Best Friends with Benefits
a Most Likely To novel
by Candy Sloane
Seven minutes in heaven never felt so good…
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.
My heart is a flutter with this story because it is basically every non-requited crush dream come to life. *dreamy sigh* But I digress - beware of spoilers!
I am usually not a fan of the best friends turned lovers story - I don't know why exactly. This story, however, was different in that the best friends have been apart for many years and when they first see each other - they don't expect the attraction to be as present. Val is coming off of a break up from a guy who didn't ever want to marry her and Alec is the quintessential bad boy rocker. There is definitely a sweetness when they are together and that tender side eventually gives in to their growing attraction as they attend their high school reunion.
I definitely liked how our two protagonists were once geeks and are now pretty cool, each in their own right. I also appreciated how being back in their hometown brought back insecurities - you never can escape everything about high school, right? With each other's support, however, they're able to move past the bullies and annoyances of their youth. I enjoyed how even though Alec is a big time star, he still has affection for his best friend and is not a cocky jerk. He's pretty goofy and funny - with a twist of sexiness.
There were a few things I didn't enjoy, but I was able to ignore in order to enjoy the story. One was Val's fixation on getting married. I can take it that rejection is horrible - and the concept of rejection is a big part of the story - but I didn't like that not being proposed to equaled "there's something wrong with me". I wish Val could have shown how much she's grown as a person from the get-go instead of when Alec enters the picture. The other thing I didn't like was how Val's encounter with one of her bullies, the school's "mean girl", happened. Alec stands up for Val and Val gets back at her bully - but in a "under the radar way." I would have loved seeing Val square off with her bully, face to face, and finally standing up for herself.
The end was pretty good and it does end in a proposal - but not in the usual way! I really was grateful for that because it did not hinder my liking the story. Since the story is told from a dual perspective, we know that Alec is going to propose, he's got the ring in his pocket and everything. What's different is that we don't read about him actually doing it or read about Val saying yes - the reader knows she's going to say "yes." That, worked out perfect for me. See? I'm not totally against proposals at the end of books!
Overall, I enjoyed this book so much I read it in a day :) I recommend it to my romance lovers out there!