Title: Just Friends
Author: Monica Murphy
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Heat Rating: 3 Stars
All The Feels Rating: 3 Stars
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: September 13th, 2016
ARC received in exchange for an honest review
It’s the end of summer. Just before I start senior year with my two best friends in the whole world. Dustin and Emily are everything to me. We’ve been inseparable since middle school, and when we’re together, nothing can go wrong.
But things aren’t always what they seem. Em’s turned into a drunken mess who parties too much. Dustin and I have hooked up a few times―and now he’s ready to take our relationship to the next level. Yet I’m not sure I want things to change. I’m scared if I take it any further with Dustin, our friendship will be ruined forever. Then there’s Ryan. The new guy. He’s hot. He flirts way too much. And Em has totally set her sights on him.
So when my best friend betrays me in the worst possible way, guess who’s there to help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart? Ryan. But he’s so confusing. Annoying. Sweet. Sexy. I want to trust him, yet he makes it so hard. What I really want is for everything to go back to the way it was before.
Before I found out that best friends make the worst kind of enemies.
What do you get when you add three best friends, one new boy, a ton of hormones, and some little things called feelings? A whole lot of drama.
The story is told from the POV of Olivia. She had just spent the summer before her senior year at her dad’s house in another state, and misses her best friends Dustin and Em (Emily) like crazy. There are already some complications: Dustin and Olivia have been hooking up, and Dustin wants more, while Olivia is unsure of what she wants. When she meets up with her friends, she finds that Em has changed slightly. She is partying harder than normal, has some weird tension with Dustin and has been hooking up with the new boy, Ryan.
Against her best attempts, Olivia finds herself attracted to Ryan, even though she isn’t sure if she can stand the guy. He’s overly flirtatious with her, while at the same time hooking up with her friend. Plus, she sound only be thinking about Dustin, who wants to be with her more than ever. So while Olivia tries to focus on Dustin and their kinda, maybe relationship, she finds herself enjoying being around Ryan. A little too much.
Then after Olivia finds out that Dustin and Em have betrayed her, she only has two people to turn to: Her new friend Amanda and Ryan. The more time she spends with Ryan, things go from friendly to more. But he doesn’t always show the best colors, and Olivia finds herself thinking of Dustin. If she could ever forgive him.
We get to know Olivia the best, since it’s her POV. I thought she was a good character, I got annoyed at how she kept being there for Em when clearly she didn’t deserve that. I don’t mind that she has mixed feelings between Ryan and Dustin, because it felt real and natural, and with their age, isn’t uncommon.
I’m honestly not sure if I’m team Dustin or team Ryan. They both got on my nerves and had their high and low points. I hope they both are better in the second book, or at least the one she ends up with.
Dustin has been her friend for so long. He is caring and sweet, and you can tell how much he cares about her. They have chemistry, but it’s hard to tell if it would last. I also can’t forget how he betrayed her. It’s super low for him, especially since he claims he loves her so much. I get he’s a young dude, but it was hard for me to forgive him, so I couldn’t picture how it would be for Olivia’s character.
Ryan is hot. He’s charming, flirty and is used to getting what he wants. He and Olivia have this instant attraction to each other. He also proves to be a good friend to her in her time of need. However, I’m not sure if he is always 100% honest with her. I hope for the best with him, but I’m not sure if I can fully trust him. He also says a few mean things to Olivia, and I’m slightly annoyed at how easily she forgives him, but then again, it does fit their ages.
Em…. I did not like her at all- I don’t think you are supposed to. She’s rich, spoiled and doesn’t seem to have a genuine bone in her body. I think she takes pleasure in watching others suffer, maybe to make herself feel better. It’s pretty obvious she is jealous of Dustin and Olivia and has feelings for Dustin.
There are a few minor characters I enjoy- Tuttle and Amanda. I enjoyed the fact that Olivia had a real friend in Amanda.
This is a two part book, so it does end with a cliff hanger.
This book made me laugh and smile, swoon, and also had my stomach in knots. It features high school characters, but reads as NA.
Find Just Friends:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bHAn2k
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bIEISO
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2bhsEbM
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2byYFg7
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2cu3XZM
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
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