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It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake

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What if you made yourself your number one priority? Of all the women and men Noni Blake has pleased in her life, there's one she's often overlooked—herself. After the end of a decade-long relationship, Noni decides it's time for that to change. She's finally going to prioritize her wants and desires and only do things (and people) that feel good in the moment. As she embarks What if you made yourself your number one priority? Of all the women and men Noni Blake has pleased in her life, there's one she's often overlooked—herself. After the end of a decade-long relationship, Noni decides it's time for that to change. She's finally going to prioritize her wants and desires and only do things (and people) that feel good in the moment. As she embarks on a pleasure-seeking quest that takes her halfway around the world, she discovers that maybe she can have everything, and everyone, she's ever wanted. Effortlessly hilarious and relatable, Claire Christian spins a fresh, feel-good tale about starting over as a thirtysomething woman who's been living life for everyone else. A story of self-discovery for the ages, Noni's journey serves as a sparkling reminder that life is what we make of it—so why not enjoy it?


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What if you made yourself your number one priority? Of all the women and men Noni Blake has pleased in her life, there's one she's often overlooked—herself. After the end of a decade-long relationship, Noni decides it's time for that to change. She's finally going to prioritize her wants and desires and only do things (and people) that feel good in the moment. As she embarks What if you made yourself your number one priority? Of all the women and men Noni Blake has pleased in her life, there's one she's often overlooked—herself. After the end of a decade-long relationship, Noni decides it's time for that to change. She's finally going to prioritize her wants and desires and only do things (and people) that feel good in the moment. As she embarks on a pleasure-seeking quest that takes her halfway around the world, she discovers that maybe she can have everything, and everyone, she's ever wanted. Effortlessly hilarious and relatable, Claire Christian spins a fresh, feel-good tale about starting over as a thirtysomething woman who's been living life for everyone else. A story of self-discovery for the ages, Noni's journey serves as a sparkling reminder that life is what we make of it—so why not enjoy it?

30 review for It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake

  1. 4 out of 5

    chan ☆

    dnf @ 35% liked the bi rep in this & liked the humor but i could tell it wasn't going to do much for me. the story is about our heroine sleeping with people to find herself. totally valid. but i tend to prefer my romances to have a central thread and this was a little all over the place. i guess maybe i was too dumb to see the point of it? idk. dnf @ 35% liked the bi rep in this & liked the humor but i could tell it wasn't going to do much for me. the story is about our heroine sleeping with people to find herself. totally valid. but i tend to prefer my romances to have a central thread and this was a little all over the place. i guess maybe i was too dumb to see the point of it? idk.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    3.75 stars. I had originally DNF'd this one a few months back because it just wasn't quite what I was looking for at the time, but I decided to pick it back up on a whim the other day and it really pleasantly surprised me! I listened to it on audio during my nightly walks and I found myself wanting to take longer and longer walks so that I could keep listening to the story, lol. Love to read about a bisexual fat woman living her best life and doing the absolute most. This was so much fun!!! CW: f 3.75 stars. I had originally DNF'd this one a few months back because it just wasn't quite what I was looking for at the time, but I decided to pick it back up on a whim the other day and it really pleasantly surprised me! I listened to it on audio during my nightly walks and I found myself wanting to take longer and longer walks so that I could keep listening to the story, lol. Love to read about a bisexual fat woman living her best life and doing the absolute most. This was so much fun!!! CW: fatphobia, cheating, miscarriage, IVF complications, death of a child

