By: Sophie Sullivan
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin for the ARC of this book!
Hailey Sharp moves from Los Angeles to start over. She opens a salad shop, By Cup and wants it to be successful. This is all she could possibly think about, and it’s where her focus is. Wes Jansen moves from New York and has a business with his brothers. While his brothers may be in love, he doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. He watched his parents go through a messy divorce, and he’s had a string of bad first dates. He is content with liking someone and being with them, but doesn’t ever want to be in love, or have a family. Hailey and Wes meet in a bakery next to her salad shop, in such an embarrassing way! But when Wes apologizes, they begin to have a wonderful friendship, that neither of them want to ruin. With each of them focused on their careers, they don’t have time for much else, or do they?
A Guide to Just Being Friends is a strangers to friends to lovers novel. It is the true definition of a slow burn. I’ve read some reviews that said that it was too slow, and that they didn’t feel a connection to the characters. That wasn’t true for me, and it may be because I had a friendship that was very much like Wes and Hailey’s and I caught feelings (he didn’t). I really felt their friendship connection and the way that their feelings developed for each other. I also really enjoyed the fact that the brothers in this book were vulnerable and weren’t afraid to share their feelings with each other. I think that it’s important to show that side of men. It’s refreshing to read. This is the third book in the series, but I didn’t even know that. At no point (after I realized that it was part of a series) did I ever feel like I was missing out on something from the previous books. A must read for any rom-com lover!
This book will be available on January 17, 2023. Get your copy here.