A Friendly Flirtation

A Friendly Flirtation

by Christine Warner

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Overview

A Friendly Flirtation by Christine Warner

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682811191
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: 02/15/2016
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.55(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Friendly Flirtation

A Friends First Novel


By Christine Warner, Karen Grove

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Christine Warner
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-532-1


CHAPTER 1

"It's not like I asked you to devirginate me." Allison Hall's frustration level rose with the pitch of her voice. What the heck had made her say that? She wanted his help, but she didn't plan on asking him to extend his help quite that far. Of course, there was no denying that if he agreed to assist her, the virginity issue would take care of itself. Hopefully. But at the moment she had bigger fish to fry — as Gramps would say.

"Devirginate? Is that even a word?" Jared Esterly's eyebrows shot up toward his hairline, and he cleared his throat. Not often had she witnessed him out of his element.

"Does it matter?" Heat spread across her face as quickly as butter melted on warm toast. She pushed her glasses farther up the bridge of her nose and then locked her hands together in front of her, lacing her fingers so tight the muscles in her arms ached. "I know I don't approach you with stuff like this often —"

"Ever."

"I'm asking you because you're the one person I can trust. The one person I don't have to worry about laughing me out of the room." The one person outside of my family I consider safe.

He held up his hand, and she swallowed. "What about your brother?"

"Nick?" she squeaked. "Yeah. Already tried that. He told me in his overbearing brotherly way that I don't need to make changes. I'm perfect the way I am." Just like I figured he would.

He nodded, a glimmer of a smile touching his lips as he crossed his arms over his chest and rocked back and forth slightly in his chair. "I can almost hear him now."

"I'll bet." Her rib cage tightened, and she fanned her fingers across her chest as if that would calm her pounding heart.

"Colleen —"

"Wouldn't know the first thing about helping me with any of this."

"Have you thought about asking another friend?"

She laughed outright at the desperate look on his face. "Isn't that what I'm doing? You might be my boss and, although we aren't as close as you and Nick, we're friends. At least I thought we were."

His smile vanished to be replaced by a somber expression. One that hardened his jawline and made her legs rubbery.

"Like you said, I'm your boss. Hell, I'm your brother's best friend —"

"And my friend, too. We practically grew up together. Not that we share secrets, play poker, or hang out after work, but ..." She shrugged, hoping in the process to shrug off some of her apprehension. "We are friends," she whispered, as if trying to convince herself.

She fumbled with the black and white penguin buttons on her black sweater, twisting one tightly as she blinked to clear her somewhat foggy vision. Don't you dare tear up. "I know our past conversations consisted mostly of is-that-software-ready, or pass-me-the-green-beans at Sunday dinner. That's my fault because I suck at conversation, but that alone should prove to you how much I need your help."

"So you decide instead of easing into some conversation, you'd jump in headfirst?" Humor flecked his eyes again.

What the heck didn't he get? She wasn't playing around. Her stomach did a little dance as she licked her lips. "I'd think you'd consider that I came to you a huge compliment."

"Compliment?" Jared's laugh came out hollow and uncertain. "I never expected anyone, especially you" — he ran one hand roughly through his hair — "to come to me with a request like this."

She'd laugh at the absurdity of this conversation if she didn't take it so seriously. "That's probably because you don't know anyone else who has my problem. You're surrounded by beautiful people, and none of them are in need of —"

"A makeover?" He stood and came around to the front of his desk. "You need a makeover about as much as I need to grow a few inches."

This time she did laugh. Not just any laugh, but the one that threw a soft snort in for good measure. She slapped her hand over her nose and gave him credit for acting like he hadn't noticed her less than gracious reaction to his comment.

Instead, he towered over her, regarding her through his incredibly blue eyes. Besides his confidence, height, complexion, and perfect hair, his eyes were his best feature.

"Please don't go into the same spiel as Nick. I can't take that speech two days in a row."

His lips twitched. "Nick's a smart man."

Even though she was standing, she actually had to tilt her head back to meet his gaze. Not that she was short by any means, but his six-three height and broad shoulders always made her feel small, and for the first time since she'd known him, a little breathless. How come she'd never seen him as intimidating until now?

"You're not looking at me as a woman —"

"Of course I am. I see you almost every day. I'm pretty sure I know you're a woman."

She shook her head and mentally rolled her eyes. "No wonder you fit into my family so well."

"Now that I take as a compliment."

"You drive me as crazy as Dad, Gramps, and Nick." Did none of them understand a woman's feelings or fears? Why would they? She'd only recently started to understand them herself.