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    4.5 stars With the stress of everyday life, I'm always game for a fun read and this book certainly fit the bill. The writing style reminded me of Sophie Kinsella but with more colorful language and some uh, detailed bedroom scenes. I loved the message of the book which is go out and do things for yourself and quit worrying what other people think. It's been awhile since Noni and her long-term girlfriend, Joan, broke up. Noni has come to the conclusion she needs to make some big changes in her life 4.5 stars With the stress of everyday life, I'm always game for a fun read and this book certainly fit the bill. The writing style reminded me of Sophie Kinsella but with more colorful language and some uh, detailed bedroom scenes. I loved the message of the book which is go out and do things for yourself and quit worrying what other people think. It's been awhile since Noni and her long-term girlfriend, Joan, broke up. Noni has come to the conclusion she needs to make some big changes in her life in order to truly be happy. She's going to stop overthinking things and instead just do what feels good in the moment. Hmm... doing everything she wants. What could go wrong and what could go right? I'm thankful the author chose to feature a bisexual main character as the representation in fiction still remains woefully low. Noni has an active sex life and there are some scenes that are graphic and might turn off some readers. (pun intended) We all have our opinions on romance novels and the steam factor. Personally, I thought it fit in well with the context of Noni being a sexually liberated woman. Noni is a likeable character and while the book is full of humor, you do get background info on a few tough things she's had to deal with in life. The only thing that slightly bugged me was Noni had the ideal personality for this "I do what I want. I choose me." type journey. She's outgoing and it's easy for her to make friends in just about any situation. When everyone seems to think you are awesome, that has to give you a boost in confidence and allows you not to worry as much about other people's opinions. I think the story would have been more interesting if Noni had a quiet and shy personality. Don't get me wrong though, I really did enjoy this book a great deal. Recommend for anyone who needs a reminder that life is short so you might as well do what makes you happy. I won a free copy of this book from the publisher but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is an entertaining and impactful book about the main character putting herself first and finding herself. Noni has always focused on everyone else and for the first time in her life is putting herself first. Noni decides she is moving to Europe for a few months and temporarily leaves her old life behind. Noni focuses on finding herself and discovering what will make her happy. Noni starts this journey still not over a long term relationship that ended eighteen mo It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is an entertaining and impactful book about the main character putting herself first and finding herself. Noni has always focused on everyone else and for the first time in her life is putting herself first. Noni decides she is moving to Europe for a few months and temporarily leaves her old life behind. Noni focuses on finding herself and discovering what will make her happy. Noni starts this journey still not over a long term relationship that ended eighteen months ago. Noni is a complex character that is relatable at least to some extent. Her trip does not go as planned. Noni ends up in hilarious awkward situations. She is embracing and exploring her sexuality. Noni meets a new friend and finds a job. She finds an unexpected love interest and has to decide what she actually wants out of their time together. It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is full of funny moments but also serious topics. Noni discusses counseling and the effects of a miscarriage even years later. All of the characters are unique and the story is the perfect mix of entertaining and serious. Noni shows the reader that it’s never too late to find yourself. Thank you MIRA, HARLEQUIN Trade Publishing, and NetGalley for It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    1.5 stars This book…. I really expected to enjoy it, and it really was a miss for me. The biggest positive of the book was we got a bisexual heroine which I don’t see a lot in romance (and I would like to see more of). But other than that, this book was all over the damn place with the story and the characters. And while for the most part this book was a 3 star read, somewhere near the middle I just wanted it to be over and was no longer enjoying the book. If I were to try and describe this boo 1.5 stars This book…. I really expected to enjoy it, and it really was a miss for me. The biggest positive of the book was we got a bisexual heroine which I don’t see a lot in romance (and I would like to see more of). But other than that, this book was all over the damn place with the story and the characters. And while for the most part this book was a 3 star read, somewhere near the middle I just wanted it to be over and was no longer enjoying the book. If I were to try and describe this book to someone, I would say it’s a bisexual High Fidelity but instead of revisiting old relationships the MC decides to go back and sleep with everyone she wished she had and everyone else along the way. And reading it, it didn’t seem like something that was freeing for this character (like I think it was supposed to be?) instead it seemed like she was spiraling and putting herself in scenarios where she was drunk and consent to sex wasn’t always clear. And let’s not talk about the guy she slept with who had a racist tattoo. Not even sure how to touch on that one. Overall, meh. Just… lots of meh.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    To say that I was eager to read Claire Christian's sophomore novel would be an understatement, as would to off-handedly mention that her books are not really written with a middle aged, middle class, heteronormative white guy in mind. So I was thrilled when I was finally able to pick up an advanced copy. Her debut novel reminded me of all of the many feelings of adolescence so perfectly that I found myself missing my manga sized swoosh haircut and getting out my emo mixtapes, and she has followed To say that I was eager to read Claire Christian's sophomore novel would be an understatement, as would to off-handedly mention that her books are not really written with a middle aged, middle class, heteronormative white guy in mind. So I was thrilled when I was finally able to pick up an advanced copy. Her debut novel reminded me of all of the many feelings of adolescence so perfectly that I found myself missing my manga sized swoosh haircut and getting out my emo mixtapes, and she has followed that up with a modern update of the romcom genre that Netflix would be proud to have in their growing stable of life affirming tales of love and otherness. Claire is very clearly passionate about empowering her audience, and her capacity for joy is evident as Noni Blake discovers the real pleasure of putting herself first via some completely outrageous sexual (mis)adventures, an unanticipated encounter with an Aussie backpacker in Amsterdam (but who hasn't met an Aussie backpacker every time they've traveled?) which made me gasp in delight and the kind of wish fulfilment fantasy that genres are made for. And that's before you even consider the modern take on the classic romantic lead - Beau the educated, emotionally intelligent, insanely handsome, bearded tattooist - dispatched on to the page in an attempt to sweep Noni out of my life forever. There are moments I may never forget, I have already used one of Noni's questionable sex scenes as an anecdote on a date to demonstrate that things could definitely be worse that having a beer with me for example, and I definitely could have done with a lot more of the adventure and less of the romance - see the first paragraph - and whilst on the surface it might appear to be a much lighter novel than Beautiful Mess, Noni Blake's pleasure quest actually tackles the same important themes of self care, self worth, and finding your place in the world, no matter how old you are, how many times you have let yourself down, or how often somebody has covered you in honey during a one night stand.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    A pleasure read! Noni leaves a bad breakup and a job behind in Australia in pursuit of whatever she can say yes to in Europe, including maybe checking off some people from her list of missed hookups. This would be a great gift for a friend (or yourself) who has put herself last for too long. Very sex positive, bi friendly, and overall joyful even through some hard situations. I had a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. It came out February 23, 2021.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tabs

