Ready or Not: A Novel (Paperback)

Ready or Not: A Novel By Cara Bastone Cover Image
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A surprise pregnancy leads to even more life-changing revelations in this “absolutely buoyant read” (Elle, The Best and Most Anticipated Romance Books of 2024, So Far).

“Bastone delivers on this truly heartwarming, funny, and real story. Come for the dog bar, stay for the special, slow-burn romcom.”—Abby Jimenez, New York Times bestselling author

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.

About the Author

Cara Bastone is a full-time writer who lives and writes in Brooklyn with her husband, sons, and an almost-goldendoodle. Her goal with her work is to find the swoon in ordinary love stories. She’s been a fan of the romance genre since she found a grocery bag filled with her grandmother’s old Harlequin Romances when she was in high school. She’s a fangirl for pretzel sticks, long walks through Prospect Park, and love stories featuring men who aren’t hobbled by their own masculinity.

Praise For…

“Accidental pregnancy is a love-it-or-hate-it construct for most romance fans, which could leave Cara Bastone’s friends-to-lovers entry in a tough position. But for those willing to jive with that particular plot twist—and trust me, it’s worth it—Ready or Not is an absolutely buoyant read. Vivacious and funny, Bastone’s first-person perspective through protagonist Eve traces the tricky threads of single parenthood, long-term friendship, infertility, grief, and (yes) sex with skill.”Elle

“I’ve never read a contemporary romance novel quite like this one. This friends-to-lovers trope centers on a surprise pregnancy that’s filled with heartfelt dialogue, unexpected love and a slow burn. It’s incredible and I found myself not wanting to put it down. This story is endearing, life-affirming, and left me feeling buoyed and hopeful.”New York Post, “The 15 Best Books We Read in February”

Ready or Not is the very definition of the perfect slow burn, friends-to-lovers romance. Cara Bastone’s voice is wholly unique and sparkles with effervescence and joy. I savored every page.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, New York Times bestselling author of The Chicken Sisters

“An absolute treasure of a book! Cara Bastone gives readers a gift, and pays humanity a compliment, with this warmly witty, profoundly tender story of a love that makes the world bigger and better. Ready or Not introduces indelible characters who navigate their entanglements with abundant, heart-bursting kindness. The result is one of the most emotionally satisfying romances I’ve read in years.”—Joanna Lowell, author of Artfully Yours
“A wholehearted meditation on all kinds of love, this novel is pure joy.”—Annabel Monaghan, nationally bestselling author of Same Time Next Summer

“With loads of humor, lovable characters, and a first kiss that will leave you flushed and breathless, Ready or Not is a delightfully romantic story that celebrates modern love and the excitement of the unexpected. Readers will adore Cara Bastone’s joyful, swoony novel!”—Amy Poeppel, author of The Sweet Spot

“This is a gratifyingly modern take on the accidental pregnancy trope that acknowledges a family can come in many different configurations. The nuanced, believable characters and depth of emotion make this warmhearted romance a keeper.”Publishers Weekly

“Funny and touching; Eve’s snappy voice and poignant vulnerability are a good match for the subject matter.”Kirkus Reviews
“In this contemporary rom-com, the story jumps right into the action, and even readers who don’t like the surprise-pregnancy trope will find themselves glued to the page for more of Eve’s snark and sense of humor.”—Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593595718
ISBN-10: 0593595718
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Pages: 400
Language: English