28 September, 2016

#BookReview :: King of the Friend Zone (Power of the Matchmaker) by Sheralyn Pratt

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem. The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed. 
Esme thinks Jon is paranoid. 
The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him. 
When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance. 
They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other. 
Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds? 

Esme and Hunter’s mothers are best friends and as such they were pretty much brought up together like family. In turn Esme and Hunter are best friends too and they are like peas in a pod. So when Esme turns up to announce that she is engaged to Jon, a man Hunter had never met, it was bit of a surprise for everyone around them. When Hunter and Jon meet things go the wrong way and neither of them approves of the other. But things turn for the worse when Jon, who thinks Hunter is in love with her, asks Esme to stay away from Hunter and she agrees. The truth is that Hunter IS in love with Esme but he never fessed up because of his insecurities and the fact that he wasn’t ready to risk his friendship with her. The question is whether Esme and Hunter love each other enough to risk everything and find their way to each other?

I liked the two lead characters – Esme & Hunter. Esme infuriated me for most part because of her relationship/dynamics with Jon. The whole relationship seemed instable to me given how little they knew about each other when they got engaged. Plus I really did not like Jon’s attitude towards Esme’s career either. However, she does redeem herself when she holds her own not only with Jon but also with Hunter. Hunter on the other hand creeps into the readers’ heart from the very beginning as we know exactly how much he loves Esme. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he is hot and witty as well. The additional characters in the book are also quite great. The whole family and friend circle is tightly knit and they always cover each other’s back. You cannot help but love them all. The author has also done a great job in keeping the language simple and the flow of the story smooth. It was pretty easy to get into the story once Esme and Hunter’s camaraderie sets in with the readers.

I have one problem with the book though. I didn’t buy the ‘old Asian lady with magic cookies’ thing at all. While the rest of the book was pretty much acceptable, the presence of the ‘magical element’ just felt off and out of place to me. But overall, this is a nice and clean romance that turned out to be more enjoyable than I expected.

Review Copy received from Kathy @ I am a Reader

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