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Black Dog Bay #2

New Uses for Old Boyfriends

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After growing up in privilege and marrying into money, Lila Alders has gotten used to the good life. But when her happily-ever-after implodes, Lila must return to Black Dog Bay, the tiny seaside town where she grew up. She’s desperate for a safe haven, but everything has changed over the past ten years. Her family’s fortune is gone—and her mother is in total denial. It’s up to Lila to take care of everything...but she can barely take care of herself.

The former golden girl of Black Dog Bay struggles to reinvent herself by opening a vintage clothing boutique. But even as Lila finds new purpose for outdated dresses and tries to reunite with her ex, she realizes that sometimes it’s too late for old dreams. She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something—someone—she desperately wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget...and a second chance has never felt so much like first love.

336 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2015

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About the author

Beth Kendrick

27 books744 followers
This is the part where I’m supposed to brag about all my illustrious accomplishments, but honestly, I’d rather talk about my dogs and brag about some of the things I haven’t done:

I’ve never been to prison*, court-ordered rehab*, or splashed across the cover of a salacious weekly gossip tabloid with my ladybits on display**.

I’m a Leo, a middle child, and a formidable Trivial Pursuit opponent. I read everything I can get my hands on, from the classics to comic books. I don’t drink coffee because, frankly, I’m high strung enough without adding caffeine into the mix. Here is the true story of how I became a novelist:

So I had just started seeing this guy, and on our second or third date, he invited me to be his guest at a family wedding. Being young and free and a bit commitment-shy, I was about to decline until he casually mentioned that the bride was a successful romance novelist. Well, the second I heard that, I had to go. Being a writer had always been my dream job, and I’d never met anyone who’d actually beaten the odds and made the leap into big-time publishing. So I RSVP-ed, sidled up to the bar at the reception, waited until the bride and all her author friends uncorked the good champagne, and then peppered them with endless questions about writing, editing, and landing an agent. They were so funny and encouraging and generous with their time and advice. (And drunk!) Next thing you know, I had joined a critique group and was knee-deep in the manuscript that would eventually become MY FAVORITE MISTAKE. The open bar at that wedding changed my life forever.

Oh, and the guy who invited me to the wedding? I ended up marrying him. All together: awww…

I live in Arizona in a very cute fixer-upper that my husband and I bought in a burst of can-do, pioneering confidence. We thought it would be fun to embark on a series of do-it-yourself renovations. Yeah. I know. Turns out, replacing baseboard that’s been painted over 15 times since 1958 is not as easy as those Home Depot commercials would lead you to believe. Also, freshly-installed lawn drip systems and “helpful” dogs are a bad mix.

Friday and RoxieSpeaking of dogs, here we have the indefatigable canine lawn maintenance crew: Roxie and Friday. Both were rescued from the pound when they were puppies. I think they’re Rhodesian Ridgeback mixes. (Probably. Maybe? Anything’s possible.) Roxie is the brains of the operation and Friday is…well, he’s very sweet. And so indolent he could be mistaken for a piece of furniture, which I consider a very desirable trait in a family dog.

I absolutely love hearing from readers, so please feel free to email me, with the caveat that I am often on deadline/on the road/on the ragged edge of sanity, so it may be awhile before you get a reply. Just know that it’s not you; it’s me!

Have fun exploring the site, and if you have any questions about my new book, my backlist, or finding an agent…I’ll be right over there at the bar.


**That I know of.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 252 reviews
Profile Image for Jess.
504 reviews118 followers
June 26, 2016
A perfect "relaxing on a Saturday afternoon" kind of read. This is a no stress, outlandish enough in providing escapism, and quirky characters that are easy to like sort of book. A most definite chick lit book as the male characters are designed to appeal to the female reader. And if that is the kind of book mood you are in, go for it in reading this book. I laughed out loud at least five times and had a perma-grin through the last half of the book.

