For Sadie Nixon, life is one big adventure with something new around the corner. And anytime she needs a break, she can always rely on James Montesano, the best guy she knows. This time when she arrives in Shady Grove, however, something is different. There’s a little extra between her and James that has them crossing the line of friendship into one steamy, no-holds-barred night.
Afterward, no matter how hard she tries, Sadie can’t erase the memories of James that way. He’s so hot, so tempting . But his life is here and hers isn’t. She needs his friendship, but she doesn’t do commitment. So where does that leave them? Suddenly what happens between friends is more complicated than ever!
I have to say I haven’t had a huge amount of luck with friends-to-lovers stories recently. What Happens Between Friends, despite employing one of my all-time favourite tropes, unfortunately fell a bit short for me.
It took three days on and off to finish this book, as I was in the middle of packing for the RWA conference in Fremantle while I was reading it. The other reason it took so long to read was that I very nearly didn’t finish this book.
My main issue, and it is an important one for me, is that I had quite a difficult time connecting with Sadie and James – not only as a couple but as characters. They just didn’t gel for me.
Neither Sadie or James appear to have developed a great deal of maturity, and this is what I found the most frustrating about them.
Sadie, a free-spirited wanderer with no desire to settle down or put down roots, unfortunately came across as a petulant blamescaper who simply chose to take no responsibility for her actions. Oh, and the way she spoke to her mother – dear Lord, if I had spoken to my own mother that way, I am sure she would have reconsidered her stance on physical discipline.
James is not without fault either. Buddy, you did drop a fairly major bombshell on your friend there – you whip out the “I love you & want you for life” card and then stomp your feet up and down (like my toddler does when I try to close the iPad) when Sadie doesn’t automatically return your feelings in the way you want. Give a girl some time to digest, dude!
The ending, and yes, there is a happy one, seemed incredibly abrupt and rushed.
I have no issues with the writing style of Beth Andrews, far from it in fact. I have read other stories of hers where the hero or heroine has been a little prickly and enjoyed them. It’s just that the execution of this story, and of Sadie and James as a couple, could have been so much better.
Honestly, I don’t think I will be revisiting this particular tale in the Shady Grove series. However, I am rather curious about how the rest of the series will pan out as there are some intriguing secondary characters whose stories are yet to be told.
My rating: 2 out of 5
Release Date: 6 August 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Harlequin via NetGalley in return for an honest review.