Friday, October 28, 2016

King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem. The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed. 

Esme thinks Jon is paranoid. 

The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him. 

When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance. 

They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other. 

Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds? 

Note to Reader: This book is a "clean" read with mainstream values and minor language. 

~Jewelz Review~
A wonderful addition to the Power of the Matchmaker series! King of the Friend Zone is a contemporary romance based in San Francisco. Esme is newly engaged to Jon and things start to get a little unsettled when she introduces Jon to her best friend, Hunter. She and Hunter have literally known each other their entire lives. Their moms are best friends and so they grew up together. Even though the two are only friends, Jon puts the brakes on Esme and Hunter's relationship. After all, is it really appropriate for an engaged woman to be best friends with a single guy? (Especially one as hot as Hunter Chase) The pair's lives are so intertwined that Jon's ultimatum is understandably painful for Esme. But, despite her frustrations, she feels she needs to sacrifice to make her relationship with Jon work.

Fortunately, Esme and Hunter have an amazing group of friends and family who know they were meant to be together, even if they don't. Some take a back seat and allow them to make their own ill-advised choices and learn from them, while a couple have no problem telling them how it is. 

It wouldn't be a Matchmaker book without Miss Pearl. I love Miss Pearl and her kissing cookies. It's always a joy to have her appear in each book. Those cookies are a stroke of genius!

What makes this story so amazing though, isn't just that it's a story of best friends finding true love. It's all the little layers, all the supporting characters, all the depth that makes this more than just a fun read. Kenny's sub-plot combined with the main story arc juxtapose a very subtle form of abuse with more obvious types. The effects of both can be devestating and too many people find themselves unwittingly in abusive relationships - even strong, intelligent women like Esme and Shauna.

Overall a wonderful, heartwarming love story that I didn't want to put down.

FYI ~ clean read but with "mainstream" values (adult drinking and such)
Honest disclosure ~ I received a copy in exchange for my honest review

~About the Author~

I like to keep things light and fun, and believe that life is journey so if you're going to buy a book, your life should better for it. Whether a book I write is intended to help you escape for a few hours or designed to teach you a new skill, I hope you find it a good way. ;)

Current/Upcoming Titles:
- The Kiss that Launched 1,000 GIFs (June 2015)
- Pimpernel (January 2016)
- Walk of Infamy (Spring 2016)
- King of the Friend Zone (September 2016)
- The Third Wheel (Fall 2016)

About the Rhea Jensen series. I like to tell people, WARNING: This Series Contains Mormons. This series is more mystery/adventure with a dab of romance. HOWEVER, the last book in the series, Walk of Infamy, will be a stand-alone novel and end to the Rhea Jensen series that Pimpernel fans will likely enjoy.

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