"Al —"

"You need to stop looking at me as your best bud's little sister. An employee you see around the office day in and day out. The way everyone sees me, if they notice me at all." She pinched the penguin button until she winced, then rubbed her fingers along the seam of her pants to soothe the sting. "I'm tired of being the background noise that nobody really notices," she whispered. A tug of emotion pulled at her chest, and she swallowed the threat of tears at the back of her throat. She'd peptalked herself all the way to his office about not allowing her emotions to take control. She didn't want anyone's pity, especially Jared's. But she did need his help.

Maybe she'd been insane for thinking she could go to him. Confident people like Jared didn't get it. But he'd always seemed approachable and willing to lend a hand.

He rubbed the side of his neck and sighed. A sound so deep and full it resonated around the walls of his office and almost made her feel guilty for interrupting his work day.

She closed her eyes and forced herself to take a few deep, calming breaths. Last night, after Nick had shot down her request for help, she'd played around with her idea — her deepest wish — and had taken it one step further. Over her Lean Cuisine dinner for one, she'd jotted down ideas to implement a plan of personal change that would hopefully alter her life. She wanted, no needed, a chance to fit in and shine. But to do that she'd need help. An advisor of sorts. Someone the complete opposite of her.

Which is why she'd approached Nick first. He'd always been popular. The athlete, the man in charge, with charisma and friends from all over the world. But he'd shot her down — blah, blah, blah — and another picture formed in her mind.

A picture of Jared.

Although Nick was everything she wasn't — confident, good-looking, charming, funny, comfortable in his own skin — so was Jared. Maybe even more so. He oozed confidence. From the way he stood, walked, spoke, and even rode his motorcycle. And it didn't hurt that he was easy on the eyes. The perfect, unbiased person to help.

Then, while eating lunch — had that really only been fifteen short minutes ago? — as she studied several of her coworkers chatting and laughing in the break room, the idea she'd tossed around the night before hit her square between the eyes. Somehow, in that moment, it hadn't seemed too silly or crazy.

Desperation to fit in seized her as she sat at a round table for six — five of the chairs empty — in the center of the sun-filled room. She'd picked at her salad while groups around her chatted about happenings, made plans to meet after work to kick off the weekend with drinks, or talked about an upcoming date with someone new. Conversations and laughter swirled around the room, but nobody noticed her. Nobody ever did. Not at work or anywhere else. If she wanted to fit in, score an invite now and then — a date, for Pete's sake — she needed to get noticed. She needed change.

Now. Not later.

Before she could talk herself out of it, she'd chucked her barely touched salad into the trash and made her way to Jared's office. Now, here she stood. Her stomach growling and her heart pounding so hard and fast it just might punch a hole in her sternum. She studied his concerned expression and patted the small notebook in her pocket as if it would give her all the answers to persuade him to help. Instead her newfound and short-lived confidence fell away and puddled at her feet. Her head swam, and panic rose in her chest. She fought to gain some control, but the blood rushing through her body vibrated inside her ears, and she closed her eyes.

"I don't understand, Al."

His soft words — and the fact he used her nickname — dragged her back to the present. She let out a breath.

"You don't need my help. Or anyone else's for that matter. You can do anything you set your mind to. You've proven it again and again. You work in a male-dominated field, and you own it. You graduated from high school at the age of sixteen and then went on to college and earned not one but two degrees." He punctuated his statement by holding up two fingers, as if that would make his words more effective. "Those are two examples that take some level of confidence. You're selling yourself short."

She wouldn't bother correcting him. Not only had she double majored in computer science and information technology, but she had also minored in business. Hello, I'm the biggest geek in the land. Or maybe the fact that her nonexistent social life had left her plenty of hours in the day to study played into the equation of overachievement.

His intent gaze had her shifting her weight from one foot to the other. She'd never been comfortable being the center of attention. It was clear he hoped she'd suddenly realize he was right and she didn't need to be made over. She hated to disappoint him, but that wasn't going to happen.

She had to make him understand. Not that she didn't have a backup plan — because come hell or high water, thanks for instilling another cliché into my life, Gramps — she'd find a way. With or without help. But she'd prefer help.

"You need to look at me through the eyes of a stranger." Allison challenged him with the lift of her chin as she brushed her hand down the length of her body. Her own gaze flickered across the front of her beige blouse and even more beige slacks, then down to her feet. What possessed you to wear white sneakers with slacks? To work no less. And beige clothes? Really? At least her sweater gave her a splash of color. Yeah, black. Loads of color there. And penguin buttons, too? How old are you? Six? She'd taken over her mom's collection of penguins when she'd been a teen and over the years had grown to love everything about them.

