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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: Best Friends with Benefits by Candy Sloane

So this book wasn't a good fit for me. It was more NA than Adult Contemporary.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Brazen
Release Date: March 14, 2016

Valerie Barkin and Alec Rogers survived bullies, awful parents, and seriously shitty social standing the only way best friends can—together. But with the unexpected sexual tension suddenly flaring between them, surviving their ten-year high school reunion might be a different story…

Val hasn’t changed. She still feels like the stringy-haired band geek the popular kids teased, but Alec has definitely changed. He’s now the front man for the Grammy-winning rock band Chronic Disharmony, with the sexual reputation to match. And he’s more than willing to help Val rock the reunion.

And then it happens—a drunken game of Seven Minutes in Heaven—and their fourteen-years-long foreplay comes crashing to the forefront…changing everything.

Seven minutes turns into a weekend of mind-blowing, no-strings-attached sex. But these best friends won't be able to leave their hearts out of it forever, not when the most meaningful benefit could change their relationship for good....

It’s the ultimate high school reunion! Alec and Valerie banded together as only outcasts can to survive the dreaded high school years. The two best friends shared more than just their unpopular social standing back in the day, they had bullies and terrible parents to add to the list of craptacular things to worry about. Ten years later and the two friends are attending their high school reunion together. When a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven goes too far, Alec and Valerie find that their friendship is becoming a little less “friends” and a little more “benefits.”

Okay so Best Friends with Benefits wasn’t a good fit for me for many reasons. I couldn’t understand or relate to two grown people who felt it was so important to attend a high school reunion with the same people who made their lives miserable when they were younger. It didn’t serve any purpose to me and sounded kind of petty, juvenile and like neither character really grew up in the ten years since they graduated. Alec and Valerie should have just been better than that.

I couldn’t really get over the immaturity and over the top level of angst in this story. It felt more like a New Adult novel the whole way through so I checked out the author and yep, Candy Sloane is the pen name for a YA and NA author. Now that’s not a bad thing but here I thought I was getting a Brazen novel with mature, adult characters and Best Friends with Benefits just wasn’t it. Sure, it had a pretty high heat level but other than that it definitely had a New Adult feel to it.

The plot, while not to my liking was solid and well thought out and the pace was smooth and even. When it came to the love scenes, I had no reason to complain.

Even with Best Friends with Benefits feeling more NA than Adult Contemporary, it had a few gems. Alec and Valerie had such a close friendship that was built on their outcast status when they were younger. It shaped them and they depended on one another in the past as well as in the present. I enjoyed their playful banter and the seemingly unconditional support they gave each other. I felt like no matter what happened at the reunion, Alec and Valerie were still going to be the best of friends.

Final Verdict: This wasn’t a good fit for me because I’m not into NA novels and Best Friends with Benefits falls into that category in my opinion. Alec and Valerie were a bit too immature and allowed way too much drama into their lives for my liking. However, if NA is your thing, then please do pick this book up. It’s spicier than most NA romances but still a solid NA romance.

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