Archer has always wanted what he can’t have—Quinn Dawson. Since the moment he saw her, he’s been denying his feelings for her, ignoring the void in his heart he knows only she can fill.
Everything about them was wrong, the kind of wrong that felt so right. But none of it mattered. Not the terrible timing. And definitely not the mess it would create if Archer made a move on his best friend’s baby sister.
It was supposed to be one night, but one night is all it takes to make everything more complicated, and they only have nine short months to sort it all out.
No, none of it mattered. Until it did.
I love me a good friends-to-lovers romance, add in a little bit of a forbidden romance element, and I’m all in. Cheat Codes, while heavy on the angst, was a really sweet romance. I loved Quinn’s family and how they had completely adopted Archer as one of their own.
I had no choice but to root for these two from the off. There was just something about each of them that felt incomplete when they were alone. I know how cliché it sounds, but they definitely completed one another. When they were battling their feelings, when they were mad at one another, when they were alone, they felt incomplete. There was a certain melancholy that seemed to color their worlds when they were missing from each other.
Archer was terrific, he was walking a precarious like throughout the book in not wanting to risk his relationship with Quinn’s brother, Dean, or the rest of her family. There were moments when I kind of wanted to slap him, he definitely didn’t handle things well all the time, but his motivations were true. Once he decided he was all in with Quinn, he was everything. Quinn couldn’t have asked for a better partner or support system.
When they found themselves in a situation neither of them expected, I was quite impressed with the maturity they both handled it with. It further exemplified just how perfect they were together, especially when the other adults in their lives reacted a lot like petulant children. It was evident throughout the novel, both when they were together and when they weren’t, that they both wanted nothing more than to ensure each other’s happiness and well-being.
Cheat Codes is the first book of Quinn & Archer’s story. At the time this review was published no series information is available. There will be at least one more book in their story ARC, End Game, and these books must be read to fully comprehend their story. Cheat Codes is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Quinn & Archer.
Emily Goodwin blows me away with how real her stories are. Often fiction, by nature, is a little unbelievable, but the books of hers I’ve read all feel as if they could happen to anyone. Her characters are relatable; their problems are realistic, their lives are messy. Her writing style lends well to the construction of her stories; it feels comfortable and familiar; it’s not particularly challenging yet not so simplistic as to feel dumbed down.
“You’re pregnant,” he blurts, looking down at the test.
He holds up the digital test. There’s no mistaking the word pregnant in bold black letters. “It already said it when I looked. And this one—” he holds up the other “—is faint but it’s there. You’re pregnant Quinn,” he repeats, as if he has to say it again to himself. He stares at the test for a minute. “Fuck.” He turns around, gripping the tests in one hand and grabbing the back of his neck with the other.
“I thought you said everything was going to be okay.”
“It is, it is,” he says too quickly, and closes his eyes for a second. “Let’s sit and talk about this.”
I wash my hands and join him on the bed. He puts the pregnancy tests on the nightstand, staring at them like they might spontaneously turn into a baby.
“Based on time of conception, you’re around five weeks pregnant,” he says, tone level. He’s going into doctor-mode again, and it’s helping me stay calm. “That’s early. I’m, uh, sorry you’re having morning sickness already. Is that the right thing to say?” He snaps back to just Archer. “That I’m sorry?” His hand lands on mine. “I don’t know what to say. About any of this.”
I blink back tears, hand landing on my stomach. “There’s a little baby in there,” I say slowly. “And it’s part of me and it’s part of you.”
Archer turns his head in, fingers slipping between mine. His lips part, and lust sweeps through me. Not stopping to think, I lean forward. Archer lets go of my hand and cups my face, tipping my chin up as he kisses me.
Wasting no time, I grab Archer’s sides and pull him onto me. We fall back onto the mattress, with him between my legs. My clit begs to be touched. Now. The need is real, and if Archer doesn’t strip me down and fuck me, there’s going to be trouble.
I curl one leg around him, arching my back and thrusting my hips against his. His cock hardens and he moves his lips from mine to my neck. I stick my hands down the back of his boxers, squeezing his ass.
“Quinn,” he pants. “Are you sure you want this? I mean, I do, but I want to make sure you don’t regret it later.”
Damn him and his chivalry. Letting out a breath, I bring my hands back up his ass, down his sides, and to his chest. My libido is saying yes, but my mind says no.
And my heart…that poor thing doesn’t know what to think.
Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes
Campsite Dream – Beautiful Mistake
Ariana Grande – No Tears Left to Cry
David Guetta/Sia – Flames
Selena Gomez – Back To You
Zedd/Maren Morris/Grey – The Middle
Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
Emily Goodwin is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over a dozen of romantic titles. Emily writes the kind of books she likes to read, and is a sucker for a swoon-worthy bad boy and happily ever afters.
She lives in the midwest with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, you can find her riding her horses, hiking, reading, or drinking wine with friends.
Emily is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency.
Signed paperback of Cheat Codes (open internationally)