A Friendly Arrangement by Christine Warner
Overview by Netgalley:
What happens when your plus one becomes “the one”?
Holly Haggerty and Roth Esterly are two besties with everything in common–they’re neighbors, career-driven, and commitment-phobes. Tired of always being set up on dates by well-meaning friends and family, they take matters into their own hands: they will be the other’s plus one–a little friendly arrangement between friends.
Easy…until a steamy night where they cross the line. But that’s okay, they’ll add an addendum–one that includes a little action between the sheets…on top of the sheets…and without the sheets. But there are rules. Dating and sex are exclusive until one of them decides to terminate the agreement. No slumber parties. And if either party becomes emotionally involved they will break things off with no hard feelings.
When unexpected news changes their plans and turns their fun arrangement into something more serious, Holly and Roth must come to terms with what’s more important–what they thought they wanted, or what they really need.
When I started this book I knew that best friends would turn into lovers and then more. The anticipation comes from the details of how this happens. How would they progress from friends to those with benefits and finally to their happily ever after?
There is something comforting about reading a book like this. You know that a HEA is in the cards, so it’s really in the particulars. I enjoyed getting to know the characters individually and then as friends. Holly and Roth have a very good relationship, which as the reader, I know will be an important foundation as they transition.
The author does a great job explaining Holly’s life and her decisions without badgering the point to the reader. Holly doesn’t want the suburban lifestyle that her family typifies. As the reader, I could really relate to her choices. I was able to feel a great deal of empathy for Holly as we get to know her family more and more. Roth is given the same treatment by the author. I actually thought I may have missed a book in the series because his family plays a key role in his life.
The transition from friends to a partnership comes from the dread of having to find a plus one for events. Well meaning friends continually try to set them up with dates, but at a certain time in their life they are fed up with it. So Holly and Roth expand their friendship from work out buddies and video game competitors to each other’s cover. Things go so well that they add an addendum to their agreement. This is where it gets exciting as the reader. They agree to be friends with benefits.
Sex changes everything in life. Holly and Roth are no different. While the sex is smoking hot and they push all the rules they laid down, the best part was the intimacy they create. While you can know someone as a friend, it is very different when you share your body.
The book features some great twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed the story and found the characters to be really well developed. What made this book so authentic was that Holly and Roth made good and bad decisions that I could really relate to as the reader.