Just Friends

Just Friends

by Robyn Sisman


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Thirtysomethings Freya and Jack have been “just friends” for more than ten years. Of course, they’ve had their differences. Freya doesn’t approve of Jack’s taste for student teeny-boppers from Planet Bubblegum, and Jack has problems with Freya’s utter scorn for human frailty–especially his own.

So when Freya, dumped by her lawyer boyfriend, moves temporarily into Jack’s apartment, tensions simmer. They reach a boiling point when Jack agrees to act as Freya’s Significant Other at her step-sister’s society wedding. Now, old friends, best friends, just friends, are fighting like cats and dogs.

Bestselling author Robyn Sisman has written a sexy, hilarious novel about that eternal struggle to find “the one”–the one for now and the one forever!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345442277
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/30/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 817,454
Product dimensions: 5.46(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Robyn Sisman is the author of Perfect Strangers and Special Relationships. She lives in London, England.

Read an Excerpt


Freya peeled off her clothes and stood in her underwear, contemplating her reflection. She wanted to look her best for Michael tonight. There had been no time to go home to change; she must make do with this cramped ladies' room beneath her office. Her new dress hung from the cubicle door: a cool thousand dollars' worth of palest pink that shimmered with a tracery of opalescent beads — a Cinderella dress chosen to make her as feminine and delicate as a porcelain doll. That was the look she was aiming for, less femme fatale, more . . . femme, plain and simple.

Let's go somewhere special, he had said over breakfast on Monday morning, somewhere we can talk. Questions had exploded in her head like popcorn in a hot pan. Talk about what? Why not right here in the apartment? Freya had choked them back. Instead, she'd done a lot of shopping.

But all week long she had carried his words around with her, a time bomb in the pit of her stomach, tick-tick-ticking as the days passed. Was this It? Was she about to become Mrs. Normal, grouching about schools and the state of her suburban lawn?

With a hand that was not quite steady Freya twisted the tap and splashed her cheeks with cold water. On with the war paint. She began to make up her face — a pencil to darken the pale arches of her eyebrows, mascara to bring her light-blue eyes into focus. Which lipstick? Scarlet Woman was out, obviously. So, frankly, was Vestal Virgin, a relic of her infatuation with an artist who had left her for a seventeen-year-old. Ah-hah, Crimson Kiss, that was more like it. She slid the color back and forth over her lips, then bared her teeth, satisfactorily white against the red. I floss, you floss, we all floss. God bless American dentistry.

But what if she was wrong? Maybe Michael just wanted to discuss the new service charge for the apartment, or to finalize plans for their trip to England. Freya cocked her head to fix an earring, considering this possibility. No, she decided. Michael was a lawyer, and a man: habit was his middle name. Every January he bought his suits in the sales, always two, always Armani, either navy or charcoal. He called his mother on Sunday evenings (allowing for the time change to Minneapolis), got his annual hay fever shot right after Groundhog Day, and always tipped ten percent on the nose. There was nothing unpredictable about Michael, thank God. If he wanted to "talk," he must have something important to say.

Balancing precariously on one flamingo leg, then the other, Freya slid on sheer stockings, then stepped carefully into the precious dress and drew it up her body, shivering at its silky opulence. A hidden side zip pulled it snug around her small breasts, miraculously creating a discreet cleavage. She slotted her feet into flat shoes, with the faintest sigh of regret for those strappy four-inch heels she'd seen in a Fifth Avenue store. It was too bad Michael wasn't taller. She reminded herself sternly that successful relationships were founded on compromise.

A few adjustments, a mist of perfume, and she was finished. Did she look the part? Freya found her brain flooding with words she had never associated with herself: fiancée, engagement, honeymoon, Mr. and Mrs. . . Daddy and Mommy. She grabbed the sink with both hands and peered close. Narrow pointed face, skin as pale as buttermilk, collar bones you could beat a tattoo on, long arms and legs — too long? She was as tall as many men: "giraffe," they had called her at school. Could somebody really love this person — for ever and ever, amen? She picked at her newly cropped hair (another hundred bucks), so fair it looked almost colorless in this light. "Freya the beautiful," her mother used to call her, named after the warmhearted goddess of the icy north who was loved by all men. But that was when she was six years old. It was impossible to know what her mother would make of her now.

As she turned this way and that, assessing this unfamiliar self, Freya was reminded of one of those ballerinas that twirled mechanically on one leg whenever someone opened a musical box. She gave an experimental twirl herself, laughing a little as her legs tangled and she almost lost her balance. The movement had dislodged a lock of hair, and as she smoothed it back she caught sight of her left hand, with its bare ring finger. Her expression sobered. It was nice to be wanted, she told her twin in the mirror. It was wonderful to be loved. She wasn't twenty-nine anymore.

Yes, Michael was the one, she was almost sure.

