My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a very cute friends-to-lovers romance with minimal amounts of drama throughout. The characters were cute and well written. The story was well written if just a wee bit on the cheesy side. (But in a good way in terms of a romance novel.) The story was engaging with fun and fleshed-out secondary characters. The author did a good job of writing a group of characters that all know each other well without leaving the readers confused or in the dark about any of their inside stories. At the same time, there was never a moment that felt like unnecessary monologuing or info dumps for the benefit of the reader to gain back story. It was very well balanced between the two.
Full Review with Spoilers
I found myself really enjoying these main characters a lot. It was interesting going into a friends-to lovers story. With the main characters already having a familiarity with each other I wasn’t sure how jarring it would be to essentially drop into the middle of a story. Kylie and Regan have been best friends pretty much their whole lives, so I was excited to see how this friendship would be established to us as the readers without feeling like it had to be explained, which would just feel awkward and unnatural.
The author did a great of dropping us into the middle of their lives and getting us up to speed fairly quickly through the use of their friends and a few uncommon events that spring up during the events of the book. This was handled well and never really bogged down the story with excessive exposition or anything similar to that. The presentation of information and backstory flowed naturally.
Kylie and Regan themselves where fun characters as well. They both had unique personalities and felt very different when reading each segment from their perspective. I enjoyed seeing the interesting blend to of adult personalities combined with working around teenagers every day. I feel like this added a unique quality to them, made them feel a bit more relatable to me personally. They were balanced well and their interactions also felt natural both for the fact that they had been friends for so long and them being faced with a new event that sort of kickstarts the whole story.
I think this significant event is the only thing that felt a bit weird. We see that Kylie and Regan are constantly nagging at their friends to stop insisting they would make a cute couple, that they are best friends because they just don’t have romantic chemistry. Regan suddenly having this random idea that they should go on a date to prove they lack this chemistry feels odd only because it’s so out of left field, but at the same time, the concept is cute and cheesy as and feels very much like the thing to start the chain of events for romance novel. It was really this chain of events that fell into place after that smoothed out that slight awkwardness. Learning more about their history, especially Kylie’s old crush on Regan that she learns never truly went away really kept that tension going.
I apricated that there wasn’t a ton of drama attached to the story. They had their emotional hang ups because they were afraid of loosing such an important friendship, but there weren’t other outside factors. It felt very really to me and something I would very much expect to be the real overarching issue for them. Other story elements, like Kylie’s family issues with her father, were also handled well and I really liked that this was not something that was neatly wrapped up by the end of the book. She had a long standing history with him and it did not feel like something that was easily fixed. These are the kinds of story threads I love to see as a more ongoing thing after the events of the book.
This was a super sweet, low stress romance with a well paced story. The slow burn was fairly mild and the emotional connections were intense for more than just the romance reasons. This book had a really fun cast of secondary characters as well that really helped push the story along. The ending was happy and cute with enough still left in the air to make it feel real and believable.