    DNF'd at 12%. I picked this up because the premise sounded fun and I'm always down for disaster bisexuals. In the first couple of chapters, I found myself liking a lot of things including the author's voice, the queerness, and the main character's best friend. But then the story started taking a bizarre direction and I was done. (view spoiler)[I flat out don't want to read a book where the main character has reluctant sex with a white supremacist. There are a myriad number of ways to show a char DNF'd at 12%. I picked this up because the premise sounded fun and I'm always down for disaster bisexuals. In the first couple of chapters, I found myself liking a lot of things including the author's voice, the queerness, and the main character's best friend. But then the story started taking a bizarre direction and I was done. (view spoiler)[I flat out don't want to read a book where the main character has reluctant sex with a white supremacist. There are a myriad number of ways to show a character hitting rock bottom that aren't THAT, FFS. (hide spoiler)]

  9. 4 out of 5

    greta ☁️

    just finished the ebook of this one and i think it's highly highly overrated. the main character Noni Blake is going on a self discovery to Europe but turns out it was more about the number of people she's had sex with. like, she's having sex in almost every chapter. i felt completely put off by that. her meetings with strangers on her journey were so unbelievable and not at all realistic. this book does have a pretty cover and at times Noni was funny as hell but i felt like i've been reading so just finished the ebook of this one and i think it's highly highly overrated. the main character Noni Blake is going on a self discovery to Europe but turns out it was more about the number of people she's had sex with. like, she's having sex in almost every chapter. i felt completely put off by that. her meetings with strangers on her journey were so unbelievable and not at all realistic. this book does have a pretty cover and at times Noni was funny as hell but i felt like i've been reading some *thingy* diary lol. this was just too much

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kahlia

    There wasn’t one big thing that bothered me about this book, just a bunch of small things that rubbed me the wrong way, unfortunately. In particular, I didn't like the conflation of 'pleasure' and 'self-enlightenment' with sex/romance, at the expense of exploring Noni's feelings about her parents, her career, and whether or not she wanted to have a baby. I didn't like how cheaply the encounter with the firefighter who kicks off this story was treated. And, I also found the dialogue to be 'off'; There wasn’t one big thing that bothered me about this book, just a bunch of small things that rubbed me the wrong way, unfortunately. In particular, I didn't like the conflation of 'pleasure' and 'self-enlightenment' with sex/romance, at the expense of exploring Noni's feelings about her parents, her career, and whether or not she wanted to have a baby. I didn't like how cheaply the encounter with the firefighter who kicks off this story was treated. And, I also found the dialogue to be 'off'; I wasn't convinced by how open and brash everyone was with each other, all the time. I did like that this is a queer book that's not about being queer (Noni's bisexuality is a total non-event), but I wish I'd enjoyed it more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake is the second novel by Australian novelist and playwright, Claire Christian. Eighteen months out of a nine-year relationship, Noni Blake is still, unintentionally, celibate, until a one-night-stand with the firefighter. The tragic event that follows is the impetus to stop “putting on twelve kilos, dyeing my hair too dark, spending way too much money on therapy” and start trying again. The result of a late-night drinking session with her best friend since third gr It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake is the second novel by Australian novelist and playwright, Claire Christian. Eighteen months out of a nine-year relationship, Noni Blake is still, unintentionally, celibate, until a one-night-stand with the firefighter. The tragic event that follows is the impetus to stop “putting on twelve kilos, dyeing my hair too dark, spending way too much money on therapy” and start trying again. The result of a late-night drinking session with her best friend since third grade, Lindell and his partner, Graham, is the list of the Should-Have-Boned. Ever her sounding board for all things, Lindell supports and encourages her to take the big step: Europe, and the last name on that list, Molly. “Doing this may disrupt the very comfortable fabric of my life. And that’s petrifying, because I’m very comfortable here. I know how things work. How I work. I’m happy being relatively unhappy.” When Molly becomes a major disappointment, Noni’s unfailing London friends step in to comfort and distract, and an Edinburgh retreat results in Noni’s Pleasure Quest. This includes quite a lot of sex, a trip to Amsterdam, a tattoo (and encountering a Viking-like tattoo artist, Beau). It’s likely that Noni, both in thought and action, will initially strike the reader as immature: thirty-six going on sixteen. She lacks self-esteem, has body image issues, fails to listen to the inner voice, and makes poor decisions, some of which she justifies with “Sometimes we need to experience things to know they’re what we don’t want.” She does, eventually, get it together (“I feel like an idiot for thinking diving into my past would change anything about the present”), even if she spends way too long in angsty self-analysis. There’s copious use of expletives which, while perhaps fitting for the characters and their cohort, may bother some readers, as may Noni’s rampant promiscuity and the explicit sexual descriptions. But Christian does have a way with words: “Like I’m a blob of paint and a brush has come in and swirled me in a perfect circle” and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Christian does give her characters some wise words and insightful comments: “I think aging is actually just about getting used to yourself, you know? Getting used to the way you are, the way you work, the way you process things, the weird things that make you unique. I think we spend so much time early on figuring that out. Or fighting against it.” While it won’t appeal to everyone, Claire Christian’s second novel is funny and ultimately feel-good. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Text Publishing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Corina

