Almost Just Friends

Almost Just Friends

by Jill Shalvis

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USA Today Bestseller

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Wildstone with the touching story of finding your place in the world—and the people who make it home.

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062897817
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/21/2020
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 235
File size: 904 KB

About the Author

New York Times Bestselling Author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold, and visit her website,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Almost Just Friends 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
k94love 3 months ago
Another great book by Jill. I loved all the characters and the brokenness of them. Broken but not unfixable. Cam and Piper are perfect for each other. This maybe my favorite book by Jill, though I've loved them all.
Terri Tutor 3 months ago
What can I say? Jill Shalvis never disappoints me. I like her writing, her depth of characters, and unforeseen situations that they get into. Cam was almost too good to be true. He seemed to be everything that you would want in a partner; steady, reliable, and sexy. Except that he thought he had things to atone for. Piper was so closed off emotionally. She had every reason to be but Cam and the rest of her family had to work really hard to get Piper to start letting go. As usual, this one’s another winner!
MaimeosAngelsEL 3 months ago
Whilst this is book 4 in the Wildstone series it can most certainly be read as a stand alone and is Piper Manning and Camden Reid’s story. Jill Shalvis writes characters that are human, that have flaws, vulnerabilities and are easy to relate too.  There is always a lot of depth to her characters and Almost Just Friends is a good example of that. This was at times an emotional read and I freely admit tears were shed. Piper has always been a “mother” to her siblings, but now it’s time for her to shine and follow her dreams. Most of us love our families but we all know that sometimes we don’t always like them and after being cooped up on a boat with them for 10 days, Piper needs her alone time.  Camden has his own demons and regrets to deal with. The chemistry and banter between Piper and Camden got to me and I found myself smiling frequently throughout this story.  The family dynamics were easy to relate to and I was invested in the romance of the story. There is drama, a little angst, spice and humour; I also loved Piper’s list making, a trait we share.  Meeting Camden just as a wild storm hits, Piper decides to take a chance. She has big dreams and feels it’s finally her time. Can the feelings that are developing between them withstand the pressures of their families?  A beautifully written story with strong writing and characters that you cannot help but fall for. 
Bamber75 9 days ago
I thought The Lost, and Found Sisters was my favorite, but this one surpasses it. Beautiful story, endearing chacters. I hope Willow finds her own HEA sometime soon.
Samantha1020 14 days ago
Almost Just Friends was a fun way to begin my reading year in 2020! I enjoy reading contemporary romances although I can't say that I read a ton of them. I honestly think I would read more of them though if they were like this one. This book was just fun to read at times. It had me grinning at the book and laughing out loud. What made this book that much more remarkable is that this book also took on some heavier issues like addiction within its pages. So not only was it absolutely adorable at times but it also was heavier and more serious at others. I really appreciated the fact that the author wasn't afraid to take these more serious issues and include them with what could have been a much lighter story otherwise. I also really enjoyed all of the different characters in this book. The author brought them all to life for me so that I couldn't help but care about each and every one of them. I especially had a soft spot for Cam's father Emmitt. His character always seemed to crack me up especially when they threw him a surprise birthday party (readers who have already read this book will understand what I mean here). I also really enjoyed the relationship that developed between Piper and Cam. Piper was such an independent character who definitely didn't want to acknowledge her feelings for Cam. Cam, on the other hand, was much more open to what he was feeling and the relationship that was developing between him and Piper. It made for a fun reading experience to see how their relationship would develop while also watching Piper try to navigate the relationships she has with her brother and sister. I spent the entire book rooting for her to figure it out all out so that she and Cam could find their happy ever after together. It was just such an enjoyable read and the perfect way to start 2020 off! Overall, this was just a feel good romance that I couldn't help but enjoy. I loved that it took on some heavier issues and really dealt with them rather than just pushing them to the side. I also loved that this book still had a lighter feel at times that I couldn't help but enjoy. I've read other books by Shalvis but have to say that I think this one is my favorite. This is actually book four in the Wildstone series so I'm excited that I can go back and read the earlier books soon. I would recommend this book to fans of romance (specifically contemporary romance), women's fiction readers, and just fiction readers in general who don't mind a little romance in their books. It was really enjoyable and easy to recommend! Bottom Line: A book that kept me grinning the entire time I was reading it! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher. Honest thoughts are my own.