As for the lack of color, she'd always dressed this way, blending into her surroundings like a chameleon. But lately it'd become a huge irritant — she didn't want to blend in. She took a step toward Jared, thanking her lucky stars her klutzy habit of tripping over her own feet when she was nervous didn't make an appearance. It was bad enough she'd snort-laughed. She rested her hands on her hips and squared her shoulders to give herself added height — and hopefully conviction. "Look at me. What do you see?"

Blood pounded in her ears as a heavy silence filled the room. His gaze took a leisurely walk down her front and then back up until their eyes locked. Heat devoured her flesh as if he'd actually touched her. And she liked it. She pushed her thoughts aside. Now wasn't the time to go all weak-kneed because someone looked at her longer than three seconds. This is Jared, for Pete's sake. He may be good-looking, but they were from opposite ends of the universe. All she wanted from him was his help.

She swallowed as she waited for him to say something. At the same time she feared hearing the B word. Boring. But that was exactly what she was.

"Allison Hall. Little sister to my best friend and business partner. An exceptionally smart woman who always gets the job done. A hard worker. Dedicated. Loyal. Smart. A little quirky, master of mashed potatoes, and confident with a capital C." Jared dropped down onto the edge of his desk, folding his arms as he studied her through narrowed eyes. As if he dared her to argue his appraisal.

Silly man. Of course she'd challenge him — even though he liked her mashed potatoes.

"Then you're blind. I might be confident when it comes to discussions about computers, or anything to do with my job, because I know what I'm talking about, but when it comes to the real world, I'm lost. I need an extreme makeover. Maybe one of the extremist. And I've decided you're the person to help."

He grinned, shaking his head. His slightly too long dark brown hair rubbed against the collar of his striped shirt. "I think you're exaggerating."

"Would you have noticed me in a crowd?" Heck, there were days she didn't even see her own reflection in the mirror when she passed by one. Yes, she even bored herself. "I'm sure over the years there have been times when you've been at my dad's and forgotten I was in the room."

Her heart sank when he didn't deny it.

"If you were older, I'd think you were having a midlife crisis."

"And if you were funnier, I'd laugh."

The tension in her shoulders evaporated when he grinned. "Touché."

"Maybe I'm having my midlife crisis early." Her lips twitched as humor flecked the lines around his eyes. "I didn't come up with this idea over my lunch break, you know. It's been brewing for a while. Only I didn't know how to fix it until now."

"And I'm the golden-ticket holder?" He smirked.

She sighed. Her fingers ached to shake him until he could see her point. "Look at how I'm dressed. My makeup, or lack thereof. My hair. My nonexistent social skills ... everything. This isn't normal; I'm not normal. But with your help, I can be."

"Bullshit. You're the most normal person I know." The laugh lines disappeared, and his face sobered.

"I don't feel normal."

He rubbed his chin. "I think —"

"Come on, Jared. I need to make some changes, but I have no clue how or where to begin, except to ask for your help." A thick curtain of hair settled across her face as she paced and then swung back around to face him. She refused to hide behind it, no matter how much she wanted to. She flung the long, unmanageable length over her shoulder and swiped her sweaty palms down the pleat of her pants. I can do this.

Maybe if she'd had a woman role model in her life things would have been different. But being raised by Dad, Gramps, and Nick — who was only a few years older but decades advanced in his ability to act like a protective adult — she hadn't stood a chance of learning anything remotely feminine. And the few friends she had weren't much help. They'd all been cast from the same nerd mold and were as socially inept as she was. None of them — including her bestie, Colleen — would be able to dole out advice on makeup, clothes, or flirting.

If only her mom were here.

Her heart clenched. Amanda Hall had been taken in a tragic car accident when Allison had barely been two. Although Gramps and her dad kept pictures around the house and shared stories, Allison had no memories of her own. She wished she remembered the woman with whom she shared the same hair and eyes. But there the similarities ended; all the pictures of her mother showed a woman who radiated confidence from the way she stood, smiled, and the look in her eyes. No wonder her dad still mourned her. She must've been extra special.

"You can't even fathom what it feels like to be me, Jared. I'm a total mess."

His eyes softened. He reached out as if to offer her comfort, but before he touched her his hand fell away, and he sighed. "You are not a mess."

"You should consider getting your eyes checked. I'm the stereotypical girl-geek that you see in every movie. If we were in a horror flick, I'd be the first to get the ax."

