Published by Kensington Source: Purchased
Genres: Best Friends, Contemporary Romance, Romance
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Waking up naked next to a good looking man is not a bad way to start the day. Especially since Paisley missed all those opportunities in college, when she was too busy supporting her no good, thankfully now, ex-husband. The problem? This hottie is Hank, her best friend’s older brother, a guy she’s known her entire life.
Stopping after one night is the right thing to do. Being with him clearly breaks the best friend code, and from his career as a Naval officer to his Boy Scout reputation, everything about him screams monogamy and commitment. Two things Paisley has had enough of.
When Hank presents a “no strings attached” offer, it’s too good to be true. She can enjoy him while still embracing being single. But, poor choices force her to confront old fears of love and loss, and Paisley has to decide if Hank is worth the risk. The alternative is never experiencing the real deal. Or far worse, settling for less.
This is one of those books that I loved during the first half and then by the time I was finished I had fallen out of love with. I wanted this book to be awesome, I loved the premise (quite frankly I’m obsessed with the whole falling for the best friends brother story line) but ultimately this book just didn’t live up to its first half.
So the first half of the book is pretty funny and enjoyable. I liked Paisley, she’s coming out of a bad marriage, and it seems like her best friend’s brother Hank is just what the doctor ordered. She’s a little bit apprehensive because she doesn’t want to ruin her friendship with either Hank or her best friend Gigi, and she really doesn’t want the two families to find out because she doesn’t want to deal with the meddling. Overall I would say Paisley is a really likable girl. She’s smart, has good family, good friends, a job, and in general just comes off as nice. However, underneath there is some serious emotional abuse that she survived from her ex-husband and not surprisingly its left some scars, and it’s left her somewhat susceptible to the same kind of emotionally abusive guys.
So about half way through the book I kinda lost it. Hank, is kind of an awesome guy. He’s well schooled, has a good sense of duty, is clearly a good friend and a good guy. It’s also pretty clear early on that he wants more than just the no strings attached thing he originally pitches to Paisley, and I liked that, it created a little bit of angst between them. But then there is a big blow up, where basically he finds out the guy Paisley had been one one or two dates with left bruises on her and he basically blamed her. He totally blew up at her, said that she wasn’t the girl he knew and loved and she was a coward. While, yes, I do acknowledge she should have stepped up and kept the jerk from hurting her, she’s a victim of emotional abuse for years, and instead of being supportive and helping her get some of her self-worth back, he basically attacks her for it, what kind of person does that?
Also I had some series issues with the friendships in this book. Gigi is suppose to be her best friend, and Paisley (coming out of a bad marriage is kind of seeing bad in marriages everywhere she goes) but as the story goes on it’s clear she knows next to nothing about her friend’s life, so what kind of best friend is that. Also her friends are constantly giving her bad advice, and honestly I felt like Josie was a terrible friend to her, and was more rude to her than anything. Overall, I kind of felt like her friends were always criticizing her for not standing up for herself, but they were totally okay with being the people she needed to stand up to, I just didn’t like it.
The tone and feel of the book in the first half was totally enjoyable to me, I had several laugh out loud moments, and I did enjoy it. I just with that the second half/ending of the book could have maintained it, as well as some sensitivity given to Paisley given the situation she was coming out of. I’m on the fence of this one.