Thursday, June 24, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Her Best Friend by Sarah Mayberry

Harlequin Super Romance 256 pages

April 2010 By Sarah Mayberry

Visit Sarah's website HERE


What's a girl to do when she's secretly in love with a friend and he's married to someone else? She gets over it. That's what Amy Parker has done. Rather than lose her best bud Quinn Whitfield with an ill-timed, crazy confession of affection, she's taken the smart route. She's eased away from him. Just enough to get past the unrequited bits. And you know, it's working.

Until the day Quinn announces he's now single. That's right. He's single. And he wants to hang out. With her. Get reconnected the way they used to be.

Oh, this is so not good for Amy's equilibrium. Daily doses of Quinn remind her of everything she loves about him. But if he's free...and she's free...well, maybe the time has come for one of those crazy confessions.

DISCLOSURE: I won this book at the Blaze Blog.

I have never read this line before, ever. I have only recently started to read a few contemporary romances, and the few times I have seen the covers of books in this line, there were babies on the cover, which send me screaming in the opposite direction. Just not my thing. However, as you can see, no babies being held by shirtless, smiling hunks.

This is a common premise in romance, in love (usually secretly) with that teenage crush from so long ago. That is the set up for this engaging book. The hero Quinn Whitfield may come off as a bit clueless at times, (he didn't know his wife was cheating on him for almost 2 years) nor does he catch on to our heroine's secret or not so secret love and devotion for him. But he is everything a woman could want, in a best friend.
The story has a few delightful flashbacks to show just how close friends these two were as teens. But then, a new girl in town enters the field, Lisa, and she and Quinn wind up marrying out of law school and moving to a nearby city (Story is set in Mayberry's native Australia)

Amy Parker does what any strong willed woman would do, she gets on with her life. As the story begins, Amy is deep in trying to get an Art Deco movie palace back to its former glory when she runs into obstacles at every turn, including a bully of a villain who wants the palace for himself for some real estate development.
Amy sucks it up and calls the only lawyers she knows, Quinn and Lisa. They had drifted apart the last 18 months or so. She prays Lisa answers, but no, Quinn picks up. And hero he is, swoops in to help Amy with the city council and developers.

Quinn is to die for, kind, caring, generous, sincere and gorgeous to boot. It stirs up feeling in Amy that never really went away, (after 16 years!!) and when she hears that Quinn and Lisa are getting a divorce, she begins to wonder, can there be something between her and Quinn at last? When Amy hears about the divorce, she hugs Quinn close.

For a moment, Quinn stood very still, it had been a long time since anyone had held him this way. He had lovers in the year since Lisa had left, but no one had held him like they cared. Like they loved him. Like he mattered.

Both characters are warm, real and totally engaging. Sarah builds the attraction between them at an enjoyable pace, without making it seems forced or contrived. As Quinn begins to help Amy in her restoration project, they are thrown together and sparks begin to fly. Compared to a Blaze (which Sarah Mayberry also writes for) the love scenes were tame in comparison, but fit with the sweetness factor of this couple. But not so sweet as to rot out your teeth.

All in all I was swept up into Quinn and Amy's story, and even though Lisa predictably shows up at the end of the book and wants Quinn back, we know by this point that Quinn has it bad for Amy. Great read, it's a keeper.

3 and 1/2 stars out of 4 for the book

KOVER KUDOS: Adorable cover, both look like how the characters are described, and they are sharing a bottle of wine like a scene right out of the book. Look closely, they are in a movie house. Just like in the book. Great job, Harlequin!

3 1/2 stars out of 4 for the cover


Anna Campbell said...

Karyn, I really enjoyed this too. I think Sarah's a marvellous writer - I love the feeling of life you get from her stories. And you're right about Quinn being lovely!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a delightful read, thanks for the review, I will keep my eye out for this one, and your right, the cover is adorable!


Karyn Gerrard said...

That's it exactly, it had a real feeling of life in the story, I loved that, and of course, Quinn WAS a doll. Thanks so much Anna for swinging by!

Karyn Gerrard said...

jaundyce, You will enjoy this I am sure, keep a lookout!

Deb said...

Great job, KAryn! I like the cover, too. It's cute and romantic.

I like stories like this, so will look for it.

Karyn Gerrard said...

Thanks Deb, I really think you would enjoy this, a sweet, heartwarming story, and the cover was perfect!