His laugh — deep, rich, and from the gut — gave her the courage to continue.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Friendly Flirtation by Christine Warner, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2016 Christine Warner. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Friendly Flirtation 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
The classic “girl is a nerd”, “guy is her brother’s best friend,”“one favor ignites passion like a Roman Candle as the ugly duckling becomes the beautiful and poised swan,” love story. And. I. Loved. It. Christine Warner has another fun romantic tale to share, so sit back, prepare to be amused, entertained and ready to fight for love and the underdog! It all started as a favor, A Friendly Flirtation when Allison finally tires of being the classic nerd and wants to have the confidence to expose the inner wild child she harbors within. She asked her brother for help, he said no, she asked his best friend for help, he said no, but when doing things her way made her a joke, how could Jared not help the woman who so desperately needed some mating and dating advice? How could he know he would help unleash Allison’s hidden Delilah, while giving her the confidence to shed her “geek” and uncover a head-turning angel? They say nothing is better than brains, beauty and personality and now Allison has all three along with Jared’s growing romantic interest. Try as they might to keep things on the friends level, even when they tasted a few of the benefits, clearly they were falling for each other. Too bad they were the only two who didn’t know how obvious it was, so when Allison’s big brother Nick decides he knows what’s best for his sister, the torture gets particularly down and dirty. It may take a miracle to bring these two together and stop all the conflict, and the new Allison just may be that miracle! Christine Warner has penned a light-hearted romance full of humans with flaws, romantic moves that are disastrous and two hearts that are drawn together in the name of “instruction and confidence building!” Fast, fun and flirty, a true feel good read that will leave you smiling without a doubt! I received an ARC edition from Entangled in exchange for my honest review.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
This is the 3rd book in the Friends First series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and further understanding of series involvement, I recommend reading the books in order. Allison and Jared have known each other through her brother. Jared has stayed away from Allison since her family is basically the only one that he has ever had that truly accepted him. Jared is being asked now by Allison to help her be more outgoing and make friends. She wants his help to know what attracts a man for a woman. She is sick of sitting on the sidelines while everyone around her has a life. This was a terrific read! I think this series is phenomenal and have enjoyed every book! I love the characters, the banter, and the heat. Very hot and sweet book. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher in exchange for an honest review.
BookSnuggle More than 1 year ago
"A Friendly Flirtation" by Christine Warner is book three in the "Friends First" series. This is the story of Allison Hall and Jared Esterly. Allison works at a tech company for her brother and his best friend Jared. She is tired of not fitting in with everybody. Allison wants to change her nerdy girl image. She tries to get Jared to help her with her makeover. Jared doesn't agree to help until Allison's attempts fail miserable. As Allison and Jared spend more time together the chemistry between them begins to heat up. What started out as Jared helping Allison with a makeover turns into more than the two of them expected. Jared is not the settling down type of guy or is he? This is a cute and sensual story of two people that were friends first then fell in love. I enjoyed watching Allison change her image. She gained confidence so then she was able to show everyone her true self. Jared's character was great too. By spending time with Allison he was able to get to see the real Allison not the invisible nerdy girl. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley/Entangled Publishing for an honest review. FYI, contains mature content.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Allison Hall is tired of being an outsider. She wants a complete makeover and asks Jared Esterly for help. He's her boss and her brother's best friend. What could go wrong? The possibilities are endless. Allison and Jared are attracted to each other. They enjoy being together. When her brother, sees the sparks. His meddling creates tension at work and upsets their family. Can they overcome these problems and get their HEA? I liked Allison. She's feisty and determined. She's tired of being the nerd and she won't be controlled by her stubborn brother. Jared is good for her. He really isn't a playboy. He dates because he wants to find a woman who loves him. I enjoyed this friends to lovers story. The characters are engaging and the romance is tender. The dialogue sparkles and the situations are humorous. I was pulled in. I admit that I wanted to tell Nick, Allison's brother, to quit smothering her. A Friendly Flirtation is a sweet treat. Christine Warner's writing made me smile.
KaraS More than 1 year ago
Fun...flirty...and penguins!! This is the story of “plain” nerdy Allison and sexy boss/brother’s best friend, Jared. Allison is ready to break out of her shell and experience a social life, but she knows she needs a tutor to help with her awkwardness. She tries to enlist others to help which fails, so Jared takes her under his wing and into his bed to further mentor her as well. As you can expect, their dating relationship does not go over very well with her brother, Nick. Especially since Jared is not known for long-term dalliances. The business partnership is threatened which means Allison must make a difficult choice. It was a little quick to go from never seeing Allison as anything more than his best friend’s little sister to lusting after her, but Allison’s transformation was inspiring. She is very smart and sassy, so the banter between her and Jared was entertaining. This was a fun, flirty story and the sideline penguin theme was great and really tied into Allison’s personality!! Who doesn’t love a penguin love story!! Received ARC from the Publisher via Net Galley
