Blog Review Tour: Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis

Nadene February 3, 2020 Reviews, William Morrow 0 Comments

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Blog Review Tour: Almost Just Friends by Jill ShalvisTitle: Almost Just Friends (Wildstone, #4)
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Wildstone #4
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on January 21, 2020
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Source: Netgalley, Edelweiss
Format: eBook, ARC
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: four-stars
Heat Level: four-flames

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Wildstone with the touching story of finding your place in the world—and the people who make it home.

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.

Almost Just Friends is the fourth book in the Wildstone series, however, it can be read on its own. In this latest offering from Jill Shalvis, we meet Piper Manning an EMT. Piper is completing her plans to go to college. Now that her siblings have all grown up, and she is no longer responsible for them, she can now live her life on her own terms. However, things rarely go as planned as Piper would discover, when her siblings returned home with secrets, which had the potential to turn her world upside down. If that was not enough, her neighbour’s sexy son would evoke feelings she feared and never thought possible. For a woman who bases her life on lists, this spells trouble.
 
Shalvis weaved an entertaining story which, featured complicated characters. I enjoyed every moment getting to know the characters, who were strong yet flawed. These were persons you wanted the best for and hoped they would get their act together.
 
This book featured not one but two romances which I loved. I am not a  fan of MM romance, but I found myself enjoying the second chance romance between Gavin (Piper’s brother) and CJ.
 
The connection between Piper and Cam was both sweet and hot.  I loved the slow burn and the undeniable chemistry that burned between the couples. I found myself invested in both relationships and had my fingers crossed hoping they would overcome the obstacles that could destroy their happiness.
 
Of all the characters in the story, Camden’s dad was my favourite. He was funny and charismatic, which added to depth to the story.
 
It was a pleasure watching the characters grow throughout the story. They claimed their mistakes and attempted to correct them, which resulted in healing and forgiveness for all who were involved.
 
Drama and angst was prominent in this story,  however, they were balanced out by the humour and all the happy events that transpired.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Almost Just Friends is a story about healing, forgiveness, over coming fears and self-discovery. If you enjoy contemporary romance, you will love this book. 

READ AN EXCERPT

The last time a woman had ordered Cam to strip had been a very different scene altogether, and it’d been a while. Generally speaking, he liked to be behind the wheel in most situations, but he’d never had any complaints about a woman driving in his bed. “Interesting bedside manner.”
“Okay,” she said. “How about strip, please.”
He laughed, and he realized that until tonight, it’d been a damn long time for that too. “Well, since you asked so nicely . . .” But still he hesitated.
“Trust me, I’ve seen it all before.”
He pulled off his shirt, wincing when the cotton stuck to the deepest slice across his chest.
Piper blinked, and for the first time all night, appeared short of words.
It was pretty damn cute, especially with the mud on her nose. “Thought you’ve seen it all before.” She bit her lower lip, eyes suddenly hooded, and he couldn’t resist teasing her. “So, how do I stack up?”
That got her, and she rolled her eyes. “Like you don’t know. Sit.”
The couch seemed too . . . personal, so he sat on her coffee table. She dropped to her knees at his side and doctored up first the cut on his left palm from where he’d nicked himself in his dad’s kitchen, and then the two slices on his left biceps, and then the biggest one across his chest, during which time he did his best to ignore the feel of her soft breath on his skin and failed.
When she’d finished, she looked down at his cargoes and saw the blood seeping through from his thigh. Rising to her feet, she stepped back, gesturing for him to lose the pants too.
“Seriously,” he said. “Doesn’t even have to be dinner. An appetizer would work.”
“If you’re real good, I’ll give you a sticker.”
“How about letting me look at your secret secret bucket list instead?”
Her eyes narrowed. “How about we stop talking now?”
“Wait.” He cocked his head. “Does this mean you also have a secret bucket list? And possibly a not-so- secret bucket list?” 
She had hands on hips; a fresh, clean gauze in one hand, antibiotic ointment in the other, her expression dialed to Not Feeling Playful.
With a rough laugh, he stood and took the gauze and ointment from her. “I got this one, Doc.” And then he gestured for her to turn around.
She did with a smirk, and then spoke over her shoulder. “Didn’t peg you for the shy type.”
“Oh, I’m not shy.” He shoved his icy, muddy, wet cargoes to his thighs, and yeah, the cat had come within two inches of de-manning him. “Just didn’t want to have to fight you off.”
“Don’t worry,” she said. “I always get verbal consent first. And I bet you didn’t want me to see your tighty-whities.”
He gritted his teeth as he cleaned out the cut. Son of a bitch, that cat had gone deep. “They’re not tight and they’re not white.”
“Batman undies?”
“Commando,” he said, and that shut her up. When he’d finished and pulled his pants back up, he lifted his head and found her facing him. His brows went up. “See anything you like?”
Instead of answering, she blushed. And he grinned because, yeah. She’d definitely seen something she liked.
 

 

 
 
 
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About Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.
Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete booklist daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
 
Nadene
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Netgalley and Edelweiss
  • New Release

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