Series: Wildstone, #4
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on January 21st 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Wildstone with the touching story of finding your place in the world—and the people who make it home.
Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.
When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.
Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.
“Chin up, Princess, or the crown slips.”
I shouldn’t be surprised (and I’m not), but I fell hard and fast for the characters in Almost Just Friends. Each and every book in the Wildstone series, no, make that each and every book I’ve read by Ms. Shalvis solidifies her position as a top favorite author. No two books are alike, and every character she creates is unique, with clear and distinctive voices. With Almost Just Friends she gives us members of two families whose union seems like destiny.
At the center of this story are Piper Manning and Camden “Hot guy” Hayes, whose fates are aligned. They are almost opposites, but just enough alike that a wonderful connection is formed early on. Their chemistry is off the charts hot and the more time they spend together, the better they are for it. But first, they have to square his father’s health and her siblings’ sudden return to Wildstone. There are many secrets, fears, and forces that push and pull at the thread of their kinship, and it will take a lot of work to secure their connection.
Piper is one of the most guarded characters I’ve read in a long while. It makes her all the more interesting and real to me. I couldn’t have rooted harder for her to push through the past and find herself firmly rooted in Camden’s life. With her sister and brother back in her life on a daily basis, she’ll have to learn to let go of the control she craves. Camden gives her a sort of comfort and dare I say it, encourages her to trust her feelings. Piper gives Cam a reason to want to slow down, to settle his life somewhere, with someone. The secondary characters, his father and her siblings add much to the story and Piper and Cam’s character flaws, but mostly show how much they change and grow during their time together.
As with her Heartbreaker Bay series, the Wildstone series could go on and on and i would be happy, happy, happy. There are unexpected new relationships, characters just begging to be heard, and as long as there are voices, I’ll be itching to read their stories. My heart always feels more full and every story leaves me incredibly happy. That is perhaps the best reason to read – with Jill Shalvis it’s always time well spent. 5 Stars and recommendation!
~Review by Cyndi
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