and so good to her daughter. Her ex, on the other hand, is an arrogant doctor and has been pretty much absent from their lives until he hooks up with Stephanie. Then he decides to sue for custody and things get really ugly.
Lauren is a Black woman, and her ex is a white doctor, so they feel the odds are in his favor. Jude comes up with the idea of doing a podcast on parenting, thinking it will give Lauren an edge in the custody battle. Jude is a social media influencer with millions of followers, and she is really good at her job. Taking those influencer skills to promote a new podcast is a surefire way to help it get off the ground. “Mom Jeans and Martinis” takes off, and Lauren finds herself loving her new job.
I loved this story of strong women helping one another. These characters are flawed for sure, but watching them grow and change is half the fun. I learned about social media influencers and how that all works, so that was interesting, too. All in all, Martin’s first women’s fiction book is a terrific read. Frankly, I will read anything this woman writes and I’m really looking forward to her next book!
11/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
MOM JEANS AND OTHER MISTAKES by Alexa Martin. Berkley (September 7, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593198896. 384p.