    Full review on THE BROWN EYED BOOKWORM Full review on THE BROWN EYED BOOKWORM

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    4.5/5 Ok I loved this one you guys! I didn’t expect it to be so inspirational and uplifting, but it was really wonderful. How often do we, as adults do things just for the simple pleasure of it? Not often I’m afraid, and following along with Noni as she embarks on a pleasure quest was such a damn delight. It was a unique way for her to start a path of self discovery and I was rooting for her so hard! Noni was such a complex and well crafted character, she was very honest and vulnerable throughout 4.5/5 Ok I loved this one you guys! I didn’t expect it to be so inspirational and uplifting, but it was really wonderful. How often do we, as adults do things just for the simple pleasure of it? Not often I’m afraid, and following along with Noni as she embarks on a pleasure quest was such a damn delight. It was a unique way for her to start a path of self discovery and I was rooting for her so hard! Noni was such a complex and well crafted character, she was very honest and vulnerable throughout the book as she faced her own insecurities. There was so much body positivity and sex positivity and I am SO here for that. It was refreshing to read about a strong woman going after what she wanted and to put her own needs and wants first. I adored my time with Noni and was sad to say goodbye. Read this is you want to feel empowered and hopeful, it was sexy, funny and utterly charming.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was hyped up so much on Instagram and as a bisexual, chubby woman in her 30’s, I was desperate to get my hands on it because the main character is.. drumroll... a bisexual, chubby woman in her 30’s (she could be pansexual but I’m going with Bi as it isn’t exactly stated in the story) but... mate! I was completely annoyed at this book by the end. It took me 3 days to finish because it was making me roll my eyes and just not want to read it! At no point did this come across as a “feel good ro This was hyped up so much on Instagram and as a bisexual, chubby woman in her 30’s, I was desperate to get my hands on it because the main character is.. drumroll... a bisexual, chubby woman in her 30’s (she could be pansexual but I’m going with Bi as it isn’t exactly stated in the story) but... mate! I was completely annoyed at this book by the end. It took me 3 days to finish because it was making me roll my eyes and just not want to read it! At no point did this come across as a “feel good rom com” or “inspiring”. It was literally a book of Noni Blake having sex with every bloke she meets and a couple of women... It was just so unbelievable! Every bloke she meets on her journey from Australia to Europe finds her sexy and wants to sleep with her immediately and all her friends think it’s brilliant even though she doesn’t think her body is “good enough” - certainly doesn’t stop her banging everyone. No one questions her 6 month long holiday turned “pleasure quest” following a death of a one night stand and a long standing flirtation with zero promise of being more than that. This story at its core isn’t about Noni finding herself or loving herself.. it’s all about sex and nothing more. There is nothing feel good about that. I couldn’t feel any love between her and the Viking. I couldn’t even feel the connection between her and Molly. There was no real depth to Noni... I just could not connect to her at all and it honestly was devastating to me because I wanted so much more from this book then what I got.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bec

    When fuck is in the opening lines you know it’s going to be a good book. You know the feeling when you’re trying to pick and book and nothings scratching that itch. This book was my book, it made me feel all the feels. And made me stay up to midnight because it consumed me. Noni is in a rut. Her life ended when her partner of 9 years Joan (the house, the dog and the failed ivf) left. Noni struggled to find herself and couldn’t build her confidence back up form a negative value. The best way to get When fuck is in the opening lines you know it’s going to be a good book. You know the feeling when you’re trying to pick and book and nothings scratching that itch. This book was my book, it made me feel all the feels. And made me stay up to midnight because it consumed me. Noni is in a rut. Her life ended when her partner of 9 years Joan (the house, the dog and the failed ivf) left. Noni struggled to find herself and couldn’t build her confidence back up form a negative value. The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else right? A sexy firefighter sparks her interest they hit it off and she has a one night stand. Tragically she dies and Noni has a midlife crisis moment and decides she needs a fuck it list of all the people she wish she’d fucked and a plan to begin her pleasure quest. Noni backs her bags and heads to Europe in search of fulfilment, pleasure and exploration. Then she meets Beau, the hot, tattooed, Vikings that changes the course. Happiness is always the right choice. Updated review - Read 3 it was just as freaking amazing!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cathi - LovesBooksMore

    This book is a great inspirational read. As we follow Noni on her ‘Pleasure Quest‘ to Europe to find what pleases her specifically- it gives the reader insight as to what we all need... to find ourselves again in the crazy world. The journey was so much more, but the story warmed my heart to follow Noni and her emotional roller coaster.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Fiction Addition Angela

