You must sign in to see if this title is available for request. Sign In or Register Now
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 6 Jun 2024 | Archive Date Not set
4th Estate | Fourth Estate


'Clever, sexy, joyful and filled with characters who quickly feel like old friends. I loved it' Beth O'Leary, author of The Flatshare

'A fizzing roller-coaster of a rom-com that is both the sexiest book you'll read all year and the most heartening. A big, kind, horny love-in that will embolden readers to get some more experience of their own' Caroline O’Donoghue, author of The Rachel Incident

Bette loves Mei, but Bette and Mei are on a break, so Bette can catch-up on the decade of dating experiences she missed before she came out.

So Bette is (reluctantly) on a dating odyssey: a quest to have lots of casual sex with lots of hot women and come back to Mei more experienced and more certain about what she wants. And now she has new friend Ruth as her queer dating guide, she can't possibly fail. It's just three months, then she'll be back with Mei.

It's the perfect plan … isn't it?

'Sexy, wise and funny, Experienced is about finding your way home to yourself. I fell into this novel heart-first' Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies

‘Warm, witty and sexy as hell’ Lauren Bravo, author of Preloved

‘I have read 8 million romcoms and this one is my favourite’ Ella Risbridger, author of Midnight Chicken

‘Romantic, sexy and heartwarming’ Kate Davies, author of In At The Deep End

‘Gloriously tender, beautifully observed and deeply sexy’ Emma Hughes, author of It’s Complicated

‘Fun, sexy and smart. Kate’s characters are warm and recognisable and importantly, deeply fanciable’ Laura Kay, author of The Split

'Clever, sexy, joyful and filled with characters who quickly feel like old friends. I loved it' Beth O'Leary, author of The Flatshare

'A fizzing roller-coaster of a rom-com that is both the sexiest...

Available Editions

ISBN 9780008609511
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 64 members

Featured Reviews

Experienced follows Bette, a 30 something woman who has just started dating women as she embarks on a dating odyssey following her most recent girlfriend, Mei, wanting her to gain more experience before settling down together.

I really enjoyed this book, it has a great cast of characters and felt like breath of fresh air for the romance genre. The story follows a strong structure where post-break, Bette begins using dating apps and trying to meet other women to gain more sexual experiences with women. The sex scenes are so well done and do not feel gratuitous or smutty, adding to the story and to Bette’s quest.

Overall a super debut and a great read, particularly if you are a fan of queer romcoms. I’d also recommend to fans of Laura Kay and In at the Deep End by Kate Davies.

Was this review helpful?

3.75 rounded up ⭐️

I devoured this book. Exactly what I needed in between heavier reads.

It was great to read a romance centred around women for a change. I enjoyed the friendship between Ash and Bette. And I was rooting for Ruth from the start. Plus a pinch of spice to keep it interesting.

I’d be keen to read more of this author in the future 👌🏼

Thanks to NetGalley and 4th for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

This was good, but it infuriated me a bit

Experienced centres around Bette and her relationship with her sexuality, as she has recently discovered she likes women. The book starts with our main character blissed out in a relationship with Mei, but Mei says she should explore this side of her more and date other women before settling down with her, and so it begins Bette's journey in this novel.

It infuriated me that Bette allowed Mei to make decisions for her, as in love as she was with her. It shouldn't be up to Mei to decide what Bette should do with her sex/love life. I do concede that, in the end, this was an important journey of self-discovery for Bette, but I could not get behind the notion of her doing all of this for Mei. With that said, I loved Ruth and her supportiveness as well as Bette's relationship with her best friend, Ash. I liked the novel and it was nice to see this type of plot outside of the usual heteronormative dynamic.

Thank you to 4th Estate and NetGalley for this e-ARC!

Was this review helpful?

As a lesbian who's also become more fluid in my attractions as I get older, I can't tell you how long I've been waiting to read a romance that includes the line, 'Compulsory heteronormativity is a scourge.'

Bette, a plus-size romantic-comedy addict (tick, tick, tick) loves her job, loves living in Bristol (and why wouldn't she)? and loves her girlfriend Mei. Mei thinks Bette may not be 'experienced' enough apparently, so she sends Bette off on a voyage of sexual self-discovery that might not be the best idea either of them have ever had...or IS IT?

