Plot: Sam Kirk and Delaney (Laney) Michaels have been best friends since they were 12 years old and are now ~30. They co-started and own an extreme sports magazine and he lives in the apartment above hers. Laney has been in love with Sam for forever and he is a man-whore who loves her only as a friend while having many flings with women he does not take seriously. Laney goes on vacation with her sister’s family and decides that she wants to settle down and get married and have a family. Since she believes this future is not possible with her friend she decides she has to separate her life from his because her love for him is getting in the way of her finding someone else. Sam gets very confused about Laney’s changes since he was happy and content with the life they had. There is a makeover scene and a She’s All That moment. Sam’s parents had a shitty marriage, but it is only lightly touched upon, and there is very low angst in this book.
Pros: This was an overall enjoyable book – light, low angst and a beloved trope. I love a good makeover montage, so that part was fun. Since it was a short length I was happy that the focus was all on the main characters and third parties were only brought in to move the plot with those two along without distractions.
Cons: I have quibbles. SO many quibbles. Ok – they are extreme sports people in Australia – but that does NOT make it ok for a white dude to have dreads. He fortunately shaves them off in a fit of arousal (you read that right) early on, but it was rough going there for a bit. And he refers to his dick as Little Sam. There are few things that squick me out more than that. The hero was fairly immature, but I know an awful lot of 30ish men who feel the same ambivalence about settling down, so that rang true to me. I just prefer a hero to be a little *more* than what I see in day-to-day life. One really big gripe was that the ‘I love you’ scene took place in the last 5 pages of the book. I personally like to see more falling action than that and how the couple actually works together. There were some definite loose ends left hanging here that could not all be solved with those three words.
As far as I can remember, this was my first Harlequin romance. It was longer than a novella, but shorter than a regular full length novel. I think for this particular story the length worked, and I’m actually thankful that it didn’t drag things out to full length. It is part of the Blaze label, which I understand to be the more explicit line from Harlequin. I would put it at about a 7 on a 1 to 10 scale for steaminess. This was recommended as a good friends-to-lovers story, and since that’s one of my favorite tropes I went for it during the big Harlequin sale this past fall.
Conclusion: A light, easy read and it did deliver on the friends-to-lovers story better than many others I have read. I wanted some brain candy and recently told my sister what I wanted was a “light contemporary that is funny with low angst”. This mostly fit the bill (though the humor level was lower than preferred), but if you’re looking for the same, I highly recommend Nuts by Alice Clayton. That book was hilarious and I’m anxiously anticipating the next in that series coming in summer 2016