"Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.
When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.
Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun."
Almost Just Friends was a fun way to begin my reading year in 2020! I enjoy reading contemporary romances although I can't say that I read a ton of them. I honestly think I would read more of them though if they were like this one. This book was just fun to read at times. It had me grinning at the book and laughing out loud. What made this book that much more remarkable is that this book also took on some heavier issues like addiction within its pages. So not only was it absolutely adorable at times but it also was heavier and more serious at others. I really appreciated the fact that the author wasn't afraid to take these more serious issues and include them with what could have been a much lighter story otherwise. I also really enjoyed all of the different characters in this book. The author brought them all to life for me so that I couldn't help but care about each and every one of them. I especially had a soft spot for Cam's father Emmitt. His character always seemed to crack me up especially when they threw him a surprise birthday party (readers who have already read this book will understand what I mean here). I also really enjoyed the relationship that developed between Piper and Cam. Piper was such an independent character who definitely didn't want to acknowledge her feelings for Cam. Cam, on the other hand, was much more open to what he was feeling and the relationship that was developing between him and Piper. It made for a fun reading experience to see how their relationship would develop while also watching Piper try to navigate the relationships she has with her brother and sister. I spent the entire book rooting for her to figure it out all out so that she and Cam could find their happy ever after together. It was just such an enjoyable read and the perfect way to start 2020 off!
Overall, this was just a feel good romance that I couldn't help but enjoy. I loved that it took on some heavier issues and really dealt with them rather than just pushing them to the side. I also loved that this book still had a lighter feel at times that I couldn't help but enjoy. I've read other books by Shalvis but have to say that I think this one is my favorite. This is actually book four in the Wildstone series so I'm excited that I can go back and read the earlier books soon. I would recommend this book to fans of romance (specifically contemporary romance), women's fiction readers, and just fiction readers in general who don't mind a little romance in their books. It was really enjoyable and easy to recommend!
Bottom Line: A book that kept me grinning the entire time I was reading it!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher. Honest thoughts are my own.