(Jansen Brothers #3)
by Sophie Sullivan
Hailey Sharp has a one-track mind. Get By the Cup salad shop off the ground. Do literally everything possible to make it a success. Repeat. With a head full of entrepreneurial ideas and a bad ex in her rearview, her one and only focus is living life the way she wants to. No distractions.
Wes Jansen never did understand the fuss about relationships. With a string of lackluster first dates and the pain from his parents’ angry divorce following him around, he’d much rather find someone who he likes, but won’t love. Companionship, not passion, is the name of the game.
When Hailey and Wes find each other in a disastrous meet cute that wasn’t even intended for them, they embarrassingly go their separate ways. But when Wes finds Hailey to apologize for his behavior, they strike up a friendship. Because that’s all this can be. Hailey doesn’t want any distractions. Wes doesn’t want to fall in love.
What could possibly go wrong?
I am usually such a stickler for reading book series in order. I will sometimes relax this for romance books - mostly because I tend not to realize that certain books are part of series so I have been forced into relaxing my rule. I kid of course. Sort of.
A Guide to Being Just Friends by Sophie Sullivan was a real treat to get through. I loved getting to know each of our main characters, Wes and Hailey, and their past difficulties that have caused them to become who they are. Heartbreak has caused them both to change how they approach friendships and relationships…for better or worse. While Wes believes that it’s silly to place yourself in a situation where you can fall in love with someone, Hailey has become more vigilant of her feelings and others’ intentions.
I think A Guide to Being Just Friends did a fantastic job of weaving the story of two hurt people learning to fall into a friendship and then love. I honestly really appreciate how much we got to see Wes and Hailey in their friendship stage. It is definitely not something we get to read about often in a book - yes, their attraction is described, but over all of it we see a real amount of care for each other. That was lovely to read.
Now, I need to let my spicy romance readers know this - there are no spicy scenes in this book. I know, I know. We have been spoiled with the spicy-ness of all the romance novels out there. Trust me, I am one of those readers! I have never liked the “fade-to-black” scenes in books, even before spicy book-tok was a thing. However, I was able to forgive this when the rest of the book is such a treat on the reader’s feelings.
So, while I do not recommend this book for the hardcore spicy-romance readers of the world, I do recommend this beautiful read to those who love the act of falling in love in those romance novels. If you love rom-coms, you’re going to love A Guide to Being Just Friends.