Friend (with benefits) Zone by Laura Brown
Published: June 27, 2017 by Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I’m ridiculously attracted to my best friend.
Today is a bad day. The worst actually. After dealing with the constant manhandling that comes with being a cocktail waitress at a dive bar and surviving a date from hell, I see an eviction notice slapped on the door of my sketchy basement apartment. Great.
When my best friend Devon shows up at my door and uses his stubborn charm (emphasis on stubborn) to get me to move in with him, I give in. We’ve had about a million sleepovers since we met in the kindergarten Deaf program, but this time it’s different because I can’t stop thinking about his hard body covering mine, every single night.
I know Devon would do anything for me, but I’m afraid what I want to happen will ruin our friendship forever. And the more time we spend together in close quarters, the harder it’ll be to resist the spark of attraction I’ve always felt. But maybe it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: keep the one relationship I can’t live without and indulge in an attraction I can’t deny.
I guess the only thing we can do is try…
I don’t think I’ve ever met two so stubborn people in a romance book. They are both so willingly oblivious to what everyone else knows but I was happy that they quickly get it together by the 25% mark. Jasmine and Devon have been best friends since they were 10 years old but now they each have feelings for the other and are too afraid to pull the trigger on a relationship. These two danced around each other so much in the beginning, but once they get together I appreciated that they tried to take things slowly as they adjusted to this new step in their relationship. However, the last 10% or so was particularity rough because Jasmine was so resistant to even trying to talk about their issues and act like adults.
“I missed the days when he was a spindly little thing, before he grew into this hunk I could never unfriendzone.”
I love when an author can challenge my expectations of writing and Laura Brown certainly does this. Because both her characters are deaf/hard of hearing we see dialogue in a new way as it’s written here. There are no examples of husky voices, or sexy growls, or the variety of ways to say “he/she said”. Instead we get clues through the characters hand gestures and signing, by their facial expressions, or the smallness or largeness of their signing. I really enjoyed this new experience.
Devon was a wonderful hero and I loved how compassionate he was about other people. He really wants to help those who need it the most and it’s an honorable career path to take. He’s also really sweet with Jasmine’s more skittish nature.
The second half of the book had me almost drowning in Jasmine’s pity party and it really brought the book down for me. She goes through some tough things but she also wallows in all her life’s tragedies, bemoans her bad luck, and acts like she’s all alone in this life when that’s not true.
2 stars – it was ok