A Friendly Flirtation (Friends First – Book 3)
by Christine Warner
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Length: 244 Pages
One kiss can change your life…
Allison Hall is fed up with being a social outcast. Even at the tech company where she works for her brother and his best friend, Jared, she’s the invisible nerdy girl. What she needs is confidence—and that requires a makeover and dating tips. And she knows just the man to help…
Jared Esterly is shocked when Allison asks for his assistance and turns her down, knowing that her brother—his business partner and best friend, Nick—would kill him if he dated her, even if it is just for practice. But when Al’s attempt to make changes on her own fails spectacularly, Jared reluctantly steps in. Things heat up quickly, and soon lessons move from the salon to the bedroom.
When overprotective big-brother Nick discovers Jared is dating Allison, their friendship and business partnership sour. Allison, consumed by guilt, must make a choice: stay with Jared, even though that means ruining his friendship with Nick and possibly his career, or leave the one man who sets her on fire.
“Witty, fun, and sizzling- Christine Warner never disappoints!” – Nikki Lynn Barrett, USA Today bestselling author
*The author provided and ARC in exchange for an honest review*
This story is about a woman. A woman who is unhappy about her life and decides to take control of the situation. That is the idea that really draws me into the story. How many of us have the courage to admit to ourselves that we aren’t happy with the way we are? That we need to make some changes? Not many. Most of us live in denial about how we live in our sad, monotonous lives, doing the same thing day in, day out and never once admitting to ourselves that this is not what we want.
Well, Allison isn’t like that. The certified geek who’s been around men her whole life, Al lacks confidence. She isn’t confident about her looks, her appearance and even about her mind. Sure, she does good in meetings and is absolutely amazing at her job, but she feels herself to be inept at any form of social interaction. She has no friends outside of her brother and high school friend Colleen. She isn’t cordial with anybody at the workplace apart from her bosses, who just happen to be her brother and his best friend. Aware that she’s becoming nothing but a wallpaper in the walls, Al decides she needs a change in her life. She needs to start dressing up in a better way, not like the high school geek she has been even after graduating college and needs to work up on her confidence so that she can strike conversation with people around her. When her brother refuses to help her with this, she turns to the only other person she feels can help her. Her brother’s best friend, Jared.
Jared, who has been Nick’s best friend for as long as anyone can remember, looks at Al as nothing more than Nick’s kid sister. But, all that changes when she comes to him asking for help. At first, he vehemently refuses, knowing that this situation would cause a rift between him and Nick, but seeing Al’s helplessness, he can’t help himself. He agrees to help her. And, that’s when his world spins around. He realises that Al is so much more than just the girl who he grew up around. She’s smart and funny and intelligent and humorous and just about anything he could wish for in a girl. He finds himself falling for her and fast.
But, before either of them can properly address the growing bond between them, Nick steps in, all big brotherly and overprotective about his sister. He tells Jared in no uncertain terms that he’s to stay away from Al because Jared, the ladies man, can never settle down with one girl and Nick can’t have his best friend breaking his sister’s heart. Despite Nick’s warnings, Jared and Al continue to see each other and the attraction between them only grows.
However, shit hits the fan when Nick threatens to dissolve the business if Jared doesn’t leave Al alone. Guilty for having caused rift between two best friends, Al decides to quit the company and stops seeing Jared in hopes that this will make things right between her brother and his beat friend.
But, will Jared let her slip away so easily after finding the girl of his dreams?
So, as you may have realised, my favorite part about this book is Al. She’s a strong, independent woman and she realises that she needs to make changes in her life. Also, those changes aren’t because of anybody else. No nagging boyfriend or controlling best friend force her to change herself. She realises her shortcomings and decides to change willingly. Yes, she’s mart and funny and great at what she does, but she realises that she doesn’t do well in social gatherings and is awkward around new people. So, she does what she can to improve herself. She’s passionate about everything she does and she gives it her full. She loves her family to bits and even when her brother is jeopardizing her relationship with the man she loves, she steps aside so that her brother doesn’t lose his best friend. That shows just hoe important family is to her. Her character is absolutely amazing to read and I love all of her! ❤
Jared, on the other hand, comes off as the typical playboy who has it all. But, as we delve deeper into the story, we realise that Jared is not one of those guys. He loves his mother a whole lot and is a funny and sort of romantic guy. He helps Al all the way and is her biggest champion on her path to self discovery. He’s protective and possessive and jealous as shit, but that just makes his character all the more likable. He understands the importance of what Al is trusting him with and does his best to not disappoint her at any given point of time. He’s attentive to her needs and always there to rescue her in case she needs. He is absolutely amazing. He’s an amazing dancer and loves ballroom dancing. He has a fetish for bikes and loves speed. He’s just really an amazing boy all the way and he stops at nothing to prove his love for the one woman who’s stolen his heart.
All in all, this book is one amazing read. It’s funny and romantic and hot and sexy in all the right parts. There’s a few scenes which will absolutely melt your heart.
The emotions depicted in this story are absolutely beautiful.
Rating – 4.5/5
She leaned her forehead against his chin, then tilted her head back, parting her lips and inviting him in for another kiss.
And he wanted seconds. More than he’d ever imagined. The soft blush creeping over her face, the way her breasts strained against her blouse as she tried to regain her breathing only encouraged him. Holy. Fuck. With her it’d be too easy to forget where the hell they were. And he didn’t like an audience. Not now. With Allison, not ever.
But that didn’t stop him from running his thumb over her bottom lip. For a second he lost sense of where they were when her eyes grew dark and her lashes fluttered gently over her skin. She looked so beautiful, and that protective urge— or maybe he should just call it what is is…lust—overtook him. He couldn’t picture her with anyone but him. Fuck. He didn’t want her with anyone else. Screw Nick. He’d deal with him later.
If anyone would teach Allison how to please a man, let a real man do the job.
She was ready, so was he. He was willing, and so was she. And they were both adults.
“Al, I don’t want you with any of these men.”
She sighed, sagging against him. “Are we really going to have this conversation again? I—”
He took her mouth in a hard kiss, parting the seam of her lips with his tongue and thrusting inside, swallowing her gasp. She melted against him. He slid his hands down her throat, past her shoulders, and lower still until he curved his arm around her back and squeezed her rear. She smiled into their kiss, and this time he melted.
“Do I need to rephrase?” he whispered against her mouth.
She shook her head, their mouths still touching. “I really only wanted one man in this room, but I didn’t think he wanted—”
“You better be talking about me.” He leaned back just far enough so he could watch the way her emotions flickered across her eyes. Excitement. Uncertainty. Acceptance. She nodded, her lips parted and moist.
“Are you telling me—?”
“I’m telling you I’ve come to my senses. Or lost them completely.”
Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her family, three laptops (she might have a slight addiction, or maybe it’s a fear of one imploding from overuse) and a much loved assortment of furry friends.
Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy heroines.
A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and her website.