With more bonking than Jilly Cooper (who is enthusiastically referenced) lots of delicious food, supportive straight friends and general queer silliness, Experienced is a glimpse into the life that we all deserve - and that Bette does, too, once she admits it to herself.

Was this review helpful?

I'd heard so much advance praise for Experienced that I could not wait to read this queer rom com.
It's set in Bristol where 30 something Bette is in a relationship with Mei, her first since she came out. She is shocked when Mei suggests they break up for 3 months so Bette can get date and get some more experience before she settles down.
I absolutely loved this, I loved the character of Bette although I did feel frustrated at her many times, I was really rooting for her. Kate Young excels at characterisation and writing about sexual relationships and friendship- the relationship between Bette and her housemate is both authentic and heart warming. I loved the Bristol setting and this was a real insight into an age group and dating scene that is unfamiliar to me with extremely explicit sex scenes.
A gorgeous, warm and compelling novel that I raced through over the course of 24 hours. I felt so involved with Bette and her friends that I feel bereft now I've finished it. Highly recommended.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Although I'm not really the demographic for this sort of book, I loved this heartwarming tale of Bette and her search for true love. When Bette's girlfriend Mei insists they have some time apart, so that Bette can attain some 'experience' of other relationships. Bette is very reluctant. But as she navigates the tricky world of dating apps and the lesbian landscape, she finds love in the most unexpected of places. This was beautifully written, a page-turning story, quite hot in places, and the characters were brilliantly conjured and authentic. Great stuff!

Was this review helpful?

I loved this. Bette is a brand, new lesbian who has wasted no time in falling head over heels with her girlfriend, Mei. Mei suggests that she and Bette have a break and that Bette do some dating for three months before they get back together and settle down for good. Bette is heartbroken but sees no way to deny Mei and promptly sets off on a fraught romp through the world of dating, knowing that in three months time, Mei will be hers again. This is a terrific rom com. It's smart and funny, sexy and wise and full of really great characters. I love a rom com where you fall in love with the supporting cast as well as the stars and this is one of those. You want to hang out with all of Bette's friends by the end of the book. It's terrific.

Was this review helpful?

Phenomenal! Fun, sexy, absolutely astonishing for a debut, highlighting a world not often seen in fiction. Big recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Oh I loved this book! Bette and Mei decide to take a break (at Mei’s request) so newly out Bette can find her feet in the new queer world she’s landed in, outside of her relationship with Mei. But the longer she spends apart from Mei meeting new people, the more she realises her relationship with Mei might not have been as perfect as she’d thought. I really enjoyed how when you start reading the book you’re as heart broken as Bette with the break - Mei seems like the ideal girlfriend, shes funny and hot and adores Bette. But as the book progresses and we find out more about their background, we come to the realisation right there with Bette that true love has been there along.

I always find side characters make a book, and I absolutely adored this supporting cast. They added depth and feeling to the main characters and seeing their relationships develop throughout was a joy.

If you’re after a feel-good romance this summer, look no further.

Was this review helpful?

Loved this book.

It was refreshing to read about a later in life lesbian, in a way that isn't solely focused on their coming out journey; to see what Bette did post initial coming out is something I haven't read a lot of so was great to see!

I loved the friendship between Ash and Bette, and thought the way they cared for each other felt super realistic - it was so lovely to see how much Ash was ready to drop everything and show up for Bette.

I was rooting for Bette and Ruth from their first encounter, and thought the way they played out was a great read. Both of them felt authentic in their worries and their apprehensions, and it made their relationship feel a lot more multi-dimensional, opposed to both just rushing straight into a relationship.

Of course, as a lesbian, I loved the MUNA mention too!

A great book that I've already told friends to add to their TBR, and will certainly be looking out for more from this author!

Was this review helpful?

This is a genuinely lovely romance that favours realism over tropes, with characters who feel very realistically flawed and are easy to root for. I always like when it feels like the author is introducing conflict that purposefully isn't based on miscommunication (or if it is, it's very understandable and because of other issues!) - this felt like that. I came out of this book really rooting for the protagonists, believing that their romance would be healthy and appreciating the good character development that had happened along the way. Aside for that, this book is an easy read and the sex scenes are really well written. The way sex is portrayed in this book is so good - it's very sex positive but appreciates the spectrum of sexual experiences and the inherent conflict in figuring out what works for you. A fun, grown-up romance.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: