Friends do nice things for each other, right?

That’s what Polly Bowman tells herself when she agrees to be her friend Bailey’s ‘fake girlfriend’ to help him keep a promise to his family. After all, Bailey has always supported her through difficult times – he even knows about her secret singing sessions at the local speakeasy bar.

 But maintaining a fake relationship isn’t easy, and when Polly’s meddling but a well-meaning group of friends throw her and Bailey together as best man and maid-of-honor for an upcoming wedding, Polly soon realizes she’s going to have to confront a few long-kept secrets head-on.

Titles in this set of connecting books include — Make It Up To YouJust Friends

Title:  Just Friends
Series: a sequel to Make It Up To You
Author:  Lucy Keeling
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  May 26, 2020
Publisher:  Choc Lit/ Ruby Fiction
My Rating:  4.5 stars

So, I think we can all agree that 2020 has been quite the year… and it’s barely half over!  Last evening I finished ‘Just Friends‘, a book that is a bit late in getting a review from me.  All I can do is apologize and state that life has gotten quite crazy.  And yet… I can’t help but think that sometimes books are like people, they come into our lives at a time when we didn’t know we needed them so badly.  That describes Polly and Bailey’s story for me.  I didn’t know I needed to run into these delightful people, but I’m so damned glad that I did.

I hadn’t realized just how much I needed to laugh again.  And over the past few days, stories from Choc Lit/Ruby Fiction have given me chuckles, smiles, a few snort-giggles (yes, they are a thing), and moments when I did indeed laugh out loud at what was happening on the pages of ‘Just Friends‘.  For that experience, I need to give a heartfelt thank you to Lucy Keeling and this amazing publishing house for delivering exactly what I needed right now.

Back in the first story, ‘Make It Up To You‘ where Marcus and Sophie fell in love, we began to get to know the friends, the people who make up this little world.  And I’ll confess that I really wanted to know more about Bailey, especially when he sorta rescued Polly in that book.  Oh, that was just a hint of Bailey’s deliciousness, and I cannot wait for you to meet him for yourself.  ‘Just Friends‘ could stand on its own if you haven’t yet read the first book, but I would still strongly recommend going back to Sophie and Marcus’ romance when you can, it’s well worth the time.

Without giving much of the whole plot away, Bailey has feelings for Polly that he hasn’t acted on soon enough and now he’s in a bit of a bind with his mother’s illness and her worry for his future happiness.  Who better to ask to be a temporary pretend girlfriend than his friend Polly?  Well, this crew of friends thinks it’s a fantastic idea for they know that while Bailey and Polly have feelings for each other for some reason they aren’t acting on them… what’s a better idea than the best man and the maid of honor for Marcus and Sophie to find some happiness themselves as well.  The rest, as they say, will soon be a history of the romantic kind (and if “they” don’t say that “they” should!) for this couple that obviously should be together but might need a gentle push from well-meaning friends.

Most of this delightful Rom-Com tale is the “will they or won’t they” fence every single reader will be sitting on throughout ‘Just Friends‘.  Well, maybe the answer is obvious but getting there… oh, that was so much fun.  I love this crew of friends, each as unique in personality as you will ever find, yet they blend together to form their own circle of devoted friends.  Yes, there were laugh out loud moments, lots of flirting, bits and pieces of information that I hope will become future stories… but most of all you’ll find a heartwarming love story of two people who really do belong together they simply need to take the risk to try.  I had such fun, and I’ll definitely be looking for more from this crew of adorable friends in the future.  So, a bit long-winded perhaps but this is a story that will give you the chance to smile, get emotional, and laugh out loud once again… and we all need that right now.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher ChocLit/Ruby Fiction. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available in audio and for your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle