Bookish Review: Just Friends by Holly McCulloch

Just Friends by Holly McCulloch

Expected Publication: 11th June 2020

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Chick-lit

Format: eARC

It’s easy to put someone in the friend zone. But what happens if you change your mind?

Bea isn’t happy. Desperate for a change, she looks to her friends for inspiration. Every single one of them is paired off, perhaps that’s what she needs too.

So, she starts dating again. But everywhere she goes – amid the hilarious and scarring dates – there’s Peter. Good old, oddball Peter, her closest friend from university. He’s always been firmly in the friend zone but something’s happened lately – he seems taller, more handsome and suddenly making him smile is Bea’s favourite thing.

But how can Bea possibly risk their friendship? And how do you even go about taking someone out of the friend zone? What if Bea and Peter were only ever meant to be just friends…(from Goodreads)

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Review:

Just Friends by Holly McCulloch is such a lovely, light and fluffy, somewhat romantical read. Although more than a tad predictable it was an absolute joy to read. I laughed, I sighed…mostly over Peter the friend who has spent entirely too long in the friend zone……and not really a book crier, I was suprised to shed a few happy tears over the ending. Maybe it was the relief of a happy ending, maybe it was my highly emotional state atm….who knows? What I do know is that I REALLY, REALLY liked this book.

I had a little thing for Peter who reminds me of my hubby in that he is so kind, patient, reliable and supportive. What a gem of a man!!!

But for me Bea was the highlight of the novel.

Bea’s character, as a perpetually single 30-something, is completely authentic and relatable, inspiring compassion in the reader. With a lacklustre job, a cardmaking side gig and dreams of running a small business, Bea feels stuck. Alone and still bruised by the loss of her best friend/boyfriend Sam years ago, and having recently ‘lost’ her best friend to marriage, Bea drunkenly decides to start dating again. What follows is an engaging journey of self-discovery…not only the slow realisation and acceptance of her feelings for one of her closest friends, Peter.

Seeing her confidence ebb and flo as she starts to take action to create the life she wants, putting herself out there in her friendships, her relationships (and on dating apps), creating a work/life balance that works for her, boosting her creativity and following her small business dreams (with the help of the dreamy Peter) was by far the greater part of the story. The romance stuff with Peter was just icing on the cake….the very predictable but delicious icing….you know, like vanilla buttercream.

With thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for this advanced copy in return for an honest review.

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