Since I finished my daily goal for my book outline early and I really want to keep blowing off the editing for the one I finished, I thought what better time to write one of those reviews I said I was getting to? I want to give you guys my opinion on In Her Best Friend’s Bed by J. Margot Critch. It tells the tale of Abby Shaw and her good friend and boss Trevor Jones while they navigate a winding path from FWB to falling deeply in love. I really enjoyed this one and had a hard time putting it down. This book had great pace and a compelling and deeply satisfying conflict resolution. The characters were very real and quite likable. J. Critch is a new writer for Halequin with only 2 books out, and I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes out for her future work. This book was a followup to In The Boss’s Bed released in June of 2016 which I read back then and quite enjoyed. Their sex was nowhere near overdone, and neither was it dainty or glossed over. I could really feel the attraction between these characters, and genuinely enjoyed J. Critch’s voice. Definitely would recommend!
I really loved this book and couldn’t find a lot of reason to deduct points…er…hearts. So instead of telling you about the things that I felt could have been done better, I’ll tell you about 3 things I loved and why you should click those links and go read her stuff. (I’ve got no attachments to Ms. Critch apart from maybe wishing I was her.)
First off, where I am ordinarily off-put by commitment phobic women in Harlequin romances, Abby was a very believable character. She was sassy and focused heavily on her career. She loved sex as much as the next person, and didn’t want to deal with the strings that go along with relationships. Oftentimes, women being afraid of commitment gets overdone and beat into the reader’s head for pages and pages, like in the case of Her Holiday Fling by Jennifer Snow (review pending…just finished that bad boy last night.) But for Abby, she was timid about falling in love but knew it when it was happening. She initiated the friends with benefits arrangement with Trevor based off of a crush festering between them. Trevor was the classic perfect man. He’s in his element at work, he’s smart, he’s sexy, and he always wants to put Abby first. He’s been attracted to her forever, and being with her is everything he has ever wanted; everything he ever needed to complete him. Sigh!
Next, I want to talk about the pacing of this book and how excellent it was. There are books out there that have their dragging moments. Yes, fine. Backstory is important. But for books in the quick read speed category of 50k-55k words, there isn’t space for drawn out backstory or loads of internal conflict. There can be no wandering the city in the rain, just thinking about life. Nope. None of that. All the characters had plenty to do all the time. What I mean is, there wasn’t really any non-action moments to this book. Abby starts out as a college grad who has been having trouble landing a job in her desired field, and is working as a bartender with Trevor. Not too far into the book, she finds the job she wants which pulls her away from Trevor and into extremely long demanding work hours she loves and is elated to have. You think to yourself how strange it is that they had this amazing sex, and then they’ll never see each other thereafter. They find a way, however unlikely. It speaks to the strength of love they’ll find with each other later. Really expertly crafted. Trevor, too. He has so much on his plate with managing a club, going to school for business, and also endeavoring to open his own bar. He does all of this and finds time to see Abby all the time for hot sex-filled romps in bed. He’s dreamy. Through the heroine and hero’s jam-packed schedules, there is even enough room left over for a hint of jealousy to squeak in there. Love it!
The last thing, and my favorite thing, is that this book had a very ‘real-life’ conflict theme and general plot line material. For me, a 24 year old woman, I get what it’s like to not want to waste your time away at a job you aren’t passionate about. I understand that there is true joy to be found when you are able to do for you and make your dreams a reality. I also know how hard it can be to get said job post college days. It works out great for some, and not so well for others. Both Abby and Trevor are busting their asses working toward their dream lives. Sure, they’re happy enough where they start, but they want more for themselves personally. The conclusion of this book gives up a HEA(Happily Ever After) for Abby and Trevor’s love affair, AND it gives us a happily ever after for their personal goals. Abby lands her dream job and that starts to pay off massively, and Trevor is able to finish his classes and get his own bar up and running. Everyone is able to find a way to make this work, which is a concept often lost for my peers. They talk of people in these situations being incapable of falling in love, and I refuse to believe that love isn’t always possible for those who want it. Love is the center of my universe. Love-Centric. Yeah? In Her Best Friend’s Bed is very modern-day love-centric. Everyone gets to have it all. Deeply moving. Deeply satisfying. If those kids can make it, so can you. Ms. Critch does a great job of hitting all the buttons. For this point alone she was able to get a 5/5 from me.
Both In the Boss’s Bed and In Her Best Friend’s Bed are well worth the read if you are hungry for a little unlikely love on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Or in my case, on a lonely Friday night after my hubby goes to sleep. Either way, J. Margot Critch has it going on. She probably hits my top 5 favorite Harlequin authors list. (That list exists in my head.)
Thanks for listening, and I hope you get a chance to give it a read! If you’ve got questions, concerns, critiques, or if you’ve read any of the books, I’d love to know! Leave it in the comments, doll!