An emotional rollercoaster of a book
Monica McCallan is one of my go-to lesfic authors and Lori Prince is one of my favourite narrators. Join them together and it’s a day in lesfic paradise.
Kennedy Ryan likes to live a predictable life, even if she doesn’t like her job or has never been in love with any of her ex-boyfriends. Brooke Nicholas had an unpredictable adolescence so she never expects too much and likes living the moment. Kennedy and Brooke have friends in common but never got along much until a blizzard got them stuck together during a weekend off and they start to really get to know each other. As their friendship grows so does their mutual attraction. But will they take a chance on each other?
This is an opposites-attract romance that eventually develops in a friends-to-lovers trope. Kennedy and Brooke are acquaintances who have very good friends in common but they don’t seem to get along. They just put up with each other when they are together and ignore each other the rest of the time. That’s until the group of friends takes a weekend off and Kennedy and Brooke get stranded alone in a winter cabin. Forced away to share the space without the buffer of their mutual friends, they start to address why they don’t get along. What follows is a year-long journey from distant friends to close friendship and the start of a mutual attraction.
Friends to lovers is an inherently angsty trope. Two people who are already bonded by love (though the friendship kind), who know, get and support each other. A relationship that can be even physical in a platonic way, sometimes even flirty. A relationship that can sometimes blur the lines of said physical contact. So when one, or both as in this case, start to grow feelings in a less than platonic way, things start to get confusing. Does the other person have the same feelings? Is it worth it to risk a friendship and maybe ruin it all for the possibility of love? Well, this book is exactly what it’s all about. The full-fledged feelings, the angst, the secretly pining for the other person.
However, When I’m with you doesn’t stop at that, it’s also a story about two very different people trying to find their way in life and accompanying each other along the way. It has a new adult feel where both women are figuring out their place in the world, personally and professionally. Usually, readers will tell you that in romance “it’s all about the journey”, it is indeed, in this case, a journey of character growth. A journey that they embark on together realising that maybe they are meant for much more.
I loved both characters, they are likable and relatable in their very different ways, the push and pull is epic, the pining and the angst are compelling. I’m not particularly a fan of angsty stories but I thought it was very well done here. I would have personally have liked more steam in the intimate scenes but I understand that it’s not the main purpose of this book. Brooke and Kennedy have chemistry in spades and complement each other very well.
Lori Prince narrated this audiobook and once again shows that she’s a perfect match for Ms. McCallan’s writing. This is an emotional rollercoaster of a book and Ms. Prince performed it as the absolute pro that she is. It definitely improved my enjoyment of the story and gave me all the feels. If you like angsty romances, then this one is for you. 4.5 stars.
Length: 9 hours, 26 minutes