Icon Tag: Friends to Lovers

The One I Stood Beside: Piper Rayne

Posted on July 11, 2024 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 1 Comment

“The One I Stood Beside” is the second audiobook in “The Plain Daisy Ranch” series, narrated by Troy Duran and Rose Dioro. In this installment, listeners delve into the story of the eldest Naughton brother. Jude Naughton has harbored love for his best friend, Sadie, for as long as he can recall but has kept his feelings secret. However, when a tragedy befalls Sadie’s family, Jude seizes the opportunity to support her by proposing a marriage of convenience, setting the stage for their transition from best friends to lovers.

 

The One I Stood Beside: Piper RayneTitle: The One I Stood Beside
Author(s): Piper Rayne
Series: Plain Daisy Ranch #2
Also in this series: The One I Left Behind
Narrator(s): Troy Duran, Rose Dioro
Published by ‎ Piper Rayne Inc. on July 2, 2024
Pages: 270
Length: 6hrs 25mins
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Format: ALC, eArc
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating:  Stars
Series Rating: One StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

It’s the classic story— best friends since childhood agree to a fake marriage, thinking they can pretend to love each other without their relationship changing.

Jude would do anything for me. He’s stood by my side since we were six, and I’ve done the same for him.

When my father dies, leaving our family farm drowning in debt and on the brink of being auctioned, I’m not surprised Jude steps in to help. I just never dreamed he’d fall to bended knee and devise a plan for us to fool everyone into thinking there’s more than a lifelong friendship between us.

Soon, I’m moving into his house, we’re planning a wedding on his family’s ranch, and we discover a new side to our relationship. I keep reminding myself it’s not real—it’s only to secure a loan to save the farm.

I’ve secretly loved Jude all my life, and now that I know how good we are together, I’m not sure we can return to being just friends.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

 

Jude first came on my radar in book one, The One I Left Behind, and he got my attention immediately. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on his story. His connection to Sadie was obvious from the outset and it was clear they were both using their friendship as a crutch to avoid a meaningful relationship developing between them. Sadly, it took a tragedy to change the trajectory of their relationship.

“The One I Stood Beside” is a captivating tale of friends turning into lovers and a marriage of convenience. Jude and Sadie’s beautiful friendship blossoms into a charming romance. Jude’s exchanges with his siblings and father are particularly enjoyable, providing many moments of laughter.

The story gives a peek into Jude’s childhood, allowing readers to share in the experiences that shaped him as an adult. Form early in life he was one to take on a lot on his shoulders and so it came as no surprise he would step up to shoulder Sadie’s responsibilities. Jude is not expressive when it comes to his feelings. He presents a grumpy demeanor to all except for Sadie. When he decided to open and express his true feelings there was no turning back for him.

Sadie faces a major change in her life. A change that would lead to her achieving two of her greatest goals. Managing the farm and being with the man she loves. However, attaining both goals came with its own set of challenges. With the help of friends and family navigating these challenges.

Jude and Sadie were a perfect match, each filling in the gaps of the other. They held a deep understanding of one another that surpassed anyone else’s knowledge of them. Yet, it was unexpected when they both overlooked their true desires. Despite a longstanding friendship, the most crucial aspects eluded them.

Overall, The One I Stood Beside delivered a wonderful small-town romance where best friends discovered love through a marriage of convenience.

I had the privilege of listening to the audiobook. It was my first experience with the narrators Troy Duran and Rose Dioro. Troy did a fabulous job in his portrayal of Jude and by extension the supporting male cast. Rose was equally exceptional in her interpretation of Sadie and the female supporting cast. I would definitely listen to them both again either individually or as a team.

Story Evaluation
Plot
4
Characters
4
World Building
4
Writing Style
4
Pacing
4.5
Cover
4.5
Narrator (Audio)
5
Enjoyment
4
Ending
4
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

About Piper Rayne

Piper Rayne is a USA Today Bestselling Author duo who write “heartwarming humor with a side of sizzle” about families, whether that be blood or found. They both have e-readers full of one-clickable books, they’re married to husbands who drive them to drink, and they’re both chauffeurs to their kids. Most of all, they love hot heroes and quirky heroines who make them laugh, and they hope you do, too!

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading

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