Mari Carr does a nice job writing sex scenes. None of this, but wait, he's going to break his wrist if he tries to do that, or, how long is her torso, anyway, that can occur in less well blocked sex scenes. Conversation, character and relationship development are all nicely interweaved, and the monthly date slows the process down enough to be believable. The series structure also provides a consistent opportunity for Josie to talk about what's happening with her friends, some of which occurs on stage, altho most of it happens off stage.
The kid is a little precocious, but not too bad. The ex- is a bit of a pain, but not cartoonishly so. All in all, a very believable, emotionally involving and pleasant contemporary romance. There is no horrifying abuse back story, just ordinary people with ordinary problems, which really are more than enough to introduce the kind of tension present in a developing intimate relationship. I particularly liked that the list (which was pretty ambitious in spots) was fulfilled, in parts with creative re-interpretation to bring the more out-of-scale items on the list into the range of do-able (ahem).
There doesn't appear to be any major issue with skipping the cancer entry in this series -- or, for that matter, dropping into this series anywhere. It seems to have been written carefully with a view to working as standalone novels, but with a little extra if you read more than one. This was well designed, thought through carefully and implemented carefully.