A home shopping network host has-been, Lila Alders finds that her life has been drastically altered. She has no work contract renewal, a cheating husband who has hosed her in divorce proceedings, and all her worldly possessions fit into a large over priced SUV with bad electrical wiring. With her head down, she heads home to the safety net of Black Dog Bay and her mother's care. What she finds is a safety net with a large hole right in the middle. Her devoted housewife mother hasn't been able to keep up with the finances left when Lila's father passed away. A stack of bills and a meeting with an attorney reveal a mass of debt with few options. When a chance encounter with her mother's old white Dior dress reveals a treasure trove of designer and couture garments, Lila realizes all may not be lost. What is left of the family fortune may be tied up in her mother's clothing. Seeking to save the family "farm" so to speak; Lila and her mother open up a vintage clothing boutique for the summer tourists in Black Dog Bay. Lila encounters three past exes from her former high school life and realizes she doesn't want to be the "place holder" girl in a man's life. Lila discovers there is permanence in second chances with new beginnings.
Thank you Goodreads giveaways and NAL Penguin Group for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
939 reviews
August 1, 2016
"Who knew the secret to happiness could be so simple? Reduce, reuse, recycle."

Enjoyable, funny chick lit about a daughter and a mother trying to carry on and reinvent themselves after a divorce and a spouse's death. Both women are used to having money and being taken care of by their husbands. But through financial hardship, they learn to stand on their own. All this sounds like it's a heavy book, but it's not. There is alot of humor to lighten up the plot, and many fun characters that enter their lives - including old high school boyfriends. A fun, feel-good read.
Profile Image for Tara - Running 'n' Reading.
316 reviews94 followers
February 5, 2015
If you've ever read one of Beth Kendrick's books, I'm not going to tell you anything you don't already know: her novels are fun, smile and laugh-producing, and a great break in whatever you have going on (for me, it's government budget time!) from which you can appreciate a brief escape. New Uses for Old Boyfriends is certainly no exception; in fact, it was really fun for me because some of the lovable characters from Cure for the Common Breakup appear again and I felt like I'd picked up right where I'd left off.

Lily returns to Black Dog Bay with her tail between her legs and a really, really large SUV that she purchased just before her soon-to-be ex-husband cleaned out their bank account (she refers to it as the FUV); she's hoping for a respite with her mother, so that she can regroup and figure out what to do next, but she is greeted with one disaster after another. In addition, her old high school sweetheart has also returned to town to assist in his parents' business and her mother is completely hooked by the idea that Lily and Ben are "destined" to rekindle their relationship.

As is her forte, Beth Kendrick provides readers with some pleasantly predictable outcomes via entertaining twists and turns and irresistible characters along the way; certainly not for the high-brow reader, this story is light, funny, definitely suited to women who can relate to unforeseen disaster and a response that is both hilarious and heartfelt. This is a quick read and would be great for picking up with your morning coffee, taking with you on vacation, on your commute or whenever you have a few spare moments and would like to relieve some stress.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,430 reviews234 followers
December 12, 2018
It seems I keep picking up these contemporary romances, where the heroine seems to lose everything and hit rock bottom, but you know what? It was a lot of fun watching Lila pick herself back up. It's never easy going home, but at least Lila's return had her crossing paths with not just one, but two exes, both of whom seemed to still have a little interest in her. I was very pleased with the direction Kendrick took on that romantic front, and I really enjoyed the vintage clothing storyline. I, like Lila, earned my fashion chops by watching Project Runway, but I can still appreciate good, quality clothing.

Overall: Fun, light, and breezy with a lot of laugh out loud moments for me.

Profile Image for Sloane.
315 reviews9 followers
February 28, 2019
I read most of the other books in the Black Dog Bay series before this one. They were all still enjoyable, despite references to characters who were the subject of, or mentioned in, subsequent stories. The books do not have to be read in any order; they might be slightly more enjoyable if you do. This was a cute story of a woman (multiple women) discovering what she is capable of when circumstances require strength and action. The main character's return to her hometown had her running into people she knew as a teen, including some she used to date. It was an interesting concept that Kendrick humorously and satisfyingly handled. Kendrick also weaves in the notion of small town residents helping one another in repeated and different situations, which was very heartwarming. This was a light, sweet story, the kind that Kendrick handles so well.
Profile Image for LORI CASWELL.
2,413 reviews271 followers
January 16, 2016

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is my first experience with this author and I am thrilled to have been offered this book for review. The story is like a breath of fresh air and just what I needed.

