Justin Haas and Alyse Mosell have been best friends since they were ten years old, and more than a decade later not much has changed. After a bitter break up with her fiancé, Alyse moves in with Justin to mend her life and her broken heart. But, one night of drinking and harmless flirting soon morphs into a passion that’s been simmering under the surface for years. One of them is willing to take a chance on romance; the other is trying to take their heart and run. And it will take nothing short of a Christmas miracle to keep their friendship – and what could be love – from falling apart around them.
They were close and Justin had never crossed that line of friendship with her. But, that didn’t mean she didn’t see the way he looked at her. Curiosity was just under the surface of his eyes when they glanced over her body every so often. The moments when he looked at her like that were emblazoned in her memory, just like that first kiss.
His eyes on her body when he came to pick her up for a night out; his hands on her thigh when he leaned over to get something in the backseat of his car, his fingers grazing her skin for longer than necessary. The times when they were leaning over the railing of the pier and she felt him leaning in closer to her, or the way he couldn’t close his mouth when he saw her in her prom dress. And then there was the way he’d given the subtle, dirty eyeball to any guy she dated, the same look he’d given Chris the first time he met him. She wasn’t blind. She’d just chosen not to see.
I hate to start a review with I thought this story was cute but it really was cute. Emotional too. I mean think about it. Sex ruins friendships, right? Do you really want to cross that line with some one that has always been there for you through thick and thin? Someone who knows you better than you know yourself. This is the dilemma that Alyse and Justin have to work through.
I loved the opening scene of the book. Very descriptive but also very informative about Alyse and Justin. It showed their relationship before her break up and the present. Their dialogue throughout the book was spot on, too. Without spoiling the book, my relationship with my childhood best friend blew up after the deed was done and I still think about what if we HADN’T. For Alyse and Justin, they deal with it in different ways.
Another thing I loved about the book was that while their first time was “drunk” sex, but it also showed the emotions that had been bottled up for so long and how they really didn’t care at THAT moment. There was no thinking, just doing. Bad pun, sorry. But while they laid to rest the was it worth it; it also showed how vulnerable both of them were. Souls were laid bare and they knew there was no turning back.
The little details in the book (and no, I won’t tell you except look at the cover) are well thought out and made me sigh at the end. Plus, just because there are handcuffs on the cover…there is no BDSM. Trust me though…they will make sense.
I’ve never read Ms. Bennett before this book but I will definitely be looking at her backlist. I enjoyed reading this friends to lovers trope and you will too. It’s about a boy and girl who fell in love with each other long ago they just didn’t know it. So what do you do? You fight for that love in the end.
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