Just Friends by Stacy Gold

Just Friends by Stacy Gold
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (58 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Taya Monroe is trying to pick up the pieces of her failed writing career and broken life after walking out on her cheating fiancé. The last thing she needs is a serious relationship. The last thing she wants is a fling. Then she runs into an old friend and ski partner—the one man she always wanted who never wanted her.

Ski Patroller Jordan Wiley is a single dad with zero time or energy for dating. When he reconnects with Taya, his attraction to her is even stronger than before she left him behind for a career in the city. But with a young son to think about, he’s determined to ignore his feelings. Again.

After a magical day on the slopes, a snow storm traps them in an avalanche of chemistry neither can deny. Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?

Taya bumps into her old friend, Jordan, on the ski slopes. Years ago, after a tequila-fueled kiss, they’d both decided it was better to stay friends, though neither of them really believed that in their heart. Can this be the second chance they both hoped for?

I’m always a sucker for friends-turned-to-lovers styles of story and this one was a good example of it. I felt Taya and Jordan had a good, easy friendship even though they hadn’t seen each other in years and I liked the spark of their chemistry right from the start. It also helped make their interest in each other seem more genuine and believable.

Readers who enjoy a slow-build up to their romance should find this story very satisfying. I enjoyed how neither Taya nor Jordan just jumped immediately into bed after meeting up again. They’d each grown in the eight years they hadn’t seen each other and I loved watching them learn about each other again – the good and the bad. They’d both suffered disappointments, both experienced life, and while still themselves were each different to the kids they’d been when they’d last been close. I really relished learning about their characters and seeing them interact outside the bedroom before they got sexy with each other.

With a lovely Happy For Now style of ending I felt this romance story ticks a lot of the right boxes. I could definitely see the potential for a sequel/future story and while readers who prefer their endings to be Happy Ever After, I feel this is a more modern – and realistic – ending for where Taya and Jordan are in their lives right now. With strong characters and a lot of sizzling chemistry, this is a good read that I enjoyed.

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