Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Release Day Review of Friend (With Benefits) Zone by Laura Brown

Title: Friend (With Benefits) Zone
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon Impulse (August 8, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062495615
ISBN-13: 978-0062495617
Author's Website: https://laurabrownauthor.com/
Notes:  I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
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Jas and Dev have been best friends since they were young. In Jas' crazy messed up world, Dev's been her one constant, her rock. When she gets evicted from her apartment, he comes to her rescue. He offers her a place to stay and, as they've done since they were kids, she crashes in his bed. The thing is they aren't kids anymore, and this time something starts to stir between them. Dare they give in to it? Is the risk of what could be lost worth the price of what could be gained?
This was a sweet romance that dealt with family issues, the changing dynamics of a friendship, and fear. Fear is a powerful thing. It can keep us from reaching our potential, keep us from doing what we're meant to do, or keep us from finding the love of our life. The latter is the dilemma that both Jas and Dev face, but of the two, if things don't work out, Jas is the one with more to lose. While Dev has family to fall back on, he's been Jas' rock when times got rough. Jas' fear is real and while she's not alone in it, she, as her friend Nikki points out, is the one with the baggage that needs to be dealt with for the relationship to have a chance.

Dev and Jas are both deaf, but Dev still has some hearing and uses hearing aides. He's about to graduate from college and is supposed to go work for his dad's accounting firm, something he doesn't wish to do. He'd rather go into social work. Jas, on the other hand, works as a waitress and is saving her money so she can open her own bar. It's what her father had done and she's inherited his passion for running such a place. Unfortunately, her father passed away years ago and the bar he'd once run has since been sold, but she's saved his recipes in the hope that some day she'll follow in his footsteps.

The song that was playing in my head as I read this one was 'Say You Won't Let Go' by
James Arthur:

'Then you smiled over your shoulder
For a minute, I was stone-cold sober
I pulled you closer to my chest
And you asked me to stay over
I said, I already told ya
I think that you should get some rest

I knew I loved you then
But you'd never know
'Cause I played it cool when I was scared of letting go
I know I needed you
But I never showed
But I wanna stay with you until we're grey and old
Just say you won't let go
Just say you won't let go'

I really enjoyed this romance and gave it 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I loved the relationship between these two, and the way Dev knew how to handle Jas, and, ultimately, put her fears to rest. I could totally relate to Jas because when you lose one parent, for me it was through divorce, and the other is dealing with their own pain and grief sometimes the kids get the short end of the stick. I had other family to fall back on, but Jas had none. What she hasn't yet come to realize is that Dev already is her family. They just haven't made it official. I enjoyed every step of Jas' journey in making that discovery. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one get a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.    

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