By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general.
It's a good thing I read book two of this series, The Derby Girl, before reading this, because if I'd read this first I would have given up on the series and Derby Girl is delicious and fun in a way that The Rebound Girl totally isn't. I disliked Whitney, the heroine of this book, more than any character I've read in a long time. She's shallow, abrasive, insensitive, judgmental, emotionally-stunted, bossy, bratty, and cruel. That's actually integral to the plot: she's setting up a medical spa business in a tony Philadelphia suburb, and the townspeople take an instant dislike to her because of her behavior and attitude, which causes all sorts of problems for her fledgeling business. At first, Whitney doesn't care. Her attitude is: "Why waste energy placating people she cared about less than fingernail clippings?" (Loc. 1508) That sums up my problem with Whitney in a nutshell: there should never be people you care about less than fingernail clippings. Whether you know them or not, whether you like them or not, they are people and they deserve basic respect and civility. Anyway, it's no wonder the people of Pleasant Park don't like Whitney: the mystery is why the hero, mild-mannered schoolteacher Matt, apparently does. (It has to be more than sex, if I'm going to become invested in the HEA, and I never found any deeper connection between this couple.)
Matt's not a perfect character, either. He's too good to be true, willing to take almost unending abuse both from Whitney and from his cheating ex-wife, whose life is still very much entwined with his. (I put this on the "infidelity" shelf not because the hero and heroine aren't faithful to one another, but because they have both been victims of infidelity and they're both working through a lot of baggage related to those earlier betrayals.)
I didn't enjoy the sexytimes in this story because the power dynamic was so uneven: Whitney was unabashedly using Matt, and though he was willing to go along with it for a long time (men put up with a lot for sex), I didn't have any patience with it.
There are brief glimpses of both Jared and Gretchen, the hero and heroine of The Derby Girl, in this book, but in my opinion that's not enough to salvage The Rebound Girl.