Unaware that this title from Laura Brown would show a romance that featured a couple with hearing impairments, the unusual (in romance) approach to making these characters the primary story, and keep me interested in seeing both the challenges that distinguish their behavior and lives and finding all of the ways that I related to their desire for things we all want: love, acceptance and security. Please read on for my review of
Friend (With Benefits) Zone
A lifelong friendship to lovers is the cornerstone of this story – both Devon and Jasmine have known each other since childhood – and often bonded over their similarities and their own differences from one another. But, surprising to me was Devon’s willingness to put up with much of Jasmine’s repeated and near pathological need to be contrary and dramatic, over Every Little Thing. And, not surprisingly, while I did understand that her issues were not plucked out of thin air – it was time for her to seriously sit down with herself and see just how many times she decided on an action, fought with herself and contradicted her own decisions, and then went off half-cocked to a reaction that was often inappropriate, or wholly unrelated. She was exhausting in every meaning of the word – and most of her problems (or what she saw as her problems) were self-inflicted. To his credit, Devon seems to know that she needs that stability, help and security that their long-term friendship provides, and is willing, because in her good moments she is truly wonderful, to stick around.
And Devon was just wonderful – perhaps almost too nice for Jasmine. The communication issues between them, ironically not due to their deafness but a mix of youth, conflicted emotions and a general fear of making themselves vulnerable kept the angst high here, when it was almost blatantly apparent to everyone that there was a connection between them that was stronger than friendship, but based in that always understanding the difficulties facing a world not quite accommodating was a unique perspective and one that had me seeing the world around me in a different way.
Laura Brown kept me intrigued, even when I was so frustrated I could scream. Dropping bits of information, mixing in secondary characters and issues that everyone faces, along with some very specific challenges that both Jasmine and Devon had to face brought a rich tapestry of moments to the story and kept me curious as I hoped they could and find a way through the maze of circumstances, issues and Jasmine’s drama to get to a resolution. It was wonderful to see that the issues were more self-imposed and built than societal, and that coming to accept yourself, your choices and find an acceptance in another made this an intriguing and challenging read. I’m sure to look for more of this author’s titles in the future, as the concepts and characters created such memorable moments here.
Title: Friend (With Benefits) Zone
Author: Laura Brown
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance
Published by: Avon Impulse
Published on: June 27th 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
I’m ridiculously attracted to my best friend.
Today is a bad day. The worst actually. After dealing with the constant manhandling that comes with being a cocktail waitress at a dive bar and surviving a date from hell, I see an eviction notice slapped on the door of my sketchy basement apartment. Great.
When my best friend Devon shows up at my door and uses his stubborn charm (emphasis on stubborn) to get me to move in with him, I give in. We’ve had about a million sleepovers since we met in the kindergarten Deaf program, but this time it’s different because I can’t stop thinking about his hard body covering mine, every single night.
I know Devon would do anything for me, but I’m afraid what I want to happen will ruin our friendship forever. And the more time we spend together in close quarters, the harder it’ll be to resist the spark of attraction I’ve always felt. But maybe it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: keep the one relationship I can’t live without and indulge in an attraction I can’t deny.
I guess the only thing we can do is try…
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.