This is the debut novel by Jane Hardee. It is a sweet romance between two best friends who both harbour feelings for each other and are too afraid to confess. The plot is based in a stereotypical butch / femme relationship between Michael, a sculptor, (the book never explains why she has a masculine name) and Jess, a special needs teacher. Despite some stereotypical portrayal of the butch as “muscular, tall and strong” and the femme as “curvy, sweet and caring”, their chemistry is one of the strengths of this book. Both characters are multilayered and convey their virtues and limitations in such a strong way that the readers might want to hug them or shake them depending on the occasion. Additionally, the secondary characters support the plot smoothly and add credibility to the story.
On the negative side, I found that sometimes the plot was a bit repetitive on certain descriptions of situations (like the angst of not knowing how the other person felt) or the physical attributes of the main characters. Additionally, I felt that the ending was a bit rushed after all the tension building in the plot.
If you are interested in the “best friends falling in love” theme but in a femme /femme relationship, I also recommend
Just three words by Melissa Brayden.
Overall 4 stars, a good debut novel. I’ll definitely read Ms. Hardee’s next book.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley.