Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner
October 11, 2022, by St. Martin’s Griffin
Review by Melinda
Mistakes Were Made is Meryl Wilsner’s sophomore novel, which can be a difficult book to get right, There are expectations from readers, especially after having a successful debut, which Wilsner did with 2020s Something to Talk About. I tried to go into it just expecting a good book, but I got so much more.
When Cassie is out with her friends during Parents Weekend, she picks up an incredibly hot older woman, Erin. They have amazing sex and part ways without issue, which seems super straightforward. But, because this is a romance novel, she immediately runs into her the next day at brunch. Because Erin is Cassie’s best friend’s mom. And to make matters worse, once they discover this, the hotness continues over that weekend. Cassie proceeds to tease the hell out of Erin relatively discreetly whenever they run into each other.
That first weekend, and really, this whole damn book, is seriously hot as hell. I was unsure how I’d feel about an age gap relationship combined with the BFFs mom, but the author did a really great job at character development. Erin and Cassie are both fully fleshed out people, with their own lives, problems, and day-to-day joys. And what made the book work altogether for me was that the character development extended to the side characters as well. It was clear each of them were living their lives and when we see them on page, it’s just a snippet of time in their life.
There are many, many questionable decisions made in this book, which might not work for all readers, but I love messy characters so much so it worked very well for me. After this initial hookup weekend, they return to their normal lives until Cassie reaches out drunkenly to Erin, and that opens a slow trickle of communication, which eventually opens the whole floodgate. The sexual relationship happens instantly, but the emotional one develops much more slowly and was beautiful to see on each of their ends. One of the other things I really appreciated was that as they slowly become involved and in an actual relationship, they don’t lose themselves completely. We get to see them in their separate lives, working through their everyday lives. I was glad to see that autonomy remain for each of them.
One of the points of tension throughout the book is that they do not want Parker, Erin’s daughter, and Cassie’s best friend, to find out about their relationship. There was sneaking around and definitely hooping up right under her nose. But I kept waiting for a big bleak moment between them all…and it never came. I loved how Wilsner dealt with Parker’s discovery and the fallout of that. Parker and Acacia, their other friend, really shined throughout a lot of this book and they added another dimension to it.
Overall, this was a balanced romance. It had a high amount of heat, great chemistry, and the perfect amount of emotion. I think many people will love this one!
Content Notes: abandonment by a parent, cheating (not main couple), alcoholic couple