by Laura Drewry
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
This author appears to have a slight obsession with John Hughes and the 80's, as the chapters start with movie quotes, he's referenced several times throughout, and hits from the 80's were featured prominently. Personally, I found it all amusing but younger readers are likely to be a bit confused.
This is a saccharine sweet friends to lovers story. Nick and Jayne have been best friends since kindergarten, but while Jayne has always loved Nick, he gets to win the prize for most clueless human being on the planet. Nick has spent the past 25 years seeing Jayne as his best bud and for 80% of this book he's in a relationship with another woman, a perfect, sweet beautiful woman just like his deceased wife. Jayne is long-suffering and doesn't do a thing about her feelings, but that's somewhat understandable considering her family history. That's actually the party of the story that worked for me-the resolution of her family background. When Jayne moves back to her hometown she finds a new perspective on the grandmother who raised her and as she makes friends she changes and grows. It was really lovely how the thing that seemed to be the most spiteful from her grandmother was actually meant to be a kindness, and that the bad parts of her life let her be there for one of her friends. Frankly, I almost wanted Jayne to realize she was perfectly fine without a man, even Nick.
While I found the pacing to be overly slow and repetitive, it was still a well-written book, and if you like a slowly developed friends to lovers saga that's not sexually explicit in the slightest this may be the book for you. I struggled on rating this because I think some of my issues are more because it's not my cup of tea than because of any inherent problem or inadequacy in the book itself. Nevertheless, in the end, no amount of 80's greatness could pull this up further than 3 stars, and I'll be honest, one of those stars is because of the 80's greatness.