It is hard to go back home again. In Lila’s case her life has basically fallen apart. She has lost her job and her husband has left her and all just a few months after her father has passed away. She arrives back in Black Dog Bay to start over and help her mom adjust to living without her dad, which turns out to be a much bigger task that Lila ever imagined. What follows is an incredible story where she not only helps her mom and reconnects with old friend but she also finds that going home was the right thing to do for herself.

The is a light read full of funny moments. I really like Lila. She really is a strong woman who had a jerk for a husband and she moves on after first making a huge final purchase before he cut off the credit cards and bank account. She finds her friends that stayed in Black Dog Bay are moms and busy but they were able to carve some time out to spend together. She also runs into an old boyfriend or two and her mother is on a mission to find her a new man as soon as possible.

Black Dog Bay is quite a place – “the best place in America to bounce back from your breakup.” With places like Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, the Eat Your Heart Out bakery, and the Whinery bar, Black Dog Bay offers a haven for the suddenly single. So Lila is in the right place.

I particularly enjoyed this book because there is such a variety of women of all ages. Being older I really identified with Lila’s mom and the changes to her life. Younger women will tune into Lila and her friends. All of these characters are very engaging and they are all very diverse.

You do not have to have read Cure for the Common Breakup, the first Black Dog Bay Novel, to enjoy this story. It stands perfectly on its own. I do hope to go back and read the first one and anything else this author pens. She brings a great sense of humor to her work and gives us a happy ending too with several twists that made this an extremely delightful read.
Profile Image for January.
1,206 reviews67 followers
April 30, 2023
New Uses For Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick
Black Dog Bay #2
320-page Paperback story ends on 295

Genre: Women's Fiction > Chick Lit; Romance > Contemporary Romance; Adult Fiction, Humor

Featuring: Divorcée, Delaware, Homecoming Trope, Second Chance Trope, Downsizing Trope, High School Relationships, Fashion, Magical Realism, Discussion Questions, Excerpt from Previous Book - Cure for the Common Breakup 2 chapters

Rating as a movie: PG-15 for suggestive language and adult content

Songs for the soundtrack: "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" by Cake, "Walkin' After Midnight" by Patsy Cline, "Get Gone" by Fiona Apple, "Already Gone" by Sugarland, "I Wanna Be Sedated" by Ramones, "Drunk on a Plane" by Dierks Bentley

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: 📖 Page 61 of 295/320 Ch. 8 - I like it a lot, not a remix of the previous book. It's the same location and it seems it's set before the epilogue of Cure for the Common Breakup.
📖203 Ch. 23 - I read a book as a kid titled Stacey and the Boyfriend Trap, this book's plot is like the adult version. I think it's obvious who she'll end up with. I should have known and not gotten attached to that one guy. Then there's the fact that it's set between the ending and the epilogue of the last book, I'm a little annoyed about backtracking, but the story is great.
📖 222 Ch. 25 - I knew it! This is better than I anticipated.
📖 269 Ch. 29 - I'm going to have to read the next book right away because it takes a minute to remember some of these characters. It's slow on the romance side, a bit expected after a breakup, which I assume is why the previous story is also present. I'm only stopping to watch Survivor but I'm also wondering where this is going in with only a few chapters left.

This was a fun read. I stop Survivor 43 in the middle of them pleading their to finish this book before bedtime. I was upset by the ending but it was still an enjoyable read.

Recommend to others?: Yes. This series is fun, especially the music.
Profile Image for Sarah W..
2,090 reviews12 followers
July 28, 2020
A more critical reviewer would likely characterize this novel as fluff and while I couldn't argue that assessment, I will also say that there's something cozy and comforting about a light read filled with humor, romance, and overly dramatic characters. This book may not be Hemingway, but it is perfect to read while relaxing with a glass of wine and sometimes I need that more than I need critically acclaimed literature. This novel features a broke divorcee who's trying to help her recently widowed mother through a financially precarious situation. They attempt to make a business out of the closets of vintage clothing her mother's collected over the years, with a little help from a few ex-boyfriends who just happen to have the needed resources and skills. And, not surprisingly, everything manages to work out in the end. Did everything turn out just a little too perfectly? Yes. Did it make for fun reading? Also yes.
Profile Image for Karyn.
122 reviews13 followers
April 13, 2019
Be minimalist in short.. A lazy day read..
Profile Image for Karen.
492 reviews95 followers
February 4, 2015
This story was a lot of fun. New Uses for Old Boyfriends was a great upbeat story about overcoming. Lila was a great character who goes home after a nasty divorce to live with her Mom. Lila’s Mom is completely broke. Of course, her Mom is in complete denial about her financial situation which leads Lila to take action. This book was full of fun ideas and surprises.

The setting of Black Dog Bay was so quaint and perfect for Lila to start over. There was a bit of humor in this story. I could totally relate to Lila, even though she comes from wealth she is really down to earth. This story also features some high fashion labels, I am grateful Lila is as ignorant as I am about that. Her romance starts with the man she though she would marry. It took an outsider to see the truth about this romance leaving room for someone she never even noticed.

Although this is not my normal type of read, I found this lighthearted romance to be an easy read. The story builds up nicely. The author sprinkles in humor that most women can relate to. This is all written in third person, which makes it easy to understand the characters motives. There are women in almost every stage of life featured in this story. Lila’s mom, a reluctant bride, her meddling sister, a former beauty queen (who is also pregnant), a mean girl, a bartender, a NY shark, a few glamorous seniors, and then Lila herself round out this story. This is just a great story about women. Women not giving up on dreams, no matter what your age.
Profile Image for Renuka .
531 reviews214 followers
March 22, 2015
I was honestly attracted to this book because of the cover (pretty colors) and the title (it sounded humorous). It wasn't terrible, but it was utterly forgettable. Just your average perfect girl meets the real world with a spritz of cute guy tossed in.

We start with Lila Alders, a 29 year old divorcee who returns to her hometown of Black Dog Bay, where she has to regroup and restart her life. She lives with her mother, an ex-model who has a shopping addiction and a large number of financial problems. The two women have to learn how to live anew and cope with their vast number of problems.

It's about girl power, yes. And I love girl power. But it just wasn't very interesting. They open a vintage fashion store, make some silly choices, make new friends and meet some handsome men (ex-boyfriends of Lila). I never really felt the characters change. The secondary characters were also pathetically one-dimensional, but they had so much more potential. Sadly, I couldn't even remember which one was which.

As far as romance stories go, there are far better out there. More character development. Better pacing (I didn't even realize I was more than halfway done - there was no rising action). I wasn't too impressed. I recommend this only if you want something light, and can't find anything else to read.
March 30, 2015
I love when an author takes you back into a familiar place with familiar characters, Kendrick has brought us back to Black Dog Bay in her follow up novel NEW USES FOR OLD BOYFRIENDS. I encourage readers to first read THE CURE FOR A COMMON BREAKUP, as you will gain so much more depth to this already richly written, well developed and engrossing story!!! I want Black Dog Bay to be real...I want to go there and spend time. Kendrick has a way to pull the reader in and to make not only the setting feel real, but the characters too. You feel connected to them, you feel yourself relating to them and cheering them up, as well as grieving with them. This is the type of novel you don't want to end. This is such a great read...a great choice for book clubs, a great book to toss in the purse so you can escape into Black Dog Bay at anytime.
4.5 stars
Profile Image for Chloe (Always Booked).
1,933 reviews124 followers
June 29, 2018
This book is really a story about Lila and her mom. Lila's husband left her and so she goes back home to Black Dog Bay. When her husband said he was leaving her, she went out and bought as much as she could before the finances were split because she knew she'd be broke. She bought the biggest, most fully loaded SUV she could get and she called it the FUV throughout the story. I thought it was so funny!
Lila's dad has also somewhat recently died, leaving her mom widowed. Her mom has been ignoring all bills and responsibilities that her dad used to take care of so now all the family money has basically been squandered. A former model, the mom also has an obsession with designer clothes and accessories. We find out that she's basically a hoarder of such things and WILL NOT get rid of them. However, Lila runs in to her old boyfriend- a now real estate owner. He has a commercial property by the bay and Lila proposes that they open up a shop to sell all of her mom's unnecessary designer clothes. Her mom objects and refuses to part with anything until she realizes that in doing so, it may bring her daughter and this golden boy back together.
The mother daughter duo, while incredibly privileged and suffering from very first world problems, are so entertaining. Both have been married for awhile and have to figure out how to be single and take over all the responsibilities their husbands did from finances to household repairs. I really enjoyed both of them.
As for the former boyfriend, he is in love with someone else and theres no chance of that ever happening, but instead Lila falls for a different guy that she went to school with. She went on one date with him in high school but she doesn't even remember it or him. He is a former Marine and a very manly man, but he secretly has a talent for sewing. Lila finds this out from his sister and then starts asking him to fix the vintage pieces that they are finding and fixing up to sell. I was thankful he wasn't some puppy dog who had been pining for her all this time- he is resistant and doesn't really want to help, but little by little he does and a relationship forms.
The shop is successful, the mom purges, and its all happily ever after.
As I said, I liked the mother/daughter relationship best in this book. The love interest was definitely secondary for me and it was sweet but I wasn't overly excited. I thought it was a little strange how the mom flip flopped between saying those clothes were her everything and her identity to being willing to part with it all, especially just so her daughter would get back with the former HS golden boy. I'm not sure what the motivation was there. The mom was in denial about all their money being gone so its not explicitly about money, but maybe she just wanted Lila to be taken care of?
Overall, a really good read and I will continue on with the story.
Profile Image for Celeste_pewter.
593 reviews147 followers
February 12, 2015
I hadn't heard of Beth Kendrick's writing prior to reading New Uses for Old Boyfriends, but after seeing both the title and cover of the book, and reading the synopsis, I knew that this was something I wanted to read right away.

And seriously, I'm so glad I did. This book is quiet and delightful, and seriously reenergized me after I finished reading.


Things that worked:


We meet Lila just as she's hit a low point in her life - she's newly divorced, unemployed and about to move back to her hometown for the first time in many years. While she's obviously suffering from all of these pitfalls in her life, Beth is careful to make sure that Lila maintains a sense of practicality and optimism, even as she tries to figure out what to do next.

Readers will undoubtedly love Lila's willigness to tackle new challenges in her hometown - including trying to figure out how to mow a lawn and fix the water heater. There's a certain can-do attitude that really drives Lila's story, and it's impossible to not get caught up in her positivity and practicality, as she begins to figure out how both she and her mother can move forward from losing two very key aspects of their lives.

The writing

Beth's writing is as funny and familiar as a warm blanket and a cup of coco. She writes with an ease that immediately draws the reader into the story, while sprinkling her scenes with the occasional moments that will make readers laugh out loud.

(FUV will now officially be my name for SUVs that I see when driving!)

Sharing that ease in writing isn't easy, and I think that it ultimately made the reading experience even more worthwhile, and made me even more invested in Lila's story.

The plotting

New Uses for Old Boyfriends isn't a long book, but it's a very well-plotted one. Beth sweeps us up in Lila's journey, and shows us how when she puts her mind to something, it feels like time flies by and is effortless.

(Seriously, the reading experience just flew by!)

The female relationships

Don't let the title deceive you - this isn't just a book about a girl reconnecting with some of her past boyfriends and looking for new relationships.

This is actually a very female-empowerment novel, with both Lila and her mother learning that they are just as capable and talented as the men in their lives, while also receiving the support of friends and other females within the community.

I loved seeing the friendships that Lila made upon returning home, and how each of her new friends contributed something new to their lives. I also loved Beth's inclusion of younger female characters - ranging from younger sisters to sorority girls - and deftly showing how each generation can pass something onto the next.

(Miss Delaware for the win!)

Honestly, I've never had such an appreciation for female relatioships like I did after reading this book, and I think other readers will absolutely get it.

However, with that being said...

The romantic angle

There are several different relationships in this novel, and I'm not about to spoil them for you. However, I will say that Beth does a great job of examining how relationships can click, and how something that once worked, may not work now. Conversely, she also shows how something that may not have previously work (or even registered!) for Lila, is now something extremely important in her life.

Lila does a lot of self-examination on what she wants in a relationship, and provides some nice, thoughtful moments that readers will appreciate.

The ending

While I was a little surprised at how the ending played out - more on this in a bit - I really appreciated the fact that Beth was willing to take such an interesting writing risk. It really drives home the point that Lila, her mother and all of their friends have grown throughout the course of the novel, and are handling adversity differently than they have before.

It's a great lesson, and makes the reading experience all the more worth it.


Things to consider:

Without giving spoilers away, I think my one (very minor) issue with New Uses for Old Boyfriends, is the fact that Lila and her mother are thrown another wrench in their business plan, not too long after they've gotten their business off of the ground.

I personally would have loved to have seen them expand on their business even more, but I absolutely understand why Beth made the writing decision that she did. In many ways, it proves that Lila and her mother have learned from their experience, and are now able to gamely cope with adversity and maintain grace under pressure.


Final verdict:

This was my first time reading Beth Kendrick's writing, but it definitely won't be my last. New Uses for Old Boyfriends is a wondrful, inspiring story on what it means to take stock of your life - even in some fairly down moments! - and rebuild yourself to become even better than before.

As someone who has definitely had some Lila-esque moments, I finished reading the book feeling revved up and ready to tackle the world in the same way that she has. I have no doubt that other readers will feel the same way, and I strongly encourage all of you to read this book as well.

(Best part: it's already on sale, so you can get it now!)

Highly recommend for fans of contemporary fiction. Get this book - it will make you smile, and reenergize your outlook on life.
Profile Image for Mookie.
201 reviews2 followers
September 2, 2018
It wasn't bad but it wasn't good. Had a few chuckles, entertaining antics, but weak plot, shallow characters, and lame climax. There are better chick-lits out there.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
359 reviews
July 16, 2022
Even though I couldn't care less about fashion, I really enjoyed this book. The characters are fun and relatable.
Profile Image for Karen.
364 reviews4 followers
July 31, 2017
It was a cute book, the girl in high school that had everything comes back to the small seaside town of Black Dog Bay after her divorce to find out her mom is broke too and in desperate need of help. Together they open up a vintage clothing store with a lot of mishaps and discovering of themselves. A fun twist on the "It" girl comes back home, rediscovers the new version of herself. I have read other versions of this storyline that I liked better, I just never connected with the characters and sometimes how easy success comes for characters makes it harder to connect. But overall fun weekend read.
Profile Image for Kaley.
346 reviews65 followers
January 25, 2016
Originally reviewed at Books Etc.

I love Beth Kendrick and I'm always so excited when she publishes a new book. It should be no surprise then that I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel, New Uses For Old Boyfriends. The book was good and I enjoyed reading it...but...I found it a little lacking.

I think one of my issues is I found the characters to be somewhat two dimensional. Or maybe I just didn't get the connection I wanted with them. For example, Daphne, Lila's mom, drove me up the wall. I completely understand that she's been dealt a really hard hand in life but she wouldn't listen to her own daughter, who she seems quite close with. To be fair, this made Daphne's eventually transformation even more awesome. Not to give too much away, but she really shines once she finds her new path in life and gets her spark back.

