As 2022 comes to a close, I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and that list wouldn’t be complete without Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend. It’s one of the more unique and memorable books I’ve read this year, with a hero that I absolutely adored. It’s also beefy and a little brilliant, with a super slow burn that tortured me. I loved trying to figure out the hero, and the evolution of the relationship felt so deep and intimate. It’s lighthearted and full of swoons – and easily one of my favorite books of the year.
You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book below!
Well. Ahem. So this was nothing like I expected, but more than I could’ve hoped for – I LOVED it! If you loved the torturous slow burns of The Spanish Love Deception and Marriage for One, or the nerd-centric love story of The Love Hypothesis, then you’re gonna love the vibe of this one-of-a-kind romance. The page count is intimidating, I will openly admit that. There were one or two elements that I thought were unnecessary at the time, but everything comes full circle in such an impactful way. The nuances of this love story are what make it so engaging – it’s got a storyline that kept me on my toes, unable to guess where things would lead next. The combination of swoons, chemistry, tension, and little surprises made for such an engrossing read, and I loved how things became richer and deeper throughout. And this hero? Is the perfect kind of grump, with vulnerability that gives you butterflies.
The story follows Winnie, a science teacher who is hoping to grow her social media following in order to obtain the side hustle that will make her life easier. Winnie’s friend encourages her to bring as many eyes to her posts as possible by creating videos based on trending topics – like challenges that showcase best friends crossing the line to lovers. Sure, the videos might be a little disingenuous, but they’ll get Winnie’s follower count where it needs to be. The only problem? Winnie’s plans of making the videos with the guy she’s been crushing on get derailed when a practice video with the man who infuriates her gets posted instead. Byron has always made Winnie uncomfortable, and spending time with him is sure to be torture. Except… it’s not. As the two spend one-on-one time together, Winnie soon sees Byron in a completely different light.
While I loved Winnie, it’s Byron who steals the show here. We only get a few chapters from his perspective, but they were essential to the story. I loved the softness that lies beneath his bristly exterior, and getting to know the complexities of his personality added an extra layer of depth. The guy is the kind of loyal, committed hero that can make a girl swoon. He’s the grumpy to Winnie’s sunshine, and the opposites attract dynamic definitely worked. It was so fascinating to watch them slowly learn how to communicate better. At the start, it’s like they’re speaking two completely different languages (with tons of miscommunication), and it takes awhile before they’re on the same page. That’s where that torturous slow burn kicks in. I loved the quieter moments in the story, so the page count worked for me – that slow build in intimacy gives this a unique feel that distinguishes it from other books. Plus, I was never really sure where the story would go next, and that’s the kind of romance that I love to read. The kind of romance that stays with you.
Winnifred Gobaldi and Byron Visser are not best friends.
Yes, they’ve known each other for years, but they’re not even friendly. Winnie considers them more like casual, distant acquaintances who find each other barely tolerable, especially when he’s being condescending (which is all the time).
The truth is, they have nothing in common. She’s a public school science teacher with stars in her eyes, and he’s a pretentious, joyless double PhD turned world-famous bestselling fiction author. She loves sharing her passion for promulgating women in STEM careers and building community via social media, and he eschews all socialization, virtual or otherwise. She’s looking for a side hustle to help pay down a mountain of student debt, and his financial portfolio is the stuff of fiduciary wet dreams. So why are they faking a #bestfriend relationship for millions of online spectators?
When a simple case of tit-for-tat trends between nonfriends leads to a wholly unexpected kind of pretend, nothing is simple. Sometimes, it takes a public audience to reveal the truth of private feelings, and rarely—very rarely—you should believe what you see online.
Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend is a full-length, complete standalone, adult contemporary romantic comedy.
About the Author:
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Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.
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