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ISBN: 978-1250624208
January 17, 2023
Contemporary Romance

California – Present Day

Hailey Sharp left a career in Hollywood as a caterer to open her own salad shop called By the Cup. Business has been slow, so she’s pretty much open to anything to help increase business. After leaving her ex-boyfriend and wanting independence from her controlling parents, this is her dream. One day while visiting the next-door bakery, she runs into a strange man who appears nice, though he did insult her. A couple of days later, he shows up at her shop and apologizes. Turns out that his name is Wes Jansen and he’s a guy with plenty of ideas on how to succeed in business. Can he help Hailey?

Wes joined his two brothers in California after he finally got fed up with their controlling father. The three brothers are trying to build their own mega empire, though their father keeps threatening to sue them because he wants them back. Meanwhile, Wes hangs out at Hailey’s shop and offers her ideas, some of which she accepts. Since both aren’t looking for romance, they agree to be friends only. They’re supportive of each other and encourage the other to pursue dates with other men. However, it soon turns out that there is some jealousy when they do date. Wes and Hailey seem like they would be perfect for each other, but they are determined to only be friends. 

Most of A GUIDE TO JUST BEING FRIENDS revolves around Hailey and Wes trying to ignore their growing feelings for each other. They do things with each other and offer advice, but they declare that they are friends only. One can understand Hailey not wanting to get involved after her recent bad romance, plus she is trying to get her business off the ground. Wes doesn’t think he is marriage material after watching his parents’ marriage implode. As they dance around their feelings, it puts up a barrier between them. When will Hailey and Wes realize that they are falling for each other?

A GUIDE TO JUST BEING FRIENDS plods along at times, but when Wes and Hailey are at odds with each other, it provides the best clues to their growing feelings. Even as his brothers tell him that he and Hailey have something more than friendship going on, he insists that they are wrong. Meanwhile, Hailey’s salad business starts to take off—a lot due to Wes’s suggestions—and she is finding herself busy. But when she finally realizes that she has feelings for Wes, she begins to back away from their friendship. Can they right the ship that is threatening to sink their friendship?

A light, enjoyable tale about friends to lovers, A GUIDE TO JUST BEING FRIENDS, is the perfect read if you like a romance that builds over time. 

Patti Fischer

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