Journey to Cash – Ashley Bartlett

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Great ending to a great series. I read this whole series in week or so, so whilst this is a review of the final book, it’s also of the series as a whole (so there may be some spoilers prior instalments). I’m considering this a five star book due to it being the closing part and how I feel about the series, but from a writing point of view I preferred Cash and the Sorority Girl slightly.

There isn’t really anything else like this out there in queer fiction at the moment that I’m aware of and I love how much it stands out. It hit me whilst I was reading the third book in the series – Cash and the Sorority Girl – that one of the reasons I love this series so much is its inherent queerness. The discussions of the patriarchy and heteronormativity in an everyday manner and how it flows through the whole series are fantastic.

The narrative of this final part neatly closes up the issues Cash is facing due to her drug dealing past and her former supplier Henry who previously tried to kill her and her ex-girlfriend Laurel. The situation throws them both back together to work with law enforcement to both hide from and find Henry.

All of the characters are great, Cash and her sarcasm, knowledge, values and the way she lives her life are obviously the thing everything revolves around, but the other characters are well written and bring out all of the sides of Cash.

Laurel as an ex-cop has a lot to work through and convince Cash of in this book after she walked away to find herself. The romance between Laurel and Cash isn’t the most important part of the book to me, but it is a huge part of the narrative. The power dynamics, the second/third chance to make it work and both of their reluctance to address their own emotional feelings make for compelling exchanges and portrayal.

I really enjoy the roommate relationship that Cash has with Lane. Her being Laurel’s sister adds a dimension to it, but at its heart this relationship shows Cash at her best, just as her relationship with Andy as a teenager does too. Andy’s teenage moral beliefs are very black and white and I love how Cash responds to this and how Andy has grown throughout the series.

Of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention Nickels the cat, who has her own unique personality and provides some amusement.

I highly recommend this series – it stands out in wlw fiction, but it’s important to begin at the beginning with Cash Braddock. Despite the hard topics the whole series is easy to read, and all of the books are page turners. This was my 300th book this year and it was the perfect book to end the year on.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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