    You know when a friend, a book friend tells you to read a book, you think ohh this is going to be good. Wrong.... this is all the way to the moon and back, orbiting somewhere in the galaxy, fantastically good. Noni is having a melt down, she’s ended her relationship after 9 years with Joan, the one night stand she just rather enjoyed, the fit firefighter tragically dies, and after a deep and meaningful conversation with her two male gay friends she decides to hop it to Europe and in her words go You know when a friend, a book friend tells you to read a book, you think ohh this is going to be good. Wrong.... this is all the way to the moon and back, orbiting somewhere in the galaxy, fantastically good. Noni is having a melt down, she’s ended her relationship after 9 years with Joan, the one night stand she just rather enjoyed, the fit firefighter tragically dies, and after a deep and meaningful conversation with her two male gay friends she decides to hop it to Europe and in her words go on a ‘pleasure quest’ - what’s that? It’s doing small things, everyday things, that you really want to do but tell yourself you can’t because... because well because you just can’t bloody do them you’ve got to be sensible and pay bills, go to work, you get the drift and besides what will people think? You know we all think it, and feel it and if your truly honest, we all have a million conversations in our head each day about what you want to do, wear, think, feel, and how you SHOULD behave... well, Noni has those conversations. Reading this you are nodding and smiling in agreement as she sets off on a mission, and gets brave and begins her quest of finding out what will make her happy. Meeting Beau along the way who is an extremely savvy, sexy Viking no messing god of a man helps and if you think this is just another Rom - com and your eyes are now glazing over your wrong. This book is a romance but is also about being true, doing what you totally want, - to eat,✅ drink,✅dye, ✅kiss, ✅fuck✅ (yes there’s a lot of that kinda talk and action in this one) and hell yes getting a tattoo ✅if you think you really should. This is about Noni taking control of her life, sex with who she wants (that will have some squirming) (and some smiling). A book that tackles, self love, self care, finally being just you. Strong language, sex scenes and normal life! Thank you Claire Christian for making me smile for 300 plus pages and Net galley for this cracker of an advanced copy and Text Publishing you’ve got a hit on your hands here. 5 pleasure quest stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Publishes 29 September in the UK and February for the USA

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katey Moore

    This one got me good. I was not expecting my impulsive contemporary romance checkout to punch me in the soul and leave a lasting mark on my heart. It's just darn good. Noni's eat, pray, love-esque journey is relatable. She unlearns a bunch of crap many of us learn throughout life. She is the relatable Bridget Jones character I have always quested after. Warning, there are some interesting and underwhelming spicy encounters in this book. (it's the rubber sheets for me) Read this book and then call This one got me good. I was not expecting my impulsive contemporary romance checkout to punch me in the soul and leave a lasting mark on my heart. It's just darn good. Noni's eat, pray, love-esque journey is relatable. She unlearns a bunch of crap many of us learn throughout life. She is the relatable Bridget Jones character I have always quested after. Warning, there are some interesting and underwhelming spicy encounters in this book. (it's the rubber sheets for me) Read this book and then call me immediately so we can chat.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (Diva Booknerd)

    Noni Blake lives her life in shades of beige, she's dependable, steadfast and on the verge of embarking on a pleasure quest throughout Europe. Noni is a formidable woman, we first meet Noni as she's healing from the breakup of her nine year long relationship with Joan, sharing a mortgage and child of the four legged variety. The split was amicable but while Joan has seemingly moved on, Noni uses the opportunity to step out of her beige comfort zone and take life by the balls. Leaving her fabulous Noni Blake lives her life in shades of beige, she's dependable, steadfast and on the verge of embarking on a pleasure quest throughout Europe. Noni is a formidable woman, we first meet Noni as she's healing from the breakup of her nine year long relationship with Joan, sharing a mortgage and child of the four legged variety. The split was amicable but while Joan has seemingly moved on, Noni uses the opportunity to step out of her beige comfort zone and take life by the balls. Leaving her fabulously gay best friend behind in Australia, Noni departs for London, a to do list in hand, quite literally. Molly is the one that almost was but neither she or Noni could get their shit together and hook up. So rather than always wonder, Noni plans on making the next six months count. Sexy times, horrendous sexual encounters, new lingerie, posing nude, drinking, indulging and one incredibly sexy viking later and Noni finds herself the embodiment of female empowerment. The new sexy and confident Noni lives her life to the fullest and I absolutely adored her. She's plump, a bit of a bogan and responsible for her own orgasms. She's bright, outgoing and is learning to embrace her imperfections and find comfort in her own body. I loved Noni's authenticity. She's insecure and vulnerable and completely relatable. She owns her sexuality and after years of teaching and putting others happiness before her own, she's finally finally putting her own needs first. Noni is bisexual and after her nine year relationship ended, a one night stand prompts her to pack up her life and travel. It's inspirational, not to mention incredibly brave. In much the same way that Marie Kondo asks, does it spark joy, Noni is seeking pleasure through travel, friendships, lovers and finding moments of happiness. Temporary pleasure comes at the hands and mouths of people she meets along her journey, from a female firefighter, high school principal, magician, the one who could have been and the Viking, the gentle and kind tattoo artist Beau. Her sexual misadventures are hilarious, even kinky in some instances but Noni takes each experience in her stride and along with her close circle of friends from home and abroad, is discovering she prefers unbridled, adventurous Noni. The Viking was delightfully unexpected. On a whim, Noni decides to get herself inked while in London, walking in off the street into small tattoo studio where she meets artist Beau, bearded, burly and gentle and as he marks her skin, she's fantasising about getting on on the table and girl, merry orgasm to you my friend. Beau isn't just a conquest, he could very well be the love of Noni's life but beyond her pleasure quest, her new life of saying yes, of friends and parties and painting the town not quite red because she's still a responsible adult, Noni has her friends, family and career in Australia and Beau seems content to enjoy their fling while it lasts. Oh how I loved It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake! It's fun, flirty and outrageously funny but beneath the surface lies a book about falling in love with yourself. There's a little bit of Noni in all of us.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Text Publishing