aprilrenee1976 More than 1 year ago
Flirty and Fun Romantic Read Beautiful story of how a woman realized she wanted to be more than the “girl next door” or the “nerdy girl”. Allison Hall wanted love and she wanted happiness so she went after it the best way she knew how. She asks her brother for help but that so didn’t go over well so then she turned to her brother’s best friend Jared for help since he was handsome and did extremely well with woman, thinking he could help turn her around and get her on the right path. Of course he said no at first but he reversed his no and said yes. Jared saw Allison needed help and wanted a makeover to give her a chance in getting out there and dating the right guy, and not getting turned down. So then Jared started helping out and it turned from just helping Allison to there being a spark and that spark of romantic interest to an inferno –Jared and Allison opened a Pandora’s Box and once you do that, its hard to close something back up. Jared really got to know Allison well and saw even though she is very smart, she is a very pretty woman. And Allison got to know her brother’s best friend in a different light- saw he is much more than she originally thought—but the problems that interfered with them being together which caused Allison to have to choose between her actually having love in her life or keeping peace---Think of her big brother throwing a temper tantrum, Jared getting cold feet in a way – Poor Allison , all she wanted was to find Mister Right by getting a Makeover to do that and she ended up finding him but causing a ruckus within her “family” and the company. What happens? Does Jared fight for his lady love? Does her brother Nick back off and give them the space they need or does Allison sacrifice her dream to let Jared keep his friendship with her brother Nick…oh you must read this book to find the answers—no Spoilers here. You will love the friends to lovers aspect which brings a familiar tone to the story. I love the shared animal love that Allison and Jared have—its too cute. When you read it in the story, you’ll know what I mean—and the zoo outing . OMG soo awesome. My rating: 4.5 stars **** *A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review*
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received this book for an honest review. I loved it. Christine writes really wonderful books and this was another of those wonderful books
JackiesBookWorld More than 1 year ago
Having read the previous book in the series, I was happy to find out that Warner was going to come out with a third book. In A Friendly Flirtation we get to meet Allison Hall, a social outcast who has no sense of fashion or how to get a guy to date her. With her work constantly surrounding her life, she decides to make a change and find herself a date. But first she needs a make over and her brother's best friend Jared is the right person for the job. When Allison asks Jared for help, he turns her down immediately and tells her that she doesn't need a make over to attract any guys. Which Allison doesn't agree with, and so she decides to take matters into her own hands. With no one else to help her, she does what she thinks is right but she ends up humiliating herself and that make things worse for her. Allison is not only devastated at the outcome, but she truly doesn't know what to do next. Needless to say, Jared comes to her rescue and the make-over process begins. With his assistance, Allison quickly begins to learn about what looks good on her, and what does not. Her determination is what keeps her moving, and the more she starts to spend time with Jared, the more their connection starts to grow. That is when things start to get heat up and they take their connection to the next level in the name of learning/getting experience, at least that's what Allison thinks. But when her overprotective brother, Nick, discovers what her best-friend and sister have been doing, he threatens to end their relationship for good before it's too late. At this point, Allison has to decide what she is going to do with her now growing feelings for Jared, and her brother. With dual point-of-views, we are able to get both Jared and Allison's part of the story, which made the story that much more interesting to read. I liked how Jared encouraged Allison to be herself without changing for a guy that may not be worthy of her. With an overprotective brother who seems to be running her life, Allison is not able to truly be herself, or do what she wants. As Jared and Allison continue with the make-over things escalate between them, and spending the night together brings out a whole new level of feelings that they didn't know they had for each other. Although the story line wasn't unique, the character's personalities made the story enjoyable to read. Overall the story was funny and truly romantic, so if you are looking for a quick read I would highly recommend giving this story a try. :) ***ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.***
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the sweetest, cutest, most fun books I have read in a while. Allison is someone I could totally relate to and be friends with. She is a little nerdy, a little quirky, but an honest to goodness beautiful person on the inside. Which Jared already knows and likes about her. But when she transforms out of her shy unsure shell to become a more confident version of herself, he cannot resist. I thoroughly enjoyed their funny flirtation and witty one uppances. Their connection was just too cute, a little spicy and very natural. I loved this book from start to finish, ended it with a goofy grin on my face. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars This is a cute friends to lovers romance that features, the handsome Jarod Esterly and Allison, the geeky little sister of his best friend Nick. Allison is tired of being a wallflower and asked for Jarod's help in her transformation. He reluctantly agrees to help her in secret and soon Ali goes from ugly duckling to beautiful swan. He begins to have feelings for her, but is afraid to act on them because of his friendship with Nick. Jarod has never had a serious relationship and he is afraid to hurt Ali. How does it end? Read and find out... This is a cute book, but I was frustrated with the relationship between Nick and the leading characters. Overall it was a fun read and I would recommend it to fans of friends to lover genre. I was given a free copy for an honest review
