I’m going to call this one women’s fiction, because if it’s a romance then… it’s an epic fail. I don’t normally offer up spoilers, but if I had known (and this is the spoiler, guys) that our hero would sleep with another woman 75% of the way into the book, I wouldn’t have wasted my time with it. Our couple wasn’t together at the time, but there were definitely growing feelings, and that dropped this book down SEVERAL notches, in my opinion. If you choose to call this women’s fiction (because a LOT of the book is devoted to self-discovery), you might find it to be a more successful read.
The story follows Ben and Carli, new neighbors who are each dealing with divorce. They’re in their forties with teenage children, and neither one has been single in years. As they transition into the new “normal” of their lives, they get to know each other and form a friendship with a hint of something more. They both know that they’re in no place to start a real relationship, and starting something casual with your neighbor is ill-advised, so they’re stuck in that middle ground.
Though I wasn’t loving the story prior to the other woman drama, I also wasn’t hating it. The cover makes this seem like a lighter romance, and I probably wouldn’t have selected this book had I realized that our couple are in their forties. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just a completely different kind of romance. The writing is too internalized for my liking, but there’s a lot of depth there that makes for an intriguing read – I just wish the romance had been stronger. It’s central to the whole story, so it’s definitely intended to be one, but I CANNOT get behind a book where the hero sleeps with someone else that far in. That’s not a slow burn; that’s a standstill. Ultimately, I’m going to just consider this to be clean women’s fiction, because if I think of it as a romance, then I’ll be tempted to drop my rating even lower. I appreciated receiving an ARC via NetGalley (and am voluntarily leaving a review), but this one’s both a marketing and storyline miss for me.
Releases June 2nd
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/2TyawkR
From neighbors to friends to lovers? All the makings of a risky second-chance romance by USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Tracy Brogan.
Since Carli Lancaster’s divorce, she’s worked hard to keep life as normal as possible for her daughters. When she lands a job as cohost of a local morning show, it looks like a fresh start. So does the arrival of a handsome new neighbor, who has more in common with Carli than just a property line.
Ben Chase is also new to single parenthood. And like Carli, he’s focused on the future.
From navigating neighborhood gossip to decorating for holidays to reaching out in times of trouble, they quickly learn to rely on each other. Just like a couple but without the complications of coupling! Sure, there’s attraction. They’re only human. But they’re also friends, and who wants to ruin a perfect relationship with romance?
They’re both thinking about adding some perks, though, and even if their new normal isn’t perfect, it’s definitely somewhere in the neighborhood.