    The following book reviews have been shared by Text Publishing – publisher of It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake ‘The dialogue is preppy, fun and sharp…I wanted to jump inside the world Christian has created…This is an all-round feel-good read, and utterly charming.’ Jessie Tu, Women’s Agenda 'This is a frank and funny novel that is refreshingly, unabashedly, queer and inclusive. Noni is many things: witty, self-deprecating, fat, loving, considerate, and bisexual; and the fact that Christian has mana The following book reviews have been shared by Text Publishing – publisher of It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake ‘The dialogue is preppy, fun and sharp…I wanted to jump inside the world Christian has created…This is an all-round feel-good read, and utterly charming.’ Jessie Tu, Women’s Agenda 'This is a frank and funny novel that is refreshingly, unabashedly, queer and inclusive. Noni is many things: witty, self-deprecating, fat, loving, considerate, and bisexual; and the fact that Christian has managed to include almost every iteration of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum into this delightful book without making it A Book About Being Queer is actually kind of radical. For readers struggling through a quarter-life crisis, a Saturn rising, a breakup, a tough year, It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is the romantic comedy you want to lose yourself in. As Noni embarks on her life-changing pursuit of pleasure, you’re taken along on a joyous, absurd, and sex-filled ride. But, underneath it all, there is a great depth of feeling.’ Readings ‘Noni's comic voice is so refreshing, so endearing...I truly felt a bit bolder after reading this book…It felt pleasurable—and we can all do with a bit more pleasure.’ Age 'A funny, engaging, and light-hearted story… I recommend it to anyone who is in desperate need of a holiday (or a mental escape at least), or a bit of saucy fun mixed with disaster people. I assure you, you won’t regret it one bit!’ Nerd Daily ‘A vibrant story of self discovery…Both a celebration of pleasure and a dissection of the restrictions people place on their own lives, this is sure to capture readers’ hearts.’ Publishers Weekly (starred review) 'The perfect rom-com book to carry with you as you take your mind off 2020. It is so comforting to read a story about a queer, single woman in her 30s, seeking out whatever makes her feel good. I laughed out loud countless times.’ Jessie Tu, Sydney Morning Herald 'This book’s amazing. This is hilarious…If you thought Bridget Jones needed more smut, this is for you.’ 3RRR 'All in all, this is a highly entertaining and effervescent romp, that also manages to encompass the type of deep self-reflection and learning that comes when life requires big changes from a person.’ Leanne Hall 'Delightful… A celebration of pleasure and a dissection of the restrictions people place on their own lives, this is sure to capture readers’ hearts.' Publishers Weekly

  21. 5 out of 5

    She Said Yes to Books

    I picked this book mainly because I fell in love with the cover. I didn’t even read the blurb or any reviews. And I wish I had... It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is a story about seeking pleasure. Unfortunately, Noni Blake's idea of pleasure is jumping from bed to bed to have sex with anything that walks on two legs. The overall message of this book was a good one though. You have to do what makes YOU happy. Forget about other people’s opinions. If it makes you happy and feels right, just do it. I picked this book mainly because I fell in love with the cover. I didn’t even read the blurb or any reviews. And I wish I had... It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake is a story about seeking pleasure. Unfortunately, Noni Blake's idea of pleasure is jumping from bed to bed to have sex with anything that walks on two legs. The overall message of this book was a good one though. You have to do what makes YOU happy. Forget about other people’s opinions. If it makes you happy and feels right, just do it. People will criticize you, anyway. Put yourself first and stop worrying about what other people think about you. And for that I give this book 3 stars!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kate Olson