8159470 15 days ago
Always enjoy her books. Now l will watch for a new one or maybe one l may have missed.
judiOH 17 days ago
a very well written story about siblings and the love, hate,mistakes and the forgiveness. this story kept my interest from page one!! a very good read.
beachandbookgirl 19 days ago
My second favorite book of the year! I love Jill's ability to weave a wonderful story with characters that you want to see overcome their problems and find the love and happiness they deserve! This is another one of those stories that just gives you all the feels. I can't wait for her next novel!
Anonymous 20 days ago
I usually love her books but just did not care for this one. The side story of CJ took up too much of the story and I don’t care to read romance between the same sex
TrudyAD 28 days ago
Goodness gracious great balls of fire!!! Jill Shalvis heated up the pages in Almost Just Friends. I am not talking about sexually even though there was some of that. She rocked the boat on this one. I am talking about sibling relationships. I am talking about a parent and child relationships. I am talking about guardian and charges. I am talking drama, so much drama. Piper Manning lives a quiet life on the lake while working as an EMT in Wildstone. She has raised her siblings. She has put her sister through University. Now it is her turn. All she has to do is sell her grandmother's home and cottages. Major storms blow in and plans blow away as secrets are revealed. Secrets aren't just held by her siblings although theirs are doozies. Piper thinks the new guy has come home to check on his dad after his brother died in a car accident. Cam lets Piper believe that is why he is in Wildstone. Cam, Gavin, and Secrets pile up. The longer you wait the harder it is survive the fallout.
mel_t 30 days ago
So many facets to this story. Piper and Camden, of course, were the main focus of this story, but relationships among all of the characters - Piper's siblings, Camden and his dad - added so many extra layers. Almost Just Friends is a story of romance, but also of family bonds, forgiveness and healing. Loved the inclusion of the reunion of Piper's brother and his ex boyfriend - it's nice to see LGBTQ inclusion in "mainstream" genres.
ReinaC50 3 months ago
In the latest installment of the Wildstone Series, Piper is an EMT who has been taking care of her siblings for as long as she can remember. But now it is her turn to do something for herself. She wants to sell her house and move away to go to school. When she meets Cam she doesn't realize who he is or how he will effect her future. She has been caring for Cam's father and his brother was her sister's best friend. As she gets to know Cam and her siblings return home she sees her dreams coming to an end. But everyone has their secrets and she as she gets to know him and learns what her siblings are hiding will she see that maybe she has a new dream?
MJR72 3 months ago
You can't miss with a Shalvis book - her characters have that true to life quality. Her books don't correct their flaws and making the world a perfect place... instead, they bring you through the story of their growth and managing those flaws in a realistic way. I always feel like you get to know the characters in her books in a deep and relatable way. The secondary characters add so much more depth. There's stress, tears, laughter and love. And at the end a smile that another HEA is in the books.
Janeen 3 months ago
I love the Wildstone series and I have been anticipating this book for a good year since I knew it was coming out. I loved the 1)Plot 2) Storyline 3) Characters. I could've finished this in one night, but I was sick and had to stretch it into several days. The characters are interwoven into the plotline so intricately that I fell back in love with the whole series again and decided to start Book 1 again. I have really come to love all of JS books. I would recommend this as my first 5-star of 2020.
Triciahp1 3 months ago
This is the latest installment in one of my favorite series by one of my favorite authors! As usual, I enjoyed it! There were some tears & an a little issue on my part, but all in all, it's great. My only issue is mostly just my preference - when I'm reading a romance, I prefer the simplicity of just the hero & heroine's viewpoints. Anything more adds some confusion. But a lot of authors seem to be adding extra viewpoints, so maybe I'm in the minority. It was still a great book with lots of sweet and fun moments! Hope there's more still to come in this series! **I was given a free ARC provided by the author/publisher in exchange for my honest review. And honestly, it's adorable!
Teri1957 3 months ago
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Jill Shalvis pens a story as if it were a delicate wedding cake. She can slip in a titillating scene without you even realizing that she has. Her words flow from the page like silky chocolate (that you can't get enough of) through an intricate fountain. I definitely recommend this book! Enjoy!
BookAngel_Emma 3 months ago
I am utter awe of the depth of characterisation Jill Shalvis has woven into Almost Just Friends. The third-person narrative is a necessary device in order to deliver the number of viewpoints we get throughout the narrative giving a 360 degree perspective of each character. While the main story revolves around Piper, the oldest of the Manning siblings, there are also sub-plots surrounding the other members of the family, Gavin and Winnie. Piper has had a lot to cope with from a young age, having lost their parents when Piper was only 13, she stepped into the role of the parent as well as sibling, putting her own hopes and dreams on the backburner to take care of her brother and sister. Unfortunately, this also changed the dynamic of their relationship as well as Piper herself living within a self-imposed purgatory. The characters are realistically flawed and utterly endearing. The character development throughout Almost Just Friends will amaze you. I loved the way in which each individual idiosyncrasy was relatable and an intrinsic part of the characters. The romance was amazing and for Piper completely unexpected. Having closed herself off to ensure no-one else could stand between her and her future or hurt her if she lost them, she has a lot of work to do in order to deal with the emotional baggage that has basically been festering within her from her teen years. Cam is the stuff dreams are made of, but not only that he is a genuine and honest person who works hard to get the things he wants and what he wants is Piper. I adored the way in which both Piper and Cam’s family blended together including the acceptance of the moments of crazy. Almost Just Friends will have you swooning as well as shedding a few tears here and there, but it will also make you realise that life is messy and there is no way to protect yourself from the mess so just enjoy it while you can ❤
morganna_99 3 months ago
Piper Manning has had to be an adult since she was 13, raising her two siblings and trying to keep them all together. Now, just when she thinks she can have a life of her own, they're back home with their own dark secrets and a new neighbor has moved in with demons of his own. Cam's learned too late what it means to be present in someone's life and he's not going to make the same mistakes again. He's just not sure he can convince Piper that as similar as their pasts are, their futures can be even better. Piper is a great heroine. She's sassy, snarky, and hanging on to sanity by her fingernails. She tries to control everything in her life with bullet point journals and office supplies (another reason I lover her- someone who gets my "inner office supply ho") and is afraid to let go, be surprised, and enjoy life. She's terrified of letting people in, because that's when they hurt you the most. And she's terrified of loving anyone because none of the people she loves have ever put her first. Brother and sister Gavin and Winnie may be younger than Piper, but have managed to have life crisis at the same time and come home. Because despite all the fighting Piper, and Wildstone, are home. They may be trying to get themselves together, but by not sharing that with Piper, she feels like she has to continue worrying about them and putting her life on hold. Cam is a Coast Guard, and does his best in high stress, no emotion situations. When his younger brother dies, Cam goes home to their father and finds a life he never expected. A life that includes Piper faster than he could have anticipated. I loved the chemistry between them- both the slow burn and the firestorm varieties. They manage to be perfect compliments to each other in ways they didn't know they needed, and they understand each other in ways that terrify them. Neither one is perfect, and they (and Gavin and Winnie) make plenty of mistakes along the way, but they personify what making family work can be all about when you have love. With characters dealing (or not) with the deaths of loved ones there is definitely some soul searching and tear-jerker moments in Almost Just Friends, but Shalvis mixes the serious and the emotional with just the right amount of humor and sarcasm to keep things going. All the characters in Friends are deep, flawed, and completely human and relatable- no surface characters here. Almost Just Friends was a great read, full of heart, and not to be missed! I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
sbart84 3 months ago
A must read!!! Piper raised her brother and sister and now she is finally ready for the next chapter in her life. She is going to go to PA school but a wrench is thrown in her plans. Her brother and sister have returned home with secrets and a new man comes into her life, Cam. This story is full of family, many laugh out moments, secrets and more secrets and a wonderful romance of Piper and Cam. This is a hard book to put down. This story dealt with many issues that I could relate to. This is the fourth book set in the town of Wildstone, can't believe it is fictional. All books are stand alone. I highly recommend this story.
JustNicole 3 months ago
What a fantastic romance read by the wonderful Jill Shalvis! Almost Just Friends is the fourth book in the Wildstone series, and although I would recommend the first 3, it isn’t necessary to have read them to enjoy this one! The characters in this story were so well portrayed, so well developed and so very enjoyable! From Cam (AKA Hot Guy) who served in the Coast Guard, to Piper who practically raised her brother (Gavin) and sister (Winnie), to Cam’s dad (Emmitt), to Cam’s deceased brother (Rowan). The characters and storyline pull together to make this an incredibly heartbreaking, yet heartwarming, must read romance! I fell in love with this book!
Honolulubelle 3 months ago
