A Friendly Flirtation (Friends First #3)
by Christine Warner
A Contemporary Romance
From Entangled Publishing
Released February 15th 2016
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.
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Allison is ready for a change and is hoping that her brother’s best friend helps her in her transition. But when he refuses, she decides to to do it on her own. Failing spectacularly doesn’t necessarily deter her from continuing her quest, but now that Jared is willing to help she feels confident in her decision.
Jared didn’t always notice Allison, but he’s always admired her smarts and her quirkiness. So when she comes at him with the plan a plan to help her get her foot in the dating world, he is tempted but refuses to jeopardize his friendship with his best friend. But Allison brings out all his protective instincts to the surface and when he notices how determined she is to go ahead with her plan, he decides to help her along.
Soon sparks are flying, emotions start running rampant and what started as a way to get Allison into the dating world soon turns into both of them developing feelings for each other.
Although I’ve read plenty of stories with this premise, I was intrigued on how the author was going to bring it all together. Especially since I thought Allison would be a great character to get to know. Thankfully, I was not disappointed in that regards.
Allison and Jared were both great characters. They had their flaws and yearned to find that someone to spend the rest of their lives with but both were stuck in their own issues to make an attempt into love. I enjoyed how the author went about bringing Jared and Allison’s connection to the page. Their interactions were entertaining and ranged from flirty and fun to honest and emotion-driven. I especially liked how Christine Warner built up their chemistry from a tiny spark to smoldering as the story progressed. Especially since I got to experience the emotions each struggled with when they realized there was something more than friendship between them.
My only complaint would have to be Allison’s brother and the conflict that added to the story. Nick’s overreaction to Allison and Jared’s involvement only managed to irritate me, especially when it only served to highlight Jared and Allison’s inability to stand up for what they wanted. Thankfully, both of them grew a backbone and fought for their relationship. But my attention had already drifted and my interest had waned.
Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the Friends First series it can be read as a stand alone.
All in all, a fun flirty romance with some emotions added into the mix to round it up.
*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
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.”
About the Author
Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her family, one laptop, and a much loved assortment of furry friends.
Besides laughing and a good dose 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 and her website at christine-warner.com.