This isn't the first time Kendrick has set a book in Black Dog Bay. A lot of the characters from Cure for the Common Breakup pop up in this story too. I felt like too many previous characters showed up and that took away from really getting to know Lila and Malcolm. Sure, I loved finding out what Summer and Ingrid were up to but, for example, Ingrid was such a secondary character and she shone far more than Malcolm, one of the love interests, did.

All that being said...I did like the book. I liked that the romance wasn't totally obvious and I really enjoyed seeing how Lila and Daphne grew as women. They had a lot of really tough stuff to deal with and they did it with class - not everyone would be able to do that. It was also fun to get a bit of a crash course in couture fashion history. Kendrick did a good job of sharing information without overloading the reader with unnecessary facts.

Maybe my expectations were too high for New Uses for Old Boyfriends. I do expect "ohmygod, I love this book to infinity and beyond" feelings when I dive into a new Beth Kendrick novel. Do I wish I had loved it more? Absolutely. Do I still think you should read it? Yep! This is a sweet novel, with depth!, that takes place in a small town everyone will want to visit. While it can stand on its own, I would recommend reading Cure for the Common Breakup first so you can get to know the characters and the town from the beginning.

*A copy of this book was provided by BookSparks via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*
Profile Image for Meg - A Bookish Affair.
2,445 reviews191 followers
February 22, 2015
In "New Uses for Old Boyfriends," Lila's life falls apart and the only place that she can think of to go is Black Dog Bay, her hometown. She finds that even her hometown has changed and the gold status that she once enjoyed is gone. Her mom's financial status is in ruins and she wants Lila to help her keep her home but she may be forced to leave her home behind. This book explores one woman's try at trying to put her life back together when the conditions are anything but easy.

This book takes place in the same super cute town as Kendrick's previous book, "Cure for the Common Break-up," a book that I really enjoyed. I was very excited to go back to Black Dog Bay. Although the story focuses on Lila mostly, we do get to know a great deal about the denizens of Black Dog Bay, which I loved. It is always nice to visit some old familiar characters!

Lila is a great character. She is definitely sort of humbled when she has to come home from a glamorous life that fell apart. Everyone held her in such high regard because of her great marriage and her great career. Lila can't help but to feel like she's coming back to town with her tail between her legs after her so-called perfect life is shattered. I really felt for her. I also liked how for the most part, she really begins to realize that she has to be the vehicle for her own happiness. Some of her ex-boyfriends come out of the woodwork to help her along the way. I really liked how the love matches in the book were dealt with. As with "Cure for the Common Break-up," Kendrick cooks up some leading males that are off the beaten path including a former military man with a penchant for sewing incredible things (a great surprise)!

I did not like this book quite as much as "Cure for the Common Break-up" as I liked the love story in that book a little bit better. However, "New Uses for Old Boyfriends" is still an adorable read with a lot of heart!
Profile Image for Mary  BookHounds .
1,301 reviews1,783 followers
February 3, 2015

Lila has had a charmed life until her husband dumps her, she loses her job hosting on a shopping channel and her father passes away. She has always counted on men to make the hard decisions. Now on her own and moving back home, she finds her mother’s financial situation is dire. Her mother, Daphne, a former model, cannot face the fact that her beloved home will have to be sold. Until Lila discovers that Daphne has been collecting and hording designer fashions through out her lifetime. With the online sale of a vintage Dior, she and her mother put together a plan to save the house.

Her high school boyfriend, Ben, just happens to move to Black Dog Bay and when Lila’s FUV (the SUV she bought before her ex cleared out the joint accounts),breaks down, they pair run into each other. Ben saves her more than once and Daphne makes plans to get the two back together. The only problem is that kissing Ben is like kissing her brother. Also turning up is the boy she snubbed as a sophomore and Malcolm is more than spark-worthy now. Of course, in such a small town, gossip runs rampant and only when Lila discovers the local watering hole, The Whinery, does she get some heartfelt advice from the owner, Summer.

This book made me smile and laugh while taking me out of a cold-induced, horrible mood. It was a quick and easy read full of fun and romance and a bit of a mystery with mean girls (actually old women) galore! Lila is such a wonderful character and I can see how this series is going to be one of my favorites. There are so many minor characters that scream to be followed in this book. I haven’t read the first in the series, Cure For the Common Breakup, but I have ordered it and can’t wait to read Summer’s story in full.

March 30, 2015
4.5 stars

Did I enjoy this book: I really enjoyed this book. It was a fairly quick read that had me smiling throughout.

New Uses for Old Boyfriends was a fun read. There were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments as well as a few giddy, romantic moments. I wasn’t sure about Lila in the beginning. She just seemed like a spoiled brat, but there was more to her. She had initiative. I loved how she and her mother went out and took control, even if they weren’t quite ready to do so. I really loved Daphne’s interest in the business at times. And Lila’s relationships with her exes were great. Ben and Malcolm–not what I expected, but loved nonetheless. Malcolm was my pick from the beginning. He is a Marine. He can sew, just don’t tell anyone. He is there for his sister, for Lila. He is a great guy. Ben is a great guy, too. And I loved the reappearance of Summer, Dutch, Jenna, and even Hattie.

Would I recommend it: Absolutely!!!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Rae Kenny-Rife.
31 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2015
Firstly, I love the title of this book. Secondly it is belly-laugh funny. I keep telling people about Lila's vehicle. Nearly wet my pants each time I read its nick-name.

The setting gets 5 stars. Beth has drawn me into Black Dog Bay, I hope a town like this exists. I love her musical references, just wish she had a spotify playlist or any list somewhere if I want to hear the songs mentioned in order.

This book brings back characters from another book. I could handle Summer if we had more of Dutch with her. Summer on her own is a bit like a tall, thin Roseanne Barr or Melissa McCarthy for brashness. I enjoyed the supporting characters though the plot ended rather quickly. This was my second Beth Kendrick book and I recommend her highly.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,354 reviews98 followers
February 16, 2016
I really enjoyed this book. I had just read something pretty heavy and this light, quick, read was just what I needed. I liked the main character and her new friends, and her romantic interest. Her mother drove me insane for most of the book, but she did grow a lot by the end, so I can appreciate the character arc. This is the first book I've ever read by Kendrick, but I'm definitely going to check out some of her other books.
Profile Image for Melanie.
934 reviews33 followers
September 26, 2019
Re-read (audio) four years later and it was good but not my favorite of the series. I got annoyed with some of the logistical stuff - look, lady, you have a new car. There’s warranties on that stuff. Take it to the dealership!! And stop coddling your mom and talk some sense into her. You can do it nicely without totally avoiding the issues... - but it was overall cute and funny and I loved the clothes.
Profile Image for Kathleen Crowell.
1,250 reviews1 follower
February 15, 2015
I really couldn't stand this story. the writing was fine. if I heard one more "sweet pea" or culture reference, I was going to lose it. I found no chemistry between Lila and Malcolm. the Whinery had to be the most annoying bar in history. Sorry I just skimmed most of this since I paid for it. disappointed.
Profile Image for Briana Alzola.
1,019 reviews7 followers
March 17, 2015
This was a sweet book but I didn't particularly like any of the characters (except for the masterful sewer slash Marine Malcolm). I wasn't really interested in what happened to anybody, but I loved the descriptions of the vintage clothes, even if I was about as clueless as the protagonist as to which designer did what.
Profile Image for Becky Morris.
434 reviews5 followers
June 25, 2017
This book left me wanting... more. More chemistry, more romance, more friendship, more growth. It was like the author got close, but just couldn't quite jump off the cliff ;)

That said, it's a very easy read and perfect for the beach.
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