The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
Kristen Petersen doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.
Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen—especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.
The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.
Trigger Warningsinfertility, motorcycle accidents, hospitals, death of a loved one
Should You read The Friend Zone?
“I’m a woman. I can go into a bar penniless wearing sweats and a questionable rash and come out with leftovers and a buzz.”
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez is the author’s debut novel where we see an unlikely romance bloom between Kristen and Josh but it had its problems. Let me explain…
there are some spoilers, so proceed with caution
The Friend Zone starts with Kristen’s car being rear-ended by Josh’s. Later, we find out that Josh is fresh out of a relationship and is also the best man in his best friend Brandon’s wedding. As luck would have it, Kristen is the maid-of-honor in her best friend Sloan’s wedding to Brandon!
It seems that from the beginning Josh and Kristen have an attraction to each other but Kristen has a boyfriend, Tyler, who’s currently deployed overseas and is going to return home soon. However, Kristen has other problems like her uterus, which is faulty. Kristen has fibroids embedded in her uterus which leads to irregular period, pain and problems with fertility.
When Kristen needs a carpenter for her business, Josh volunteers and as days go by, he and Kristen start becoming good friends. Except Josh knows that he wants more than friendship with Kristen but he knows he can’t; what Josh doesn’t know is that Kristen is starting to like him too. Later, Kristen finds out that Josh comes from a big family and wants kids of his own someday. He even emphasizes that one of the reasons he broke up with his ex-girlfriend was that she didn’t want kids. This is where Kristen decides that even if she broke up with Tyler in the near future, there would be no Josh and Kristen. Here’s when I start to get confused and irritated with the story. I could glean from some lines that Kristen feels lonely as Tyler, her boyfriend is deployed almost all the time. She loves him but there isn’t passion in it. She starts comparing Tyler with Josh and yes, they are different in so many ways but it felt like we were hurtling towards the moment when Tyler would say that he’s reenlisting with the military which would break Kristen’s heart and Josh will be there to comfort her. Yes, I do mean that literally. For me, the sex between Kristen and Josh was too soon for comfort and I would have liked for the tension between them to continue for a few more pages. Sure, I could see their obvious attraction in their banter, Josh’s way of caring for her when her period pains were too bad..even though, there was no cheating(if you want to be technical)..I still think those characters deserved to grow more and have some breathing space.
phew! I had to get that out *wipes sweat*
Kristen and Josh don’t immediately fall in love but they remain friends with benefits as Kristen feels guilty because she can’t give more to Josh and getting his hopes would be too cruel. Soon, a terrible incident occurs which forces Kristen to re-evaluate her decisions.
Let’s talk about some things I loved. I’ve never seen such an open discussion of periods and infertility as I saw in this book. Even Josh is unfazed by periods as opposed to most other heroes who get turned off or just plain ignore it. I also loved that upon learning Kristen’s condition, Josh was fine having her in his life because he just couldn’t imagine a future without her. I LOVED THIS.
Since this is a romance novel and I know you might want to know if this has a H-E-A(Happily Ever After) ending and how much steamy -on a scale of 1-10- is this book. I fully expected to be a typical H-E-A but it wasn’t and the twist which is the incident that shall not be named broke my heart into several pieces. Just to be clear, there is an HEA ending but it was somewhat bittersweet. I would rank this a 3 or 4 in the scale of steaminess. Some of you will have trouble reconciling with the ending but I’ll say yes, it can happen. I don’t want to offer any more spoilers but Kristen’s outcome is a very possible one and I know it because my sister went through it. You will know what I’m talking about when/if you read the book. Sure, the author could have written an alternate ending but she chose this one because it’s possible too.
I won’t say I am biased but I’m so glad that a book dealing with infertility is out there because Kristen’s condition is quite similar to my own, and furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree what the author said: We’re not defined by our ability to have children, our worth goes beyond the state of our uterus.
Overall, I highly recommend this romance novel if you love reading contemporary romances with a bit of a twist. There are lots of funny moments and banter between characters, sexual tension and there’s a dog called Stuntman Mike who’s a very good dog😌😍
|Thanks to the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.|
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Is The Friend Zone on your TBR? Have you already read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!