Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt

*Content warning:  This book is not in the Christian genre and has some content issues, in my opinion.  I agreed to review it without knowing this about the book and because it was part of the Power of the Matchmaker series.*

My rating: 3 1/2 of 5 stars

From the Power of the Matchmaker series ***:

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?

Note to Reader: This book is a "clean" read with mainstream values and minor language.

***This book is part of a multi-author project that features one recurring character—Pearl, the matchmaker—but it is a STAND-ALONE novel.***

3 1/2 stars

This is the 9th book in the  Power of the Matchmaker series and I think I like the portrayal of Miss. Pearl the best in this book.  :)  She's selling cookies for a kiss.  If the one you kiss is someone you truly love (whether it's boyfriend/girlfriend, spouses, parent/child), the cookies taste divine.  If the one you kiss is not a true love the cookies are bland.   Loved it!  :)

For the most part, I enjoyed this well written story about best friends who have known each other all their lives and are now struggling with her engagement to another man.   Esme has tried in the past (grade school, high school, college) to push Hunter into "liking" her but when he didn't respond she moved on to looking for and finding her Prince Charming.  And although Hunter secretly loves her, he has not been willing to risk losing her friendship to chance starting a relationship with her.  

When Esme breaks the news to Hunter of her engagement, he is not thrilled but he is willing to be nice if this is what will make her happy.   However, (my opinion gets fierce here Jon, Esme's fiance and total jerkface, demands that she cut off all communication and friendship with Hunter.  I mean, really?!!  Their families are joined at the hip and they have grown up together!   You can't just cut someone like that out of your life!  I didn't like Jon, can you tell?   Although she's not thrilled, Jon makes a point she can't argue with so she agrees for the time being.  However, she's not dumb and Jon's attitude and following actions start to show some character flaws that she has to decide if she can live with.

Hunter, on the other hand, is a pretty great guy.  He has his flaws, of course, but he's honorable enough to abide by Esme's wishes.  He's also a great fireman and he works with and mentors delinquent boys at a gym.  After several weeks of non-communication with Esme, he's back at the park where Miss Pearl is selling cookies and she gives him some good advice.  Will he follow through and claim his true love before it's too late?

Although the story was well written and kept my attention, there was definitely some content that kept it from being rated higher from my viewpoint.   As noted above, in the description of the book (which I didn't have when I agreed to review the book),  this is a mainstream book.  Consequently, this book does not have Christian values.  There are several mentions of drinking, one mention of giving the finger and some language.  Also, because Jon is a plastic surgeon dealing with breasts, there is some innuendo about breasts.  Jon also, at one point, mentions something to Esme about texting him pictures while she's out of town (innuendo is sexual).  She's appalled, by the way - point for her, strike for Jon.  For these reasons, I wouldn't recommend this book for someone wanting a clean read.   For those who don't mind, it's a well written story.  Personally, I will not be reading any more by this author.

*Thanks to eBooksForReview for a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own. *

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Sheralyn Pratt was born at an early age, with 10 fingers and 10 toes. She is proud to report that she currently retains all 20 digits. Described by one reviewer as "the bomb dot com" (url already claimed... bummer), Sheralyn has been a karate instructor, musical theater performer, a beach bum, freelance writer, nomadic traveler, and, yes, a private investigator. At the moment she enjoys working with and training her dog to give the poor thing breaks from sitting at Sheralyn's feet with the unbearable task of watching someone write a book.  Really, and you thought your job was bad!  Sheralyn currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, although as people who know her can attest to, that is subject to change at any time ;)

You can find her here:  WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Power of the Matchmaker series

Power of the Matchmaker series info:

Series: Power of the Matchmaker (No specific reading order necessary)
Series Goodreads Link:

Series Summary:
The Power Of the Matchmaker is multi-author project consisting of 12 stand alone novels from 12 different bestselling authors in 12 months. All books are separate from each other except they feature one reoccurring character, a magical matchmaker named Pearl. Since Pearl is magical, she lives for hundreds of years and roams the entire world helping people find their perfect matches. The books in this series are twelve of Pearl's matchmaking stories. They will vary in genre, but they will all have one thing in common: Pearl will be doing whatever it takes to make two people fall in love.

Books in the Series already Available:
Prequel Novella: Power of the Matchmaker
January: Broken Things to Mend by Karey White
February: Not Always Happenstance by Rachel Anderson
March: If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram
April: Love is Come by Heather B. Moore
May: Four Chambers by Julie Wright
June: O'er The River Liffey by Heidi Ashworth
July: Chasing Fireflies by Taylor Dean
August: Between Heaven and Earth by Michele Paige Holmes
September: King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt
October: To Move The World by Regina Sirois 
November: How I Met Your Brother by Janette Rallison
December: The Reformer by Jaima Fixsen