With a successful career, money in the bank, and a solid future, Felicia Hawkins has almost everything she ever wanted. But getting married is the only holiday wish she can’t seem to get. And it’s not helping that she’s hopelessly in love with her co-worker, widower Richard Grimes. They have the perfect office partnership, and he’s as supportive as he is kind. But Felicia doesn’t want to wreck their friendship by letting him know how she really feels . . .

Richard has his hands full juggling pre-Christmas work demands and raising two teen daughters. But he’s not too busy to wish his relationship with Felicia could become much more. He’s drawn to her calm spirit and determination, along with everything they surprisingly have in common. And just once he’d like a chance this season to dare tell her the truth . . .

But what Felicia and Richard get instead is a cascade of misunderstandings; messy, well-meaning matchmaking from family and friends, and a long-distance transfer Richard can’t refuse. Finally, in the middle of one chaotic snow-struck day, it will take all their courage and compassion to risk opening their hearts to each other–hopefully for many more holiday happily-ever-afters . . .

Title:  Right Beside You
Series:
Author:  Mary Monroe
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  September 24, 2019
Publisher:  Kensington Books
My Rating:  4 stars

I was drawn into Felicia and Richard’s lives from the beginning, and what a ride it became as two friends with stronger, unspoken feelings for each other finally become brave enough to take that chance in RIGHT BESIDE YOU.  Most of what you need to know before picking up this title can be found in the Cover Description.  What you won’t find there are two people who truly are good friends, co-workers who hesitate to take that relationship any further because they believe the risk is too great to mess up what they have now.  So they love each other in silence, wishing for more until they have to face those feelings, acknowledge them before they lose everything they’ve feared.

Secondary characters can make or break a story for me, and how I adored Felicia’s grandmother.  Grandma and Richard’s daughters added those touches of reality that I need to believe in any story.  No one lives in a vacuum, so the people surrounding this couple added so much to this story.  Some meddling, one determined to win Richard for herself woman (I almost used an impolite word there) but she was very annoying to me, matchmaking friends with good intentions that went wrong, and two people who really do fit so well together if they’d only take that chance and say what they’re feeling.  Wrap it all up with the Christmas season and you’ll find a holiday romance that will touch your heart, give you a few chuckles and have you believing that friends make the best lifemates after all.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. 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.*

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