Monday, June 10, 2019

Review - The Friend Zone

Title:   The Friend Zone
Author:  Abby Jiminez
Genre:   Romance; Women's Fiction
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  384
Date of Publication:  June 11, 2019
My Rating:  5 Stars

Fall in love with this hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy that USA Today bestselling author LJ Shen calls "an absolute treat." 

SheReads' "Most Anticipated Romance Books of 2019"

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.


Kristen Peterson is trying to accept the fact that following through with a surgical procedure, an utterly devastating one, will prevent her from ever having children of her own. She suffers from a condition affecting many, many women and, after several years, has made the difficult decision. She has quite a lucrative business making doggy clothing and furniture. 

Meanwhile, as a bridesmaid to her best friend, Sloan, she is tasked with planning the wedding. Before she really gets started she has a run-in with what will soon be her partner in the planning, best man, Josh Copeland. From the very start, she doesn't like him - or does she? After all, she hit his car when he slammed on the brakes. Not the best start to her day. Josh, on the other hand, likes what he sees. What is more is that he really is very nice about what has just happened. Actually, Josh is nice about just everything.

From the start, Josh sees right through Kristin. One of the funniest things that makes this couple work is that he can always tell when she is hangry, and he makes it his business to keep her fed. Another thing that makes this couple work is that Kristin is more than a bit snarky, and that doesn't bother Josh one bit. What does not work for this couple, however, are Josh's dreams. One day he wants it all, a wife, kids, picket fence, etc. Yes, a big family. The one thing that Kristin cannot give him.

So, despite how well they get along while working on the wedding, and also Josh working with her in her business, and other times they are together, Kristin is never prepared to go beyond being friends. She can never imagine giving him the happiness she truly believes that he deserves. So, it is a fight. However, the fight is made even harder because Kristin feels she can never share her secret.

One minute I was laughing at the fender-bender, the aforementioned hangry moments, Kristin's sharp tongue. On the flip side, I was teary-eyed more than once while Kristin dealt with her pain, her secret. I often felt she was so alone. I felt very invested in the story. Not only did this affecting story bring in the emotions, it certainly had its share of spice. 

The Friend Zone was multi-layered. Of course we have the growing relationship between Kristin and Josh. Her health and future, as well as her past and why her dreams are so important. Her friendship with Sloan was so wonderful. And, last but not least, Stuntman Mike, Kristin's dog. Oh, he tried to steal a scene or two.

But, this is a romance, so those tears of sadness found ways to tears of joy. What a journey! I also wanted to mention that I enjoy Author's notes, or acknowledgments. Reading those words after the story made me feel just so much! I applaud Abby Jiminez for writing such an absolutely incredible debut story that I think most women can relate to in one way or another.

Many thanks to Forever and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Abby Jimenez is a Food Network champion, motivational speaker, and contemporary romance novelist living in Minnesota. Abby founded Nadia Cakes out of her home kitchen back in 2007. The bakery has since gone on to win numerous Food Network competitions and has amassed an international cult following. Abby's wry literary wit was spotlighted as the admin behind the hilarious viral comments on the now famous Nadia Cakes Vageode™ cake.

Abby loves a good romance, coffee, doglets, and not leaving the house. Her debut novel, The Friend Zone, is scheduled for release July 2019.