repsgoddess More than 1 year ago
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. A Friendly Flirtation by Christine Warner is Book 3 of the Friends First Series. While this book is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. Having liked what I had seen of the cover, as well as the book description, I requested the book for review. Nerdy girls need love too and Allison Hall is no exception. While this was fast and fun to read, and I did enjoy some giggles along the way, I was left feeling that certain areas were lacking. Friends-to-lovers is a great reading concept and I thoroughly enjoy these types of romances, however it has to be executed correctly. With this story, I feel that the execution fell flat. I didn’t sense that close buddy-type friendship between Allison and Jared that was alluded to, nor was it such a friendship that would make her feel comfortable enough in asking for makeover assistance. Instead, in reading the story, I got the feeling that Jared only rotated within Allison’s circle due to his longtime friendship with her older brother. Another thing that bothered me was upon Jared involvement in Allison’s transformation, it seemed as if she became another person. Make-up and new clothes does not instantly change one’s feelings of self in such a way that within a heartbeat Allison would become a flirty flirt. And why is it that for all that Jared stressed to Allison that a makeover was unnecessary and that she wasn’t in need of one, did he only then begin to be tempted by her and entertain thoughts of her as more than his best friends little sister? You’d think that somewhere over the course of Jared’s friendship with Allison’s older brother, that Jared would have had some dreams or inklings of more where Allison is concerned. Yet I wasn’t even given that impression from the book. Overall, I found the book to be a sweet read. Allison is adorably clumsy in contrast to her counter-part Jared’s confident and sexy self. I only wish the above-mentioned issues weren’t there so the story could have been more of what I had envisioned it to be.
Lauraluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
A Friendly Flirtation!..... that leads to so much more! At the age of 23, Allison is tired of being the nerdy shy girl who goes unnoticed. She needs help but is determined to see things through. After being turned down by her brother, she seeks the help of her brother's best friend/business partner & her boss, Jared. When he turns her down, she takes matters into her own hands and it turns out disastrous! When Jared sees her failed attempt, he takes her under his wing. Jared, a successful business partner with looks that make you want to sin, is tired of living the playboy life and is wanting more. As he gets to know Allison, the more he sees that she is just what he's been missing. When things begin to get heated, both Allison and Jared question themselves whether the roles they are playing are just roles or something more..... When Allison's overprotective brother steps in and wants them to stop, it makes Allison question what she thinks is right or what her heart wants.
ToniSheldon More than 1 year ago
Allison Hall, or Al, as she is referred to through most of the book, is your typical wall flower type of nerdy girl next door. She desperately wants more out of her life and is turned down by her overprotective brother Nick to help her become more than just a dependable employee at his firm. The only other man she can possibly trust is Nick’s business partner and lifelong friend, Jared Esterly. Jared is taken back at the idea of Allison wanting him to consider crossing the line of his friendship with Nick. He also sees Allison as “Nick’s little sister” and thinks she is perfect the way she is. Frustrated with Nick’s refusal to help with her makeover, Allison and her friend Colleen converge on the local drugstore to pick out makeup and experiment over a few glasses, er bottles, of wine. Come Monday morning, Allison is ready with her newfound look! Much to her dismay, she is laughed at and ridiculed behind her back by strangers and co-workers. Jared comes to her rescue and whisks her off for her much needed and requested makeover. During the course of the day, sparks fly and not only is a new and much improved Allison revealed, but new attractions that neither realized existed begin to form as well. Throw in some fun and complicated antics of two people trying their best to stay away from one another and then hide a newfound interest and you have a fun and sexy read in this book! I really enjoyed how the author tied together Allison’s love of penguins throughout the book. It was also fun to catch up with the other Esterly brothers during the book. My last question though is, Where can I get a pair of those jeans??? ARC received in exchange for an honest review
mrsdiddy More than 1 year ago
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Lowdown: Allison is tired of being the geeky girl who eats lunch alone, never gets noticed and never gets invited out for drinks after work. She is ready to change and needs help. So she goes to her brother’s best friend, Jared, who she has had a long term crush on. He is hesitant to help, but realizes how important this is to her, he decides to help. During the transformation process, they begin to realize their feelings for each other. My opinion: I like A Friendly Flirtation. It was funny and sweet and I love a good Ugly Duckling story. I found myself frustrated with Allison sometimes and I thought Jared was a little cliché. However, as a whole, the story kept me entertained right through to the HEA.
