Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway: Almost Just Friends

By Sara Steven

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

There is no getting around it: the reader of Almost Just Friends will have no choice but to fall in love with all of the characters in this novel! As the synopsis indicates, Piper is tough. So tough, it makes it difficult for anyone to get close to her, and that includes her siblings. I really appreciated the family dynamic that is front and center here, showcasing the amount of love and respect that is present, yet there is so much contention and so many hidden secrets that are kept from one another, much like how real-life siblings could be. Gavin (Piper’s brother) and Winnie (her sister) are so beautifully flawed and honest, they really add depth and clarity to Piper’s world.

Cam also adds depth and clarity, and it was interesting to see two love interests who really mirror one another where personalities are concerned. Both hold a lot of pain due to tragedy, and even though they deal with it in similar ways, they manage to still remain a comfort for one another, even though it takes time and effort in order to feel safe enough to allow that to happen. It helped that the connection between them is palpable, with plenty of scenes that made this reader blush, but in a completely good way.

The different points of view from some of the primary characters really made me feel like I had a better grip on why decisions had been made, a deeper inside into what makes them tick. The way this story was told flowed perfectly, giving me the sense of really knowing so much more about the town of Wildstone and the hidden gems within it. The word that comes to mind the most for me is honesty. Honesty in what each character is going through, honesty in their struggles and their pasts, and particularly with Piper, we see honesty in what she ultimately wants out of her life.

This is my first experience with the Wildstone series, and even though Almost Just Friends is book number four, this certainly could be read as a standalone, too. Given how much I enjoyed this story, it won’t be long before I check out the others in this series. A definite five-star read from me!

Thanks to William Morrow for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have one print copy to give away!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends January 27th at midnight EST.

23 comments:

Linda May said...

I have had a spark with a few guys in my life right away and it was an instant connection. I would love a chance to win this book, I have never won any of Jill's books not for lack of trying, I love her books. Thanks for your great generosity.

Suburban prep said...

Yes, with my now husband. When we first met we worked at the same company. We just started a conversation and it has now been going for over 26 years. We were friends first.

Nancy Payette said...

A few times. Thanks for the chance.

Rita Wray said...

Yes my husband the first time I met him.

rbooth43 said...

The spark began when I met my tall, dark and handsome husband! He had a twinkle in his eyes and a grin that was out of this world! He treated me like a queen from the first day to the last! We were married 36 wonderful years before his death! I would love to read and review Almost Just Friends! Thanks for the chance!

traveler said...

The spark still exists 50 years later for me.

diannekc said...

Yes, with a former boyfriend.

Di said...

no I haven't

Melissa said...

A little over 10 years ago, on a spontaneous night out with family, I met one of my family members' close friends. He was unlike anyone I've ever met; laid-back and easygoing with a way about him that instantly made me feel at ease and as though it was okay to me. When we spoke, both of us were candid, detailing parts of our childhood, struggles in our lives and more. It all transpired in a very short span of time and before I knew it, the time approached to nearly 2am. It was the first and only time we met and spoke. Years would pass until I'd hear anything of him until this past Spring when I reconnected with my family member whose friend he was. When I finally summoned the courage to ask about him, what he told me left me speechless and unable to conjure what I read. Just days prior to me finally inquiring about him, he tragically passed away during heart surgery. I wasn't surprised to hear of his heart surgery, as at the time we met, he was due to have heart surgery weeks later, due to his heart weakened after chemotherapy he received for a childhood cancer. Apparently, his heart troubles never ceased over the past decade and he tragically succumbed miles away from home at a clinic specializing in his heart condition. I later learned he was married and aspired to move out West, where my family member and his friend resides. I'm not quite sure why things happen like this as they do, but I spent years after meeting him that night, wondering about him, wondering if we would somehow eventually manage to end up together. When I learned about his passing, I wasn't sure how to feel. Part of me was angry, another part of me at a loss of emotions, but then I became grateful for even knowing and meeting him at all. Meeting someone like him gives me hope that maybe there are others out there like him and maybe, just maybe, one day, we will find each other.

Mary C said...

Yes. Sadly, I lost him to a medical condition.

Mary Preston said...

No, never happened

bn100 said...

no

Jane Willis said...

Yes, many years ago when I joined the Territorial Army and felt one with my weapons training instructor at my first training session. We've now been married for 43 years.

dstoutholcomb said...

with my husband

Cherisse said...

Yes, when I met my now husband the first time in college and years later when we reconnected

Xia Lee said...

Yes, my hubby

Lelandlee said...

Yes, my wife

Kelley B said...

Yes!

Margie Shaw said...

Yes there was a spark with my husband the first time I laid eyes on him!

Bernice Kennedy said...

Yes, I have had a spark a couple of times in my life. I married one of them and its been almost 34 years.

Jeanne said...

Yes, with my husband of 44 years. I lost him to cancer a couple of months ago.

Julie C said...

Yes with my husband of 25 years. 💕

jtmswim said...

Yes, with my husband of 44 years.