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Ready or Not by Cara Bastone

Ready or Not

by Cara Bastone

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Quick take

A surprise pregnancy forces a young Brooklynite to take stock of her life, uncovering a romance hiding in plain sight.

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  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SalaciousPeach


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Nyc


  • Illustrated icon, icon_FriendstoLovers

    Friends to Lovers


Eve Hatch lives for surprises! Just kidding. She expects every tomorrow to be pretty much the same as today. She loves her cozy apartment in Brooklyn that’s close to her childhood best friend Willa, and far from her midwestern, traditional family who has never really understood her. While her job is only dream-adjacent, it’s comfortable and steady. She always knows what to expect from her life...until she finds herself expecting after an uncharacteristic one-night stand.

The unplanned pregnancy cracks open all the relationships in her life. Eve’s loyal friendship with Willa is feeling tense, right when she needs her the most. And it’s actually Willa’s steadfast older brother, Shep, who steps up to help Eve. He has always been friendly, but now he’s checking in, ordering her surprise lunches, listening to all her complaints, and is...suddenly kinda hot? Then, as if she needs one more complication, there’s the baby’s father, who is (technically) supportive but (majorly) conflicted.

Up until this point, Eve’s been content to coast through life. Now, though—maybe it’s the hormones, maybe it’s the way Shep’s shoulders look in a T-shirt—Eve starts to wonder if she has been secretly desiring more from every aspect of her life.

Over the course of nine months, as Eve struggles to figure out the next right step in her expanding reality, she begins to realize that family and love, in all forms, can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Ready or Not.
Ready or Not


I didn’t start this day thinking I’d be handing over a Dixie cup of my own urine to a woman in lavender scrubs.

“What’s the verdict?” I ask about seven seconds after the nurse dips the stick into the cup on the other side of the exam room.

She is one of those ageless people whose fluffy gray-brown hair could have been that of an unfortunate thirty-five-year-old or a banging hot fifty-five-year-old. Her face gives away nothing as she looks up at me.

“The doctor will be in to discuss your results, Ms. Hatch.”

AKA, I’m not gonna be the one to tell you there’s an egg in your biscuit.

“Call me Eve and, look, you can just tell me. I’m sure you can read the stick as well as the doctor can. I know I’m pregnant anyways. I took three tests on my own. I did the research.” (On the train on the way over here.) “I know that false positives really only happen for women who were just recently pregnant or taking certain fertility meds. There’s no way I’m not pregnant.”

I’m telling her. I’m telling myself. I’m telling the universe, because the facts are grounding me. I’m trying to be realistic here. I refuse to be secretly hoping for either outcome.

The nurse’s face shows zero signs of life. Maybe that’s the secret to her ageless success. If one never, ever moves one’s face, one can look forty in one’s seventies. I make a mental note to start having fewer emotions. Probably a super achievable goal right at the beginning of an unplanned pregnancy, right?

“The doctor will discuss it with you. Now, I just need some basic info from you.” She has me hop on a scale and then takes my blood pressure. I’m shocked when I don’t blow up the machine like a desktop plugged in during a lightning storm. She confirms my family history. And then the fun questions begin.

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Why I love it

February is here: it’s the month that romance is on everyone’s minds. While I enjoy romance books year-round, there’s something about this month in particular that makes me crave a profound, thoughtful, (and yes, funny) love story. When Ready or Not crossed my desk, I just knew it was going to be that something special.

At the start, Cara Bastone introduces us to a classic career-driven woman in New York. Eve is constantly seeking more valuable work to land her dream position at work. Her world is flipped upside down, though, when a one-night stand leads to an unexpected pregnancy. It’s a complicated situation, as one could expect, in more ways than one. Eve’s best friend, Willa, has been trying and struggling to get pregnant herself and takes the news hard. On top of that, the father is…conflicted about the news, to say the least. Overwhelmed by the mounting stress in front of her, Eve is in desperate need of support. She finds an unexpected confidant in Willa’s brother and slowly starts to see the man she’s known most of her life in a new light. Throughout nine months of calibrating her life to this new reality, Eve finds levity and love in someone she never would’ve expected.

This is a love story that scratches every itch—a passionate, slow-burn romance with amazing chemistry that makes you think along with swoon. This February, pick up Ready or Not. You’ll fall in love with the characters while they fall in love with each other—and there’s no better way to spend this month of romance.

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Member ratings (10,600)

  • Teresa F.

    Clifton Forge, VA

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Stars🌶️🌶️Spices! Incredible FMC,Eve is a total badass who’s world gets completely turned upside down and she handles it & the two MMC’S Ethan & Shep amazingly well

  • Lauren E.

    Pittston, ME

    A story of “what’s meant to be, will be” and “love will find a way”. I couldn’t put this down and loved the realness of it all. Shit happens but sometimes it’s exactly what you never knew you needed.

  • Carey O.

    Lodi, OH

    I loved how the author tackled this topic with humor, grace and a lot of love and support. I loved Eve and Shep’s relationship and that Ethan decided to be present in his baby’s life ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Carmen H.

    Fairfax, VA

    I LOVED this book so much I wanted more! I had to put it down to catch a tiny amount of sleep in order to function at work and then finished it once I got home from work. I wanted more! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Karin O.

    Geneseo, NY

    LOVED this book so much!! And I really want a Shep of my own.☺️💙 Shep&Eve are SO incredibly sweet together, loved their personal journeys & love story & Ethan’s arc in it, too. Beautiful & 💖warming.

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