Rhondaz More than 1 year ago
A Friendly Flirtation by Christine Warner is a fun sweet read. Christine writes a fun friends to lovers romance book. Allison is trying to breakaway from the nerdy girl to a wanted hot girl, so she ask for help from Jared, her brothers friend. Sparks start to fly between these two, will they act on their feeling...you will have read to find out. I would recommend this book to my friends it is a fun fast read. I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
BooksLaidBare More than 1 year ago
I got the impression that I was missing something from this story, now whether that was me or not I am not entirely sure but that feeling never actually left me. I enjoyed the story, honestly I did but I was looking or a bit more. I wanted more from Jared and Ali, I wanted the depth of their back story, a real hard look at how they became who they were and influences affected the way they thought and how they looked at not only themselves but each other. Jared was so encouraging but I wasn’t exactly sure that he went about it in the right way or that it was for the right reason. Ali on the other hand, while everyone has insecurities and I was happy that she was willing to take hers to task, her growth and development was my favourite part of the book, she was funny, she was so socially inept that it was funny to read her mishaps. Perhaps I am being too harsh because the author did throw in some pretty strong secondary characters but again they had potential to be more dynamic, but perhaps there is more to come from them in the future, who knows. Overall the story was a short, snappy read, it was enough to while away my time but not tax the grey matter, so I suppose that it fulfilled its purpose. I will say though that the story was impeccably written, it was descriptive and presented with clarity and creativity. The story while not entirely my cup of tea for periods, was a solid read and I would recommend it.
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
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. Review: This is a hard one... I liked this cute, flirty story but I am having a hard time writing this review. I did not feel as much emotional draw to the characters as I would have hoped. I mean I liked both, but I definitely liked Allison more. Tired of being ignored she puts herself out there and tries to change her life. The girl is strong and a risk taker, I like that in a heroine. I guess Jared is what is putting me off, I really did not feel as strongly about him as I did Allison. Overall, I thought the Author is very competent, the writing was good and I like the friends to lovers trope, something was just missing for me. I looked at Amazon and it said it was 246 pages, it did not feel like that many pages, seemed like it was much shorter. Now, it is part of a series, but it could truly be a stand alone title. From what I see on Goodreads the series is based around Jared and his brothers. I would definitely pick up another book by this Author just to see if it was just these characters I could not connect with. 3.5Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
MELHUTCHINSON More than 1 year ago
I sort of have mixed feelings about this one. I wanted it to be so much more than what we got because I thought the potential was there for a great story, but I just didn't feel it. The characters seemed distant to me and I thought they would have had more of a connection before they started in with Jared showing Allison all the ropes of dating. Overall, this one wasn't bad, I had just hoped for more I guess. I still give it a strong 4 stars. Allison is looking to break out of her nerdy girl ways and try a new approach to getting guys. She has asked her brother, Nick that she works with, for advice before but he never seems interested in helping her out. Is is because Nick doesn't like the idea of his sister dating any guys that he doesn't help her with her dating techniques or is is that he is just really busy and doesn't have time? Whatever Nick's excuse, Allison is tired of getting blown off by her brother so she turns to Jared, Nick's best friend and their co-worker, for some advice. Jared is not sure about this at first because Allison is his best friends sister, but how could anything go wrong with just a little advice, right?? Jared is known for being a guy that has one girl at dinner and another for dessert according to Nick, so why is he so dead set on Jared helping his sister with her dating? Jared is a player and Nick doesn't want his sister to get hurt or involved in any sort of relationship with a guy like Jared. Jared decides to ignore Nick's warnings and decides to help Allison anyway. Jared sends Allison to get a make-over and some fashion tips from some of his girls. When that is all done and it is time for Allison to learn about how to pick a date, Jared is not so sure that he wants to be the one to help Allison pick someone out of a crowd that she might go home with. Is he developing feelings for Allison? The sparks begin to fly and Nick voices his opinion of the two seeing each other in the way that they are several times. Allison knows that there is something there because no one has ever made her feel like Jared does. Will these two act on their feelings for each other or will they just keep it at a distance for the sake of Nick, Allison's brother and Nick's best friend? You should read this one to find out how it all ends! A good read!
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
