Abby Jimenez's debut novel - The Friend Zone, so I made it my next 'light' read.
Kristen's fiancee is deployed in the Middle East. He's on one last tour and then coming home. The plan is to move in together and see what the future will bring. They've both agreed on one thing though - no children. But in Kristen's case, it's a medical impossibility. She's come to terms with it......kinda. Sorta.
But then she meets Josh, the best man in her friend Sloan's wedding. And initially there's no love lost between the two of them. Until about fifty pages in and yes, you got it - there's definitely some attraction there. This back and forth carries on as the two become friends. Only friends, 'cause you know there's a fiancee. But, the reader just knows that that attraction is only going to grow....
I applaud Jimenez for her plotting. Giving Kristen this medical issue allows Jimenez to explore the emotional issues that accompany infertility and the journey to self-love and acceptance.
The dialogue is sharp and snappy. The characters were okay and I only wished them the best. But. Yes, there's a but. I had a hard time connecting with Kristen. IMO she was overwritten - too sassy, too rude, too irritating, just too much all round. I wish we knew more of Josh than the 'hunky guy hopelessly in love from first meeting with cute lead character with issues." And while the back and forth builds the romantic tension and the hope that love will triumph in the end, I grew tired of the repetitiveness after awhile and wanted things to just move along a little faster. For gosh sakes, just tell him the truth. When I got to the ending? Sorry, it just left me flat after focusing so much on infertility. And the ending for friend Sloan? Didn't like it either - but it opens the door for 2020's release - The Happily Ever After Playlist.
The Friend Zone was just okay for this reader. I am in the minority on this one though - The Friend Zone has made the USA Today Bestseller list. Here's an excerpt of The Friend Zone.