Sunday, February 2, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway: Almost Just Friends (Wildstone #4) by Jill Shalvis

Title: Almost Just Friends
Series: Wildstone #4
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: January 21st 2020
Print Length: 384 pages
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
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.

Usually I don't read romance novels since they really aren't my thing. However, there was something about the synopsis of Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis that caught my attention. Perhaps it was the fact that there were family secrets involved! Luckily, I really really enjoyed Almost Just Friends.

Piper is a young woman who has always been in control, so much so that she even has a bullet journal to help her through life. She's raised her siblings since she was 13, and when they return home, Piper eventually learns what secrets her brother and sister are keeping from her. During this, she is falling head over heels for her next door neighbor's son, Cam,  who is home from the military. These feelings for Cam might just be her undoing!

I will say that I loved the plot for Almost Just Friends. Everything about it felt very realistic and like something that happens almost every day in small town America. I enjoyed the love story between Cam and Piper and how it took its time developing instead of just being instalove. I also enjoyed the narrative between Piper and her siblings. I could picture every single scene in my mind quite clearly thanks to Jill Shalvis' fantastic story telling! Almost Just Friends answered all my questions by the end of the book, and there were no cliffhangers which I was thankful for. 

I enjoyed every single character in Almost Just Friends. They all brought their own personality to the table, and they were each very interesting to read about. All of the characters in this novel felt like they could be someone I could relate to as well as making fantastic friends. Piper starts off being too self reliant. It was nice to see her start letting others help her. She was forced to grow up at a young age after the death of her parents, so I could understand why she was scared of losing control and putting faith in other people. I loved how patient Cam was with Piper. He was so loving and helpful. It was also nice to see him blending in so well with Piper's siblings and wanting to help out. Cam was such a charming man with such a larger than life personality. Gavin, Piper's brother, had been fighting his own demons. I kept wondering if he'd go back to his own ways or not. I loved his relationship with CJ and how he wasn't going to let CJ walk away from him so easily. Gavin always was great at relieving tense and awkward situations which one thing I really loved about him! Winnie, Piper's sister, was the youngest out of Piper, Gavin, and herself. Winnie decided it was time for her to start being more adult like instead of child like. Her news was the biggest, in my opinion, and while I could understand why she wanted to keep it from Piper, I wish she would have told Piper from the get go. However, Winnie had me smiling whenever I read about her. I admired her tenacity to want to be Miss Fix It. Emmit, Cam's dad, was ever the comedian! I loved how happy go lucky he was and his sunny disposition on life was. It was as if nothing ever bothered him, and I admired that about him. Every single character in Almost Just Friends made it such a fantastic read!

Trigger warnings for Almost Just Friends include profanity, some sexual situations (although nothing too graphic), death, and mentions of prescription drug abuse.

All in all, Almost Just Friends is such a heartwarming read with a fantastic set of characters and a solid plot. This was my first book I read by Jill Shalvis, but it certainly won't be my last! I would definitely recommend Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis to those aged 17+ who are after an uplifting novel that deals with family with a sweet romance thrown in.
(A special thank you to William Morrow with a paperback of Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.)
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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  1. The book sounds interesting. I can't wait to read it

  2. Yes, I would love to read this book!

  3. Yes this looks like a book I would love to read as I love romance novels.

  4. Love Jill Shavis & can't wait to read Almost Just Friends

  5. This sounds like a book I would enjoy as I like the author's work. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes to Jill Shalvis on this release.