    (free review copy) ❤️ FAVORITE READ OF 2021 (so far) I can’t even describe how much I love this book. So I won’t try. Just know it made me sublimely happy reading it and it’s the most sex positive book I’ve read in a long long time. Also I want to marry Beau in an alternate life. I wish I could say everyone should read this book, but what I’ll say instead is that everyone who is very very comfortable reading about lots and lots of sex with many different partners should read this book because it (free review copy) ❤️ FAVORITE READ OF 2021 (so far) I can’t even describe how much I love this book. So I won’t try. Just know it made me sublimely happy reading it and it’s the most sex positive book I’ve read in a long long time. Also I want to marry Beau in an alternate life. I wish I could say everyone should read this book, but what I’ll say instead is that everyone who is very very comfortable reading about lots and lots of sex with many different partners should read this book because it’s absolutely delightful ❤️

  23. 5 out of 5

    Misha (Heartsfullofreads)

    Noni Blake was about a woman finding her truth. There were aspects of the story I enjoyed. I liked that Noni embraced her body and learned what she wanted out of life. I liked that she chased down what she thought she wanted. I never really cared for Noni though and I'm not sure why. Some of the dialogue also felt a little unbelievable to me. All in all, the story wasn't a bad story. It just wasn't a story for me. *EArc Provided by Netgalley for my honest review* Noni Blake was about a woman finding her truth. There were aspects of the story I enjoyed. I liked that Noni embraced her body and learned what she wanted out of life. I liked that she chased down what she thought she wanted. I never really cared for Noni though and I'm not sure why. Some of the dialogue also felt a little unbelievable to me. All in all, the story wasn't a bad story. It just wasn't a story for me. *EArc Provided by Netgalley for my honest review*

  24. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    I read this book as an arc through Netgalley. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity. However, the thoughts that follow are my own. Keywords: LGBT+, Bicon, romcom, inspirational, body-positive This book resonated with me in a way I wasn't expecting and was honestly unprepared for. Especially considering that I almost put it down and walked away early on. Within the first act, I really struggled with the titular character Noni Blake. This novel is frequently compared to Bridget J I read this book as an arc through Netgalley. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity. However, the thoughts that follow are my own. Keywords: LGBT+, Bicon, romcom, inspirational, body-positive This book resonated with me in a way I wasn't expecting and was honestly unprepared for. Especially considering that I almost put it down and walked away early on. Within the first act, I really struggled with the titular character Noni Blake. This novel is frequently compared to Bridget Jones' Diary, a book I've never been fond of personally, and Noni's early self-deprecating mindset and interpersonal awkwardness were really hammering home that Bridget Jones comparison. But before I scare you away with my early grumpiness about this book, let me tell you that It's Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake not only gets better but becomes the true pleasure that its name suggests. I gave Noni Blake four stars out of five because of that early frustration, but this book has become a recent favorite. If you're a character-driven reader, then this is going to be such a satisfying experience—Noni's journey from awkward to self-actualized is one of the most validating and empowering character arcs I've read in contemporary fiction. Stuck in an only vaguely-satisfying job as a high school counselor and still smarting from the end of a long-term relationship, Noni Blake starts to imagine "what if?" What if those people I had the opportunity for love (or at least a good time) hadn't passed me by? Feeling inspired, Noni tries to track down those folks on her f*ck-it list, including her ultimate missed opportunity in love, Molly, who runs a hostel in Europe. Nothing goes as planned in Noni's adventure, which ends up being set largely in the UK. Without dropping any spoilers, Noni discovers that love isn't in the place she expected but the real adventure is finding it in yourself first. Sounds cliche, I know, but this book made me laugh uncontrollably and sob into a pillow mere pages later. I promise the emotional depths are there. For me, this was an emotional read that took me by surprise. It was sex-positive, body-positive, and dealt with anxiety and grief so beautifully that it was humbling. I also loved that Noni was in her mid-thirties and didn't have it all together; instead of that being the pivot point for depression or stasis (something I think mid-thirty-something female characters are too often subjected to in literary fiction) Noni changes everything and sends the message that your life isn't over after a certain age. As someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, and a healthy self-image, Noni Blake was relatable but also so inspiring. There's so much I want to gush about in this book because there are some scenes that just hit home or had me in a swoon. I hesitate to say too much in case of spoilers, but I do want to emphasize the value of all of Noni's relationships in this book. Yes, there's a dynamite romance component with some deliciously steamy scenes scattered throughout. But I also valued all the types of love you get a peek into throughout the novel—found family, deep friendships, long-term marriages, and parent-child dynamics—all of it shows up in meaningful ways. There's just so much more to this book than I anticipated and it's meant more to me than I can say. Thank you, Claire Christian, for writing a book I didn't know I needed!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pauline [paulineisreading]

    This novel gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings, got me laughing out loud AND swooning over its characters and their relationships. It’s fun, it’s sexy, and it’s got so much heart. Although it may be light-hearted, it’s in no way ‘fluffy’ and covers some harrowing topics too. I read it during a time when i was feeling a bit fragile physically and mentally and it felt like such a big warm hug. Noni Blake is a 36 year old high school teacher who’s been getting over a break up of a long-term, com This novel gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings, got me laughing out loud AND swooning over its characters and their relationships. It’s fun, it’s sexy, and it’s got so much heart. Although it may be light-hearted, it’s in no way ‘fluffy’ and covers some harrowing topics too. I read it during a time when i was feeling a bit fragile physically and mentally and it felt like such a big warm hug. Noni Blake is a 36 year old high school teacher who’s been getting over a break up of a long-term, committed relationship. When the joint property Noni owned with her ex gets sold, Noni decides to use the money to travel and embark on a ‘pleasure quest’ where she puts herself and her happiness first. The diversity of the characters feels so organic and natural which was so lovely to read and not feel forced in any way. Sometimes when a book ~tries~ to be diverse, you get the sense that the writer’s just trying to tick all the right boxes, but this wasn’t the sense that i got with Noni. Noni herself posesses the perfect balance of having insecurities that we can all relate to, but also remarkable self awareness and self-love qualities! I also love how much the characters are able to communicate throughout the book. This sounds like something minor but i often find that most romance books’ premise is built on the miscommunication between its characters that gets dragged out which can be so frustrating! There’s no slow burn moments with Noni, things get resolved quickly but again always in an organic, satisfying way. I also love the fact that this is a queer novel without it solely ‘about’ being queer. Noni is so comfortable with her sexual identity and it was very refreshing to see. I don’t think i could love Noni more if i tried - so do yourselves a favour and give this one a read too!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    You know that experience where it's the middle of the night and you've accidentally started watching decades-old reruns of Sex and the City on E! or some random other channel, and you're suddenly absolutely horrified by how horrendously everyone treats their sexual partners? That's this book. There's even a moment late in the novel wherein our protagonist has an actually very cute and poingant conversation with her boyfriend's teenaged son about treating his sexual partners with respect, and I w You know that experience where it's the middle of the night and you've accidentally started watching decades-old reruns of Sex and the City on E! or some random other channel, and you're suddenly absolutely horrified by how horrendously everyone treats their sexual partners? That's this book. There's even a moment late in the novel wherein our protagonist has an actually very cute and poingant conversation with her boyfriend's teenaged son about treating his sexual partners with respect, and I wanted to scream because that's good advice but lady I've known you for three hundred fucking pages and you have literally NEVER done that! No one hates people they choose to sleep with as much as Noni does. They're interchangeable hatable sex toys for almost all of this goddamn book. And, frankly, sometimes it seems like everybody's so drunk that one or both parties in every encounter is only dubiously able to consent. Why in the fuck did I read this. Admittedly, there are some good and even great parts of this novel. Our protagonist is bisexual, and it's nice that's not something she angsts about even though the book bizzarely does absolute summersaults to avoid using the actual word, like it somehow has cooties. The endgame love interest is a delight, especially once Noni stops treating him like an interchangeable sex toy without a name. That teenaged son is so great he steals every scene he's in. Noni's friends are genuinely funny. It's compellingly written. But it's 1990's Sex and the City - candy-coated fun with a seedy underbelly. Yes, it's great and feminist to focus on a woman getting pleasure from sex - but not when it's at the expense of treating one's partner like a human being. Like, this story even fridges some random faceless nameless sexual conquest of a woman to kick off Noni's sex quest, because nobody else matters. That callousness is the initial incident and just leads to more and I...just couldn't get past that.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    I liked the cover for this book and was interested in the synopsis. I just couldn’t strike a chord with this book. Noni is out to seek pleasure for herself and grabs life and sex with gusto. I just couldn’t relate to the story. I’m sure it will be appealing to many readers, but this book was a pass me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Marie

    So, if you’ve read any of my reviews, you may have noticed that I say “favorite” a lot. And, when I say a thing is my favorite, it’s true, every time, because in my brain/heart, “favorite” is a tier. However, when I say this book is my favorite romance, it is not a tier- it’s in a tier of its own and just completely stole my heart in a way that I did not expect! Full rtc

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Belcher

    This book was a DELIGHT from start to finish. I loved listening to Noni's journey as she travels through Europe, letting pleasure lead the way. Some of the situations she got herself into were hilarious, though mortifying, and I loved her commentary through it all. Noni's character is one I found I really identified with and I was rooting for her so completely. This book made me laugh out loud multiple times, and may have made me tear up a little too. It was good for the soul. Also, the Viking. This book was a DELIGHT from start to finish. I loved listening to Noni's journey as she travels through Europe, letting pleasure lead the way. Some of the situations she got herself into were hilarious, though mortifying, and I loved her commentary through it all. Noni's character is one I found I really identified with and I was rooting for her so completely. This book made me laugh out loud multiple times, and may have made me tear up a little too. It was good for the soul. Also, the Viking. THE VIKING. (About 40% of me wanting to read this book was because I heard about a ~rubber sheets incident~ and I just HAD to know. I was not disappointed.)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Annalise

    You know those books that you read at just the perfect time? This was that. An utter delight.

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