Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Never Just Friends (Spotlight New Adult) (Volume 2) Paperback – November 5, 2014
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The fun part? It's Jake who makes the first move. It's Jake who wants to commit, and it's Lindsey who is hesitant about giving their relationship a chance.
"You love me, don't you?"
"Yes," she said quickly. "That's not the problem at all."
I've been reflecting on these 2 lines since I read it, because I think it perfectly highlights the challenges faced by couples in a contemporary romance: love is no longer the end goal, but is only part of the journey because commitment (and marriage) isn't automatic.
Since I read mostly historical romances, I couldn't help but compare the two genres. I kept trying to see differences between contemporary and historical romance issues -- but, found how some exchanges are startlingly similar: there are issues of trust and truth, of me versus we, etc.
At the heart of their problem are two things:
#1 After years of being friends, Jake dropped out of Lindsey's life with no explanation. Leaving Lindsey to wonder about it.
#2 They're both casually seeing other people.
I thought the second issue was a bit tricky to tackle, but Mina Esguerra really did a good job of untangling it. The author recognized it was messy, and allowed her characters to experience the repercussions. I thought she handled it in a realistic way, especially with the awkward confrontation. (Read pp. 94-96)
I could see the depth of friendship between our main characters, and it made me realise just how risky this new stage is for them -- and how much they would lose if it didn't work out. But Jake is determined, and Lindsey loves him. I thought half the battle had been won already.
The other issue is about truth and trust -- something happened in Jake's life that Lindsey didn't know about. It's a scary position for a friend to be in -- to be kept out of the dark of something, and then be left to imagine the worst possible situations. It's even more scary when you are actually in love with said friend. I understand how betrayed Lindsey felt, and why she is hesitant to trust Jake completely. Jake has a history of leaving whenever the situation got too overwhelming (college finals, etc) -- and Lindsey doesn't want to be the one left behind again.
Lindsay and Jake are working on an environmental issue, and, as seen in the author's acknowledgement page, she had done her research very well, having thanked a number of resource persons. And it amazed me how well Esguerra was able to translate such complicated concepts and made them accessible and easy to understand. It is also a testament to how precise her writing and vision is -- one can sense the intent to shine the spotlight on the problems facing environmental advocates, especially when it comes to raising awareness and funds. But Mina Esguerra is able to give enough detail to make one curious, but not too much that it would overshadow the primary focus of this story -- which is Jake and Lindsey. There really is a wonderful balance to her story.
While there is a happy ending to this story, one also gets a sense that it isn't happily-ever-after -- which is not a bad thing, really. You know that this is a couple who will continue to work and negotiate and talk in order to make their relationship work. So, yes, there's an ending -- but it really isn't the end. (Such a post-modern thing. ^_^)
The one very, very small aspect of the story that continues to bug me is this: isn't there a rule about mixing romance and work? Lindsey and Jake seem to be breaking this particular rule, and none of their friends (or Lindsey's family) or their boss seem to mind.
* I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I never thought I'd find a book by author Mina V. Esguerra that I liked better than Fairy Tale Fail, but as far as faves go, it looks like there’s a new champ in town. Never Just Friends features a hot actor who’s made it big with a hit TV show and the environmental development worker who’s been his best friend since before he dropped out of college in pursuit of bright lights. But, yes, my Ellie-and-Lucas fandom has now been replaced by a squeal-filled Lindsay-and-Jake love.
I’d had this book on my TBR list for quite some time, but the author’s print book launch shot it to the top of my priorities. And boy was I glad. Because the fun factor of this book is through the roof.
Never mind the too-cute-to-handle moments between Lindsay and Jake, and ignore the fact that sexy environmentalist actors are so many levels of swoon-worthy, you’d need to stack mattresses up above our heads. I just loved the little details like the zombie apocalypse banter and the way the author just totally flung herself headlong into creating a TV show from scratch. I would love to read books based on Jake’s fictional show, Rage Eternal.
Going back to business, though, I found Lindsay a believably insecure yet very driven and focused character. In fact, the combination of her drive and relentlessness offers a great contrast to her marked vulnerability, at least as far as Jake is concerned, and it’s something that just plain works.
Plus, I enjoyed seeing more through the love interest’s eyes in this book than I usually expect in an MVE novel. It only served to underscore Jake’s swoon-worthy commitment to pursuing a chance at love with Lindsay, not to mention that it helped us see that, as charming and delicious Jake might appear on the outside, inside he’s an adorable dork (or geek, if you prefer), making him all the more perfect for the main character.
Like Esguerra’s more recent books (and markedly unlike her older titles), this book does contain sex scenes but I found that these worked because the author manged to infuse these raunchy scenes with humor and levity, so uniquely so that I’d say the “Minaness” of the novel remained intact.
I sped through this read in three hours or less, and I found I still had the squealies over it the next day, which is always a good sign when it comes to romance.