Tag: Friends-to-Lovers

BOOK REVIEW: The Kissing Challenge by Cookie O’Gorman

BOOK REVIEW: The Kissing Challenge by Cookie O’GormanThe Kissing Challenge by Cookie O'Gorman
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The challenge: Kiss your best friend.

Sixteen-year-old Anne Elliot is in love with Captain.

He's been her best friend for years. A rising musician with a special smile he reserves just for her, Captain even lets Anne practice her makeup skills on him—though his bandmates give him flack for it.

When Anne gets an anonymous comment challenging her to kiss her best friend, it threatens to reveal her secret. But how can she resist doing the one thing she's wanted forever? It's just one kiss. She and Captain's relationship can stay the same…right?

The real challenge: Kiss your best friend, and don't let him know you're in love.

This YA romance novella is fun, fast-paced, and flirty, the perfect story for anyone who loves best-friends-to-lovers. Inspired by TikTok & Jane Austen, THE KISSING CHALLENGE is sure to make you swoon!

Review:

The Kissing Challenge quickly pulled me in and was impossible to put down!  With a girl I wanted as a bestie, a guy who I was obsessed with, a group of friends I wanted to be a part of and a story line that was so much fun, it was no surprise that I read this book in one sitting.  If you love YA romances that are swoon worthy and smile inducing, then definitely add this one to your tbr!  I can’t recommend it enough!

Captain wasn’t just any guy. He was the love of my life. I’d tried so many times to stop loving him, tried to like different guys, but no one could ever compare. He was my penguin.

Anne had been in love with her best friend forever.  But Captain didn’t see her that way.  When she got an online challenge to kiss her best friend, she knew she couldn’t back down.  She hadn’t said no to a challenge yet, so I was just as nervous as she was!  You guys, I loved Anne right away.  She was open, kind, brave and extremely talented when it came to makeup.  And Captain was good hearted to let her practice on him.

His big hand cupped my face with the utmost gentleness, like he was holding something precious. My eyes opened, and as he looked at me, the weight of what I’d just done came crashing down.
“Oh my God,” I gasped.

Cookie O’Gorman writes male characters that I desperately want to steal from the pages!  So Captain consumed me and I loved him so much!  He played guitar in a band and was beyond sexy, patient and such a good friend to Anne.  He truly cared for her and his mannerisms and words captured my attention.  I was beyond obsessed anytime he was on the pages!

But he’d kissed me with such emotion and heat. I hadn’t known my best friend was capable of that— at least not with me. It had felt real.
The thing was… I couldn’t decide whether that was the truth or wishful thinking.

Anytime Captain and Anne were together, I couldn’t knock the smile off of my face!  They were so fabulous together and there was so much laughter in the pages.  I constantly felt giddy.  The excitement that thrummed through me kept my heart oh so happy.  And the kisses?!  The kisses in these pages were SO hot *fans face*!  Cookie O’Gorman writes the most sigh worthy kisses!  But I was nervous with how it was all going to play out, since they had always been just friends.

He lifted his hand in response and pushed a strand of my hair back behind my ear. The light touch made me shiver.
“There’s only one girl I see,” he said while gazing down at me.
It made my heart skip.

On top of Anne and Captain, I adored the side characters!  Everyone just felt so real to me!  Like Gemma, Anne’s bestie.  Their friendship was adorable and I loved Gemma, even when she meddled in Anne’s life.  But hey, what are friends for, ha!  And Captain’s band-mates….ohh I feel like they could each have their own story.  Especially Knight and Liam, they intrigued me the most and I wanted to know all their secrets!

My best friend smiled, and it was as if my soul took flight. Looking into his eyes, I said the only thing that was left to say.
“Kiss me, Captain.”
And he did.

If you’re looking for an adorable and sigh worthy book, then look no further, The Kissing Challenge is it!  Fans of friends to lovers and YA romance will fall in love with this story!  The amount of emotions that were packed into this novella blew my mind!  I could have easily read a full book about Anne and Captain and their time together ♥.

BOOK REVIEW: Meet Me on Love Lane (Hopeless Romantics #2) by Nina Bocci

BOOK REVIEW: Meet Me on Love Lane (Hopeless Romantics #2) by Nina BocciMeet Me on Love Lane (Hopeless Romantics #2)
by Nina Bocci
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a romantic comedy about a woman who grudgingly returns home to small-town Pennsylvania, only to find herself falling in love—not only with the town, but with two of its citizens.

Charlotte Bishop is out of options in New York City. Fired, broke, and blacklisted by her former boss, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Hope Lake, PA to lick her wounds. Although she’s expecting to find a miserable place with nothing to do, she is pleasantly surprised to discover it is bustling and thriving.

She’s only supposed to be in Hope Lake temporarily until she can earn enough money to move back to New York. She’s not supposed to reconnect with her childhood friends or her beloved grandmother. She’s not supposed to find her dream job running the local florist shop. And she’s definitely not supposed to fall for not one but two of Hope Lake’s golden boys: one the beloved high school English teacher, the other the charming town doctor.

With a heart torn between two men and two cities, what’s a girl to do?

A perfect blend of humor and heart, Meet Me on Love Lane is the second in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci that is sure to charm fans of Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.

Review: 

While I truly did enjoy On the Corner of Love and Hate, the first book in this series pales in comparison to this.  After I read the summary I was a tiny bit leery about the possibility of a love triangle and then the person that I liked better NOT being chosen, you don’t have to worry about any of that. I knew it from the prologue and was so excited to see how things were going to pan out. You see, I am constantly changing what romance trope I love best. Is it friends to lovers? Is it hate to love? It really depends on the exact situation and the specific writing and characters. While hate to love always seems to be more steamy and explosive once the couple FINALLY gets together, there is something about friends to lovers that ALWAYS takes my breath away and has my heart pounding deep within my chest. And what could make that situation even better? Um, obviously those friends having been childhood best friends, that’s what.

In the beginning of this book we see Charlotte coming back to Hope Lake after a series of very unfortunate events back in NYC. She moved away when she was really young after her mom and dad’s tumultuous divorce and hasn’t been back since so in her mind, this homecoming is going to be short-lived and last only throughout the summer while she can get back on her feet. She ends up staying with her Gigi (who, is obviously one of my favorite characters because she’s so darn sassy and scandalous and made me miss my grandma something fierce) and immediately falls back into a fast friendship with Emma. One of the most interesting parts about this book was Charlotte’s memory. When she gets back to Hope Lake, she basically remembers NOTHING about her childhood there because being forced to leave had been so traumatic on her. That includes Henry. Sweet Henry. Fuck, characters like him are what keep me going back to romance time and time again. He’s an ENGLISH TEACHER, sweet, caring, wears tight shirts, and does nice things for Gigi (like gets her secret binge-purchases sent to his house so she won’t get in trouble with Charlotte’s dad, lol).

Every interaction that they had together had me on the edge of my seat and had my heart in my throat. He was so tentative at first and basically heartbroken at the thought of her not remembering him or leaving him again. *sobs* And then I lost it at the end when Charlotte finds a certain something and realizes stuff because of that certain something. Seriously, tears just ah-streaming down my face the entire time. Basically all you need to know is that this book is really good and will grab you by the heart and not let go. I am so glad I got my hands on it and I can’t wait for Parker and Nick’s book!

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the eARC! ♥

BOOK REVIEW: Not So Nice Guy by R. S. Grey

BOOK REVIEW: Not So Nice Guy by R. S. GreyNot So Nice Guy Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

"Oh my god. Who is that?"
I get asked this question a lot.
"Oh him?" I reply. "That's just Ian."

Just Ian is the biggest understatement of the century.
Just the Mona Lisa. Just the Taj Mahal. Just Ian, with his boring ol' washboard abs and dime-a-dozen dimpled smile.

Just Ian is... just my best friend.

We're extremely close, stuck so deep inside a Jim-and-Pam-style friendzone everyone at works assumes we're a couple - that is until one day, word spreads through the teacher's lounge that he's single. Fair game. Suddenly, it's open season on Ian.

He should be reveling in all the newfound attention, but to our mutual surprise, the only attention he seems to want is mine.

He's turning our formerly innocent nightly chats into x-rated phone calls. Our playful banter sports a new, dangerous edge.

I want to assume he's playing a prank on me, just pushing my buttons like always - but when Ian lifts me onto the desk in my classroom and slides his hands up my skirt, he doesn't leave a lot of room for confusion.

I'm a little scared of things going south, of losing my best friend because I can't keep my hands to myself. So, I'm just going to back away and not return this earth-shattering kiss - oh who am I kidding?!

Goodbye Ian, ol' buddy, ol' pal!

Helloooo mister not so nice guy.

Review:

SAM: TY for breakfast. Coffee is LIT.
IAN: It’s the new blend you bought last week. Are your students teaching you new words again?
SAM: I heard it yesterday. I’m not sure when to use it yet. Will report back.

BAAHHAAHAH alright folks this is one funniest romances I have ever read. Like it’s up there at Sally Thorne status which in my world is a PRETTY BIG DEAL. I swear to God I haven’t spent as much time laughing at a book in I don’t know how long. And I mean, this might sound stupid because who doesn’t, but I LOVE laughing. Like it makes me light and giddy and even just having one good laugh a day can turn a completely shitty mood into a brighter one instantly. The fact that I spent nearly the entire book laughing—well you can just imagine how I felt the last day then, can’t you?

ALSO, BONUS, the friends-to-lovers trope is one that I will never in a million years be sick of. This one was just done perfectly. I literally have no complaints.

For 1300 days, I’ve been best friends with Ian Fletcher, and for 1300 days, I’ve convinced myself I’m not really in love with him. 

Sam and Ian are best friends who both teach at the same school together. They started on the same exact day and failed their orientation together and had to retake it, much to their to their mortification which = friendship cemented. The best part about this book in relation to this kind of trope is that we learn right away that BOTH of them were secretly in love with each other but thinks the other just wants to be friends. They both have POVs and both of them start out with their own reasons why they think the other doesn’t like them like that. Right off the bat, hilarious. They’re so deep into a best friendship though (shared meal and Netflix subscription, inside jokes, hanging out every second of every day basically) that every other faculty member of their school assumes they’re together until a new long term sub asks Sam if Ian’s single. Open season on both of them commences.

We’re talking through our curriculum for the sex-ed course tomorrow morning. Most if it’s preplanned for us, but Sam wants to be extra prepared. 
“Why don’t you just grab a condom or two from your house for the demonstration?” she asks. “Oh Wait, will they still unroll if they’re all expired and dried up? Don’t want to embarrass ourselves in front of the kids.”
“Hilarious. Make sure to bring your 55-gallon barrel of lube.”
“Ha. Why me—don’t you keen any around?”
 she asks, truly perplexed.
“I don’t usually need it.”
“Oh because the women who make it into your house are just gushing Niagara Fallses 24/7?”
“24 is a stretch. I’d say it’s only during the act, so, three, usually four hours.”

She snorts. “Ooookay Casanova, let’s hope you’re keeping these mythical moist maidens properly hydrated. Jesus, I hope you offer them a Gatorade on the way out.”

Next, that sexual tension tho. I love me some good, intense, drawn out sexual tension. This book 100% delivered. *shivers* From getting a little too close while dying hair to the ~certain~ phone conversation…..I may have been blushing.  I loved the way they danced around their feelings for a good chunk of this book but obviously loved it even more when he straight up told her how he felt and that he wanted to pursue something.  She may have been unsure  because their friendship was so important to her but I was glad he just laid it all on the line.  There wasn’t any guessing about feelings.  They were either going to go for it or they weren’t.

“Petite thing? Read hair? Yeah, she was here—almost had to kick her out. She was high on drugs, came in and made a mess of the place.”
What the fuck?
“Did you see where she went when she left?”
“Probably to get more horse tranquilizers.”

Finally, that ending. I could see some people maybe not liking it? But with these two…I loved the proposal, I loved the rush to just do it, I loved where they did it and that they had to literally run out to avoid being fined, and I loved how desperate they were to get up to the hotel and with everything that happened after…A situation that would have felt weird and rushed in any other instance, these two had been so close for three years that in all honesty, the way things panned out here just fit. I also loved Sam’s enthusiasm afterwards with everything..just how excited she was to be Mrs. Fletcher and buy groceries and go shopping for THEIR house. She was crazy and I loved it. Also loved the epilogue too. ♥ HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND. This is the best book I’ve read by Grey to date.

You’re mine and you don’t even know it. I’ve never told you.

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