25 June 2017

Friend (With Benefits) Zone - Review

Friend (With Benefits) Zone
by Laura Brown

What they say: I’m ridiculously attracted to my best friend.

Today is a bad day. The worst actually. After dealing with the constant manhandling that comes with being a cocktail waitress at a dive bar and surviving a date from hell, I see an eviction notice slapped on the door of my sketchy basement apartment. Great.

When my best friend Devon shows up at my door and uses his stubborn charm (emphasis on stubborn) to get me to move in with him, I give in. We’ve had about a million sleepovers since we met in the kindergarten Deaf program, but this time it’s different because I can’t stop thinking about his hard body covering mine, every single night. 

I know Devon would do anything for me, but I’m afraid what I want to happen will ruin our friendship forever. And the more time we spend together in close quarters, the harder it’ll be to resist the spark of attraction I’ve always felt. But maybe it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: keep the one relationship I can’t live without and indulge in an attraction I can’t deny.

I guess the only thing we can do is try…

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US * UK * Avon Impulse

I received a copy from the publisher (via Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: Friend (With Benefits) Zone is a short and dramatic friends to lovers story. I'm going to completely honest and say that I'm a little conflicted about the plot, which was for the most part, a bit of a mixed bag for me. Don't get me wrong I did like the story I just didn't love it...

Oh the Diversity! It really shouldn't be such a rare occurrence to read a story where the main characters are deaf but unfortunately it is. I find this particularly shocking because one of my school friends is deaf. When we were in junior school a team from the National Deaf Children's Organisation come in to teach us the basics of BSL fingerspelling to help us communicate with Glenn. Although we all enjoyed learning BSL (which I'm reliably told is different from ASL) I genuinely don't think as 10-year-olds we understood the significance of how hard it would be for a him not being able to communicate in the same was as the rest of us. BUT he never seemed in any way less able and is still just Glenn, not deaf Glenn. So what I really appreciated in the book was the positive representation of deaf people and the inclusion the characters demonstrated. Being deaf is just a part of their lives and although it is incorporated seamlessly into the plot, the real story is about the relationship between Jasmine and Devon.

I'm a sucker for a friends-to-lover story so this element was always going to be a bonus for me. I'm not totally convinced on how the actual romance progressed. Jas is full of self doubt and I wasn't sure what to make of her constant back-and-forth. I often found myself getting cross and hoping Dev would leave her to save herself for once rather than always being the hero.

Dev is everything you would want in a BBF - if only he could move past his saviour complex! He's patient, sweet and selfless. I just REALLY wanted him and Jas to move past the angst and be on the same page as lovers, like they were as friends. On the upside Dev knows how to bring out the swoon and totally woos Jas, even when she doesn't want to be wooed.

All in all it's a cute story with lots of laughs, kissing and drama surrounded by a much deeper meaning than your average friends-to-lovers coming of age story. 

3 Stars in my Sky!


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