Favorite Quotes: Look, I’d have gotten to it eventually. But you’ve got to understand, my ability to remember to tell you things is far outweighed by my ability to remember every song lyric from the eighties. Yes. I had my patience tested. I’m negative. “Take your time.” He gave Cam a meaningful look. “And I mean that. Women like when you take your time.” Cam’s grimace said he’d maybe finally found the end of his patience. Emmitt held up a hand. “I know, who wants to take advice from your dad, right? But, son, I’ve been on Tinder for two years now, and trust me. I know these things.” I’m not useless, at least not completely. For instance, I can be used as a really bad example. … she was arrested at Walmart last week for driving one of those electric carts while drinking wine from a Pringles can in the parking lot. I don’t date felons. She tried to look half as graceful as he while moving toward him, but instead she probably looked like an elephant fighting its way through a lake made of peanut butter. My Review: This amusing and engaging tale was laced with complicated characters, loads of family drama, obnoxious siblings, snarky banter, a swoony sexy soldier, and clever levity. This was a considerably more tense and angsty read than I was expecting but thankfully the humor and sizzling romance balanced out all the stress and HEAs were generously spread across the land. Sigh, I do loves me some Jill Shalvis.
twocoulters 3 months ago
4-Stars The author delivered a realistic view of complex family dynamics. While reading this, I experienced an incredible mix of emotions. I loved the (non)relationship between siblings Piper, Gavin, and Winnie - and even Camden and his father, Emmitt. Emmitt was, by far, my favorite character. However, the vulnerability revealed by both Piper and Cam really made this book worth every missed moment of sleep.
MP40 3 months ago
I received an advanced reader copy of this book to leave an honest review and this book did not disappoint! I am loving the whole Wildstone series. The books aren't really connected so you can read them in any order. I really did enjoy this one a lot though. Maybe because Piper is a list maker and a bit OCD like me. Besides a great story line, I find that Jill has a great writing style; there is no jumping around so you lose track of the plot or characters. I have always enjoyed her books. This book is about Piper, an EMT trying to prep her family home for sale so she can fulfill her dream and go to college, and Camden, a DEA agent and Coast Guard leader. Piper meets Camden for the first time during a bad storm not realizing he is her neighbor's son. I'm not even sure how to explain this book because there is so much that goes on but I love it all. Piper's sister and brother come home with secrets of their own and it is amazing how they do and don't get along. How their childhood and decisions have shaped them. I would definitely recommend this book. It has your happily ever after but it takes work to get there. And there is all kinds of drama that makes you really feel for these characters.
Readaholic19 3 months ago
I always like reading a Jill Shalvis book because I know without a doubt that it will make me laugh and have me rooting for the characters involved. Almost Just Friends was no different. There was family drama, sweet romance (between a few different characters) and of course scenes that had me laughing! Piper Manning has been carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. She's been living in Wildstone working as an EMT while fixing up the house her grandparents left her and her two siblings, Gavin and Winnie. Piper has worked hard at supporting her siblings and they are now mostly adults who have their own lives. What she doesn't expect is for Winnie and Gavin to return to Wildstone, both having the clear intentions to stay. All three of the Manning siblings have their own secrets and reasons for coming back. It's breaking down those walls and getting to know one another again that will be the hardest for all three. Not only do her siblings make an appearance in town, but so does the New Hot Guy that everyone keeps talking about. New Hot Guy turns out to be Camden Hayes - DEA agent/Coast Guard extraordinaire. Cam has his own demons that he is facing and yet the attraction between him and Piper is sizzling and they each are drawn to each other. I won't say more about the plot, because each of these characters are so interwoven together. I was feeling so much on behalf of every single one of these characters. Not only Piper, but also Gavin and CJ, Winnie and even Piper's neighbor Emmitt. There was a bit of insta-love between Piper and Cam and parts of the story were a bit predictable, but I still really enjoyed Almost Just Friends. I received a complimentary advance title of this book from the author.
Jazzie 3 months ago
An emotional & heartfelt story of love and life Note: This review contains NO spoilers I absolutely adore Jill Shalvis' stories! Almost Just Friends is the third book by her that I have absolutely enjoyed reading. Just like Jill's other books, Almost Just Friends is an emotional and touching story of these characters' life journeys, especially with dealing in the complexities and complications of life and love. What I really loved about Jill's storytelling is the well balanced humor intertwined into these characters lives. Not only that, much of the individual stories of Jill's characters are relateable in one way or another. And, I'm sure that everyone who has read Jill's books would agree that the life journeys of these characters can be familiar to the lives of her readers. Almost Just Friends is another standalone contemporary romance novel set in Wildstone where heart-felt and poignant stories of love and life is told with a touch of humor. Want those "heart-strings" pulled and laugh at the same time?!? Then, read Jill Shalvis' Almost Just Friends and all the other books in the Wildstone series. Hmmm... Well, I will have to read Jill's other books as well. I am now a fan of Jill Shalvis and her books! And, I would have to say you will, too, once you start reading her books.