Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing by Allison Winn Scotch

“Scotch’s trademark humor and heart are on full display in this expertly plotted and characterized outing. The author’s fans will devour this, and it will win her new readers as well.” Publishers Weekly

“A heartfelt tale of hypocrisy, ambition, love and more.” —

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing is not the sort of book that I normally read. I read history books and biographies and children’s books and the occasional historical fiction book.  So reading a contemporary fiction book is a little bit out of my wheelhouse. I had to give myself a day or two to really think about how I felt about the book before writing about it.

Cleo isn’t all that likeable at the beginning (well, if I’m being honest, throughout most of the book) “The truth was that even outside of high school, even well beyond the MaryAnne Newman situation and the “dumping her perfectly nice boyfriend” situation, Cleo McDougal really hadn’t ever been such a good person.”. She’s a three-time Congressperson and two-time Senator (and only 37), a single mother and aiming for the White House.

She loses both parents before her senior year and pushes everyone away in pursuit of her goals. “When you lose your parents young, there is simply a blight on your psyche that becomes part of your being. Really, it had become background noise to Cleo: she knew the loss was there, but if she paid too much attention to it, it would override everything.”


Her dad had suggested to her to write down a list of her regrets, and that  has what she has faithfully done for the past 20+ years. There are 233 of them.  Because her childhood best friend publishes an op-ed that says she is a horrible person and it goes viral, Cleo does some soul-searching and decides that she needs to rectify some of the regrets on her list.

Cleo is an uber-feminist. Every waking thought and action offers a feminist manifesto. I like strong women and consider myself a feminist, but sometimes think Cleo is way too rigid in her thinking about men. There’s even a part in the book when something she does goes viral, and soon there are protestors holding signs outside her office that say “Not All Men.” I have to agree.

But I also liked Cleo because she was a feminist, breaking that damn glass ceiling and taking men’s patriarchy to task. She’s constantly reminding the reader that yes, women are equal to men, and we shouldn’t have to prove it repeatedly to get the same respect. So props to the author for holding the line throughout the whole book.

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing is FREE this month to Amazon Prime members through their First Reads Kindle program. Every month Amazon offers up 6-7 books  that are new releases or soon to be released. Normally I don’t get a book although the offer is nice because the usual genres are not what I normally read. This month you can select TWO books to read for free with the First Reads program. Take a look at the titles here.

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing  releases to the general public on August 1, 2020.

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