Present Perfect (Perfect #1), by Alison G. Bailey ★★★★★+


Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah.

Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn’t allow herself to have him.

Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn’t allow herself to have him.

Present Perfect is a story of how past events have present consequences and how perfect your present could be if you stopped fighting and just allowed it to happen.

My Casting

  • Amanda
  • Noah

    What an emotionally charged, completely gorgeous, romantic journey!! Why did someone not forcefully suggest I read this before now?!


Amanda Kelly has spent her whole life feeling inadequate. She can’t live up to the bar set by her perfect, beautiful, smart, kind older sister and she could never match the perfection of her life-long best friend, Noah.

Amanda has known Noah Stewart her whole life. He has always been her best friend, but as they grow up and the inevitable teenage hormones begin to play a part in their relationship, they begin to realise that the love they have for one another may not just be platonic.
But Amanda could never imagine being good enough for Noah. She would never saddle him with her averageness. She would never allow him to settle for any less than what he deserved.

 We’re lead to believe love is complicated. It’s not the love that’s complicated. It’s all the crap that we attach to it that makes it difficult.

I don’t know what made me read this book. I strongly dislike the cover, so it certainly wasn’t that. I’ve read a few good reviews, but not nearly as many as it deserves. It was kind of a stab in the dark, when I picked this up. And I just love it when you pick up a random book and it makes your world spin! Do not judge this book by it’s gaudy cover.

I’ve been in a book slump for almost a week and have started and abandoned three books in that time. I really needed something to lift me out of my funk. Present Perfectwas just what I needed. It’s a stand-alone, told from Amanda’s POV and it will tear your heart straight from your chest.

 “I can’t be around you right now. It hurts too much, because I am so completely and desperately in love with you, Tweet.”

Oh my goodness. Warning: This book will make you ugly cry! And it’s the worst kind of tear jerker. It lulls you into a false sense of security. It was chugging along, it was engaging, I was loving it, but it was safe and sweet and lovely… and then BANG! There is a plot twist in this book, at about 70%, that is a huuuuge game changer! I’m telling you now, you will not see this coming! And it will take the breath right out of your lungs.

From 70% onwards I was a blubbering wreck. I was so deeply invested in Noah and Tweet’s story that the turn of events just completely gutted me. Having said that, all of you who are getting jittery right now and needing your HEA fix… don’t worry, you doget it. All I can say is thank fuck for epliogues! After having such a book slump and then finding this book, when I thought it had left me with a horrible unhappy ending, I was ready to commit some serious ABH on Ms. Bailey. But luckily for her, the epilogue saved her ass!! And oh my goodness, did it make me swoon.

 If you love someone, tell them. It doesn’t matter if they say it back to you. Whoever makes you feel that deeply and that intensely, deserves to know how they’ve impacted you.

So, speaking of swooning… Noah Stewart. 

Why is this guy not on more highly-commended book-boyfriends lists??? Noah is amazing. He is patient, he is loving, he is protective, he is strong. He loves Tweet with an intensity and a certainty that made my toes curl. I can not explain to you how much Noah needs Tweet. And she him, too, but it was his adoration of her that really melted me. He just worshipped her and really would go to the ends of the earth for her. Oh how lucky would we all be to have a Noah in our lives? 

 “You’ve always been my girl and always will be. No one will ever take me away from you, Tweet. You’re my heart and soul and that’s never going to change, no matter what you say.”

And yes, he calls Amanda ‘Tweet’. Soooo cute. 

Amanda is a complex protagonist. I did like her. I was surprised at myself, because if there is one thing that usually really grates on me in a book, it’s a self-depreciating, down-on-herself heroine. And Amanda really is down on herself. But I didn’t dislike her. There were times I wanted to slap her upside the back of the head and tell her to grow a pair, but I didn’t dislike her.

 “Perfection is an illusion nurtured by insecurities.”

There are a whole host of surrounding characters that add so much to this story. Brad, who get’s his own story in Past Imperfect (Perfect, #2), Beth, Brittany, Brooke (Noah sure does like a girl beginning with ‘B’) Emily, Lisa… and then there is Dalton!! 

 “The present’s perfect, young grasshopper, because we’re breathing, moving, laughing, crying, and are surprised when we finally meet someone we connect with. Stop living in the past and wasting your present.”

This book isn’t written in chapters. It’s written in journal entries. Well, all I can say, is screw you Entry 34! You are a heartless bastard and you made me sob!

 Everyone deserves a thank you and goodbye.

I always love those stories that run from a characters childhood, right through their teens and then into adulthood. I especially love stories about childhood sweethearts, best friends falling in love and second/third/fourth/nth chances. Some of my all time favourites fall into these categories. The Sweet Gum TreeFalling Into YouMaking FacesFighting Redemption and many more. And Present Perfect was a fabulously heart warming, gripping example of all of those things. This is definitely a new favourite of mine.

 I will never stop loving my knight in plastic armor.

There are so many little things that sucked me in, with this book. Chocolate cake, Tweety Bird, knights in plastic armor, the colour yellow, Lifehouse… it’s little private jokes, things they share and personal memories like these are what allow characters like Noah and Tweet to worm their way into your soul and lay claim to a piece of your heart.

 “Chocolate cake takes the hurt away and makes everything better.”

Books like this make me realise what a simple, easily pleased creature I am. I don’t need car chases, drug deals, mystery etc. complicating things. I mean, of course, every now and then a bit of action/drama/thriller with our romance is a nice little change. But when it comes down to it, I am a romance reader, through and through. Ultimately, I just want a guy who is utterly besotted with his girl, a palpable chemistry between them, some heartache to keep me on my toes and satisfying, happy ending. With Present Perfect I got my heart pulled unexpectedly through the wringer, and those are always the books that stick with me. The ones that completely turn me inside out, emotionally. The ones where I feel like I know the characters so well, as if I’ve spent years in their company, when in fact I’ve devoured their story in a matter of days/hours. 

 “The line has already been crossed, Tweet. I wish you’d step over it with me.”

To think that this is Alison G. Bailey’s debut, is mind blowing. I will absolutely, 100% definitely be reading more of her work in the future. I’m writing this review, trying to find fault with this book, because I’ve already dished out quite a few 5+ star reviews, considering how early on in the year we are. But I just can’t think of anything I would change about Noah and Tweet’s story. And I want everybody to read it. So for that, I’ve just gone and changed my rating to 5+! I can’t not!

Now I’m pretty sure I’m facing yet another book hangover and yet another unknown number of days trying to find a book worthy enough of pull me out of it. Wish me luck.

Have you read it? Comment below and tell us what you thought?


‘Present Perfect’ Statistics
• Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥
• Ending: Happy ending
• Length: 420 pages
• POV: Amanda’s POV. Epilogue from Noah’s POV.
• Narrative: First person. Past tense.
• Series: Yes 
• Reading Order: 
– Book #1 – Present Perfect (Perfect, #1) 
– Book #2 – Past Imperfect (Perfect, #2) 
• Can this be read as a standalone? Yes
• Themes:
Childhood sweethearts
• Writing: Fantastic

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This entry was posted in Alison G. Bailey, Angst Overload, Delicious Sexual Tension, Emotional Reads, Five Stars Plus, Friends to Lovers, NA, Series, Stand Alones. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Present Perfect (Perfect #1), by Alison G. Bailey ★★★★★+

  1. Alison G. Bailey says:

    Thank you so much for this fantastic review. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Past Imperfect (Perfect #2), by Alison G. Bailey ★★★★✰ | Smitten's Book Blog

  3. Kim says:

    I wasn’t as impressed with this book. Initially I was very excited to read this 5+ book. I enjoyed the beginning, on halloween, when Noah shared his candy, oh so cute. I quickly became frustrated with Amanda, and her constantly rejecting Noah. I know they’re young, but how many times does he have to tell you he loves you before you believe him? Idk. Then , I liked the end. However, it didn’t make up for my frustration with Amanda. Now, Brad has his own book. He was such a jerk in #1 why would I want to read more about him. I am not sold yet. I do love the pic of him on your review , very hot.

    • Smitten says:

      I’ve read quite a few people saying the same thing re. Amanda, so you are definitely not alone. I don’t know why but I didn’t have any trouble believing her hesitancy.

      If you weren’t a fan of Present Perfect, I’d advise that you might not love Past Imperfect, either.

  4. Kim says:

    See that’s my problem. I really trust your judgement , this is the first time I have felt the same about about a book. Is Brad better in this book?

    • Smitten says:

      Yes, Brad totally redeems himself. However, if you are intolerant of indecisive females, you might not love Mabry. Good luck with it. Let me know how you find it. xx

  5. Kim says:

    I am going to give it a shot. For 3.99.its not a major life decision. Lol. I will let you know.

  6. Shalese says:

    I LOVE this book. There’s no need to go into details, you said everything I would of said. I don’t usually like books with 2 males. I want the hero and heroine to want only each other, a strong bond. But Dalton, he changed the rules. He took nothing from Noah, I fell in love with Dalton and my love for Noah stayed 100% intact. His thoughts to Amanda resonated with me when I first read this book about 1 year ago. “When someone impacts your life, they have given you a gift, that person deserves a thank you and goodbye.”

    My nephew died 2 weeks ago. I spoke at his funeral and in my speech I used Daltons lines. I gave him his thank you and goodbye.

    Thank you Allison Bailey for giving us this beautiful story. Thank you for giving more than a story.

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