I’m ridiculously attracted to my best friend.
Today is a bad day. The worst actually. After dealing with the constant manhandling that comes with being a cocktail waitress at a dive bar and surviving a date from hell, I see an eviction notice slapped on the door of my sketchy basement apartment. Great.
When my best friend Devon shows up at my door and uses his stubborn charm (emphasis on stubborn) to get me to move in with him, I give in. We’ve had about a million sleepovers since we met in the kindergarten Deaf program, but this time it’s different because I can’t stop thinking about his hard body covering mine, every single night.
I know Devon would do anything for me, but I’m afraid what I want to happen will ruin our friendship forever. And the more time we spend together in close quarters, the harder it’ll be to resist the spark of attraction I’ve always felt. But maybe it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: keep the one relationship I can’t live without and indulge in an attraction I can’t deny.
I guess the only thing we can do is try…
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About the Author
Laura Brown lives in Massachusetts with her quirky abnormal family. Her husband’s put up with her since high school, her young son keeps her on her toes, and her three cats think they deserve more scratches. Hearing loss is a big part of who she is, from her own Hard of Hearing ears, to the characters she creates.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A lifelong friendship to lovers is the cornerstone of this story – both Devon and Jasmine have known each other since childhood – and often bonded over their similarities and their own differences from one another. But, surprising to me was Devon’s willingness to put up with much of Jasmine’s repeated and near pathological need to be contrary and dramatic, over Every Little Thing. And, not surprisingly, while I did understand that her issues were not plucked out of thin air – it was time for her to seriously sit down with herself and see just how many times she decided on an action, fought with herself and contradicted her own decisions, and then went off half-cocked to a reaction that was often inappropriate, or wholly unrelated. She was exhausting in every meaning of the word – and most of her problems (or what she saw as her problems) were self-inflicted. To his credit, Devon seems to know that she needs that stability, help and security that their long-term friendship provides, and is willing, because in her good moments she is truly wonderful, to stick around. And Devon was just wonderful – perhaps almost too nice for Jasmine. The communication issues between them, ironically not due to their deafness but a mix of youth, conflicted emotions and a general fear of making themselves vulnerable kept the angst high here, when it was almost blatantly apparent to everyone that there was a connection between them that was stronger than friendship, but based in that always understanding the difficulties facing a world not quite accommodating was a unique perspective and one that had me seeing the world around me in a different way. Laura Brown kept me intrigued, even when I was so frustrated I could scream. Dropping bits of information, mixing in secondary characters and issues that everyone faces, along with some very specific challenges that both Jasmine and Devon had to face brought a rich tapestry of moments to the story and kept me curious as I hoped they could and find a way through the maze of circumstances, issues and Jasmine’s drama to get to a resolution. It was wonderful to see that the issues were more self-imposed and built than societal, and that coming to accept yourself, your choices and find an acceptance in another made this an intriguing and challenging read. I’m sure to look for more of this author’s titles in the future, as the concepts and characters created such memorable moments here. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Friend (With Benefits) Zone was a fantastic read, complete with well-developed characters and edge-of-your-seat tension. Laura Brown does a great job pulling her readers in and keeping them hooked until the last page. I loved the build-up between Jas and Devon as they explored their feelings for each other and navigated their career paths. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in contemporary romances with realistic storylines.
I don’t think I’ve ever met two so stubborn people in a romance book. They are both so willingly oblivious to what everyone else knows but I was happy that they quickly get it together by the 25% mark. Jasmine and Devon have been best friends since they were 10 years old but now they each have feelings for the other and are too afraid to pull the trigger on a relationship. These two danced around each other so much in the beginning, but once they get together I appreciated that they tried to take things slowly as they adjusted to this new step in their relationship. However, the last 10% or so was particularity rough because Jasmine was so resistant to even trying to talk about their issues and act like adults. I love when an author can challenge my expectations of writing and Laura Brown certainly does this. Because both her characters are deaf/hard of hearing we see dialogue in a new way as it’s written here. There are no examples of husky voices, or sexy growls, or the variety of ways to say “he/she said”. Instead we get clues through the characters hand gestures and signing, by their facial expressions, or the smallness or largeness of their signing. I really enjoyed this new experience. Devon was a wonderful hero and I loved how compassionate he was about other people. He really wants to help those who need it the most and it’s an honorable career path to take. He’s also really sweet with Jasmine’s more skittish nature. The second half of the book had me almost drowning in Jasmine’s pity party and it really brought the book down for me. She goes through some tough things but she also wallows in all her life’s tragedies, bemoans her bad luck, and acts like she’s all alone in this life when that’s not true.
If you're looking for a wonderful book that'll pull you in from the first page, snap this one up! Jasmine's a young woman with big goals - but real life keeps kicking her in the head and it's one thing after another... like "accidentally" falling in love with her best friend! Devon's a sweetheart but he can't be the answer to all her problems, no matter how much he wants to be. I couldn't put this book down after I started it - every page, every chapter kept me reading to the end. Real people, real problems and it was easy to imagine this as a movie. Grab this for your TBR and be prepared to spend the entire week going through it because you'll be hooked!
Whenever a Laura Brown novel is within reach, a box of tissue need not be far away. She enlightens, inspires and seduces, while emphasizing the beauty of being unique. Jasper and Devon are the centerpieces of an exceptional love story. In a world where being different can be alienating and dangerous, two special people have found acceptance in each other. Written with love and full of hope and heartbreak, Friend Zone is a tale that needs to be told. One meant to uplift, not tear down.