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Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: May the Best Man Win by Mira Lyn Kelly

This book definitely lived up to the “Flirt, Sizzle & Fun” text headlining Mira Lyn Kelly’s website.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review.)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: August 2, 2016

Four friends
Each a Best Man at a wedding
One chance to get it right

Jase Foster can't believe his bad luck. He's been paired with the she-devil herself for his best friend's wedding: Emily Klein of the miles-long legs and killer smile. She may be sin in a bridesmaid dress, but there's no way he's falling for her again.

They can barely stand each other, but given how many of their friends are getting married, they'll just have to play nice-at least when they're in company. Once they're alone, more than just gloves come off as Jase and Emily discover their chemistry is combustible, and there may be something to this enemies to lovers thing after all...

Man oh man how unlucky can two people be? Jase Foster and Emily Klein keep ending up paired up at their friends’ weddings. Why? Because Emily’s friends can’t stop getting engaged to Jase’s friends and with Jase and Emily being so tall, well it’s only natural to pair them up. Only, these two don’t like each other, at least, that’s what they keep telling themselves every time they touch, make eye contact, and verbally spar with each other. They can play nice in public but with all the time they’re spending together it’s not long before the hidden attraction starts bubbling up to the surface, but Jase and Emily have an unpleasant past connection that could stand in the way of kissing and making up.

I really do love Enemies to Lovers romances because if the author is talented enough, they can put a whole lot of tension into every interaction between the two characters right up until the moment everything combusts and clothes start flying. Mira Lyn Kelly knows how to ignite tension and deliver on the promise of passion in her books but May the Best Man Win had something a little extra and that was the humor in the entire situation. I mean as unrealistic as it may sound at first, Kelly really sells the notion that Jase’s friends keep getting married to Emily’s! Plus, Jase was six-feet-five inches to Emily’s five-foot-eleven so yeah, they’re a tall pair and with some of Jase’s friends barely topping six feet it really was a no brainer to pair him up with Emily at every wedding.

Jase wasn’t the guy Emily thought he was. He cared about his friends and whatever made them happy, made him happy for them. I loved how supportive he was when his friends would get married. Jase was always there to encourage them if they had a case of cold feet or to prop up the groom after a too competitive pre-wedding game of basketball went wrong. Usually the heroes don’t indulge in the softer side of human emotion and while Jase didn’t get sentimental, he had some really great lines that showed how loyal, loving, and thoughtful he was as a friend. Jase had a very pregnant assistant named Janice and every time he had a scenes with her I couldn’t help but laugh and fall I love with him myself. His compassionate nature also extended to Emily. Even when he was so certain he didn’t like her, Jase looked out for her in a way that seemed natural and easy, which of course freaked him out but that was part of the fun, watching him get freaked out by his automatic responses to her.

And yay for a tall heroine that wasn’t made into a stereotypical “Clumsy Giant.” Emily was confident, intelligent, and like Jase, loyal and loving towards her friends. She was genuinely happy for each one of them when they got married even though she felt like marriage wasn’t for her. I liked that she had to be convinced to give things with Jase a chance. She was vulnerable around Jase but in a way that didn’t turn her into a damsel in distress. I enjoyed that she made Jase really work for her trust and love without being cruel or cold hearted about it. She was straight forward and honest about why she didn’t trust Jase rather than making him figure it out on his own. She carried around her own hurt but never let it interfere with her friends’ happiness and Emily learned to live around that past for years so I liked that she didn’t “deal” with it over night and move on.

At first Jase and Emily seemed like a perfect fit even though all they did was argue but as time went on it became clear that it was more than just a simple misunderstanding that stood between these two. I was surprised at how big the obstacles were because of how light and flirty the tone was in the beginning. There was plenty of physical chemistry between the two but as soon as Jase wanted something more meaningful with Emily, that’s when things started to slow down physically and the author turned the attention on the emotional side of their growing connection which to me was the more interesting aspect of Jase and Emily’s relationship. It was a backwards relationship where these two had red hot sex but then stopped and became friends while they got to know each other better. It really worked for the two of them too because it started to show the less guarded Jase and Emily. Their friendship was one of the highlights of May the Best Man Win to be honest.

Jase and Emily each had their set of friends who were the kind that everyone should have but I have to say that Jase’s friends were my favorites. They were rowdy and blunt but just as caring as Jase was and they really enjoyed busting his balls while making sure he wasn’t going to just use Emily and toss her aside because they liked her too. Surprisingly May the Best Man Win took place over months but didn’t drag on like I thought it would. There was always something entertaining happening with Jase and Emily so I never got bored but having the story take place over such a lengthy period of time made their romance way more believable than if they had had everything worked out between them in a handful of weeks.

Final Verdict: May the Best Man Win had plenty to recommend it. Jase and Emily were completely likable characters with big hearts that were always ready to help their friends but were reluctant to help themselves. The story alternated between light and flirty to down and dirty but through it all was plenty of humor and a feel good ending. Jase and Emily were two characters I could have read about forever!

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