This is the third ‘Friends First’ novel and has the third of the Esterly brothers, Jared, as the male lead. Jared has been best friends with Nick for most of his life, spending a significant proportion of his holiday and weekend time with Nick Hall and his family and now working with him in the business they have co-founded. Nick had a nerdy little sister, Allison, who has grown into a still nerdy geek who works for them. Allison, however, is fed up with being ‘invisible’ and is determined to give herself a makeover to give herself a chance at dating and finding love. She asks her brother for help but he just denies she has any need of improvement so she goes and asks Jared. Whilst he initially refuses, after a make up debacle, he takes her under his wing to help her like a good family friend would . . . except as this ugly duckling becomes a swan the attraction between the two also grows! With Nick acting the overprotective big brother, the lifelong friendship in dire danger and hormones running rampant, will they have a chance for their love to develop? It is great to catch up with the brothers again and to get to know more about Jared. Big brother Nick is really the stumbling block for both characters, will they be able to put their attraction above that of their individual relationships with him? The reluctance of the pair to acknowledge their changing relationship and familial interactions and attitudes are well portrayed in this enjoyable, lighthearted read which has some really humorous moments in it! Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Allison Hall is desperate to shake her social outcast status, and decides that a makeover is in order to win herself a man. She has no idea where to begin, but knows the perfect person to help her accomplish her mission... her brother's handsome best friend Jared. Jared is good with the ladies, and knows exactly what men like, so Allison figures he can help her out, but Jared has his reservations and ultimately turns her down. So, she turns to her friend Colleen and asks her to help her out, but when that backfires, Jared's eyes are finally opened to just how serious Allison is about fitting in, so he finally gives in and offers to point her in the right direction...never expecting it to help him out a little too! Jared Esterly receives the shock of his life when his best friend's little sister propositions him and tries to get him to help teach her the ways on landing a man. He knows her brother would kill him if he found out he was "dating" his sister just for the sake of teaching her how to be more alluring to the opposite sex, so he turns her down hoping she will forget the whole idea. But he soon learns that she is serious about changing her appearance and finding love, and will do it with or without his help, so against his better judgement he offers to help out. He figures its safer for him to help her out, then for her to go at it alone, but he ends up getting a lot more than he bargains for... and it puts everything in his personal life at risk, and leaves him trying to decide what is more important to him..love or friendship? This is my second visit to this series, and I have to say this trip was just as enjoyable as the first, Ms. Warner has once again created quite a little literary gem here, and I truly enjoyed every minute I spent reading it! Allison and Jared's story was packed with emotion, heart, humor, and romance, and made for one truly exceptional friends to lovers story!! Allison's quirky personality totally won me over from the start and had me cheering her on the whole way through her journey to find love and happiness! Highly recommend this one, it is sure to warm your heart, and reaffirm your belief that true love does exist...no matter how unconventional your journey to finding it happens to be! ARC received in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Crystal_Yawn More than 1 year ago
A Friendly Flirtation was a fun story that really grabbed my attention. Allison is confident in her work, but a total klutz in social situations. She just wants some help fitting in and who better to help then her brother's best friend Jared. I liked Al, with just a little help in the confidence area she blossoms as a person. She does not focus on being fat or dressing slutty, she just wants to understand makeup and colors that work for her, things average people take for granted. It gave me a connection to her and made her a great character. Jared does not want to hurt his best friend, but can't help being attracted to Allison both before her "makeover" and more so after. He's the player, bachelor, but can he want/get more? The book is full of funny one liners and awkward/funny moments. a truly enjoyable book that will pull you out of any book slump. I'm hoping Nick will have his story, he needs someone too.
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
It was a pleasure meeting the next Esterly brother and seeing his road to the future. I didn't love Jared quite as much as Roth in the last book in the series, but I enjoyed him. A friends to lovers story ... with a twist! Allison Hall is tired of being the easy to forget or overlook nerdy girl all the time. She wants love and excitement as much as the next gal, and she's decided it's high time to get it! Jared Esterly is Al's boss along with her brother Nick. Nick and Jared have been best friends for years, and Jared has been a part of the family for what feels like forever. When Al approaches him for help, he's floored. He doesn't know the first thing about how to accomplish a make-over ... but when he sees first hand how she's picked on for being awkward, he steps in to give her a hand. What he doesn't expect is the instant attraction he feels when he starts to think of Allison as something other than Nick's little sister. When Nick finds out they are spending time together and flips his lid, will there be any future between the two of them? ** Received free in exchange for an honest review **
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
A witty tale of a woman trying to break her "nerdy girl" persona and become the woman she wants to be. When she asks her brother's best friend and business partner Jared for help he turns her down not wanting to risk his relationship and business. After her solo attempt to change fails miserably Jared can't help but come to her rescue. As the experiment progresses feelings quickly change but is the relationship worth the rath of big brother?? Absolutely a book I would recommend to everyone.