* * *

The restaurant Michael had chosen was a new and very expensive place on the edge of the Village, so confident of its must-go status that Freya walked past it twice before spotting the tiny engraved entryphone. She leaned on the buzzer, and immediately the door was opened by an angelic young man with a peroxide crop. She found herself in a waiting area furnished according to the latest style edict to look "just like your own home" — if you were a millionaire. Voluptuous sofas flanked a faux fireplace. There were Georgian-style urns on the mantelpiece, magazines and "real" books artfully disarranged on low tables, even a chess set, apparently abandoned in midgame. Shallow steps led down into the dining room. From it wafted up fashionable smells and the uninhibited chatter of people utterly at ease with their own tremendous success. The name of the restaurant, she remembered, was Phood.

As the young man led the way, Freya scanned the crowded tables. On one of the plump banquettes, perched somewhat stiffly between lime-green bolsters, was Michael. Sober-suited and serious, frowning slightly as he checked some document with a hovering pen — perhaps, knowing Michael, a checklist of their compatible qualities — he looked so out of place among the flashy media poseurs and Wall Street dudes that Freya's face melted into a tender, teasing smile. Her anxieties retreated. She realized that his choice of restaurant was a compliment to her, and vowed to keep any sardonic comments to herself. She would be amusing, charming, attentive--the perfect partner. She made her way down the steps, waiting for him to notice her. When he did, he looked startled, almost shocked: very gratifying. Cramming his papers into a side pocket, he leaped up from his chair to greet her with a kiss on each cheek.

"Freya, you look wonderful!"

"I know." She put her hands on his shoulders and laughed into his eyes, then stepped back so that he could admire her properly. "It's the new me. Don't tell me, you thought I was born wearing trousers."

"No, no." Her exuberance seemed to disconcert him. "I mean, you always look fabulous." He pulled the table out so she could sit down opposite him, and resumed his position. How adorably lawyerly he looked, with his square, handsome face, serious brown eyes, and wavy hair clipped close. They would love him in England. She wondered if he'd already bought her a ring, and if so where he was hiding it.

A waiter brought them menus and drew a bottle from a cooler by the table. "Champagne?"

"Absolutely." Freya shot Michael a sparkling smile. "Are we celebrating?"

Customer Reviews

Just Friends 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book Sunday night and was really sad it ended. I loved how Robyn took the time to describe the setting, using actual descriptive words rather than 'it was hot' or 'the room was messy.' It seems like a lot of the chick lit authors either don't think much of their readers and skimp a lot on details. I loved Jack and Freya, made whole and real by dialogue and the exposure of their inner thoughts. Defintely recommend this to anyone who has felt let down by other chick lit books that seem too empty, simple or formulaic.
risadabomb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Right from the get go I did not like the female protagonist in the book, there was no connection there and as a result this book went no where for me.
kimbee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I actually didn't finish it. It was slow and too much nothing in between the not-that-exciting somethings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Carol-Mindy-White More than 1 year ago
I was a teenager when I read this and I remember really enjoying it. It's not the best book I ever read, but it is nice, but remember getting angry at the main character because she wasn't letting her hair down nor expressing her true feelings. On the other hand I am a loyal Robyn Sisman reader. I recommend her other book Special Relationship (1995)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My friends and I have heated discussions on whether and a guy and a girl can stay strictly friends...so naturally when I saw this book I had to buy it -- didn't think too much of it but at the time, but I have to admit it's a great book. I found it hilariously funny - the dialogue between Jack and Freya got me laughing out loud. I couldn't put the book down! I usually don't recommend books on websites but I had to just to make sure people give this book a shot :' A feel good book that will make you laugh til the very last page :'
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good book! Cute and realistic. I read it several years ago, so it's hard for me to be very descriptive, but it really was a cute book and worth picking up to read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had such high hopes for this book, only to be disappointed in the end. For starters, the beginning was boring. As the book progressed I started to like Freya more but it entered the daunting territory of cliches. Also, I usually like a good fight between the main characters but Freya and Jack argued like they wanted to kill each other. This may have been the point, but it makes it more difficult to believe that they fall in love with each other. There have been other books with the same idea that are a lot of more exciting to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There were a few parts where i really liked the book but i wish there were more scenes between jack and freya. I thought the book kind of just dragged on til towards the end. Loved the ending, I got teary eyed. It was just okay, not one of my favorites
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book had its good parts but it took too long to get to them. I wanted to read this book because so many Jane Green fans recommended it, I thought it dragged most of the time. I just couldn't wait for it to end just to see what happens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thougt the book was great! I loved all of the charaters, especially Cat. I finished the book in two days because I just couldn't put it down. I saw myself and some of my friend in the character's of the book. I would recommend this book to any single woman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
wow! coming from ny i know how hard the city could be! i really loved the book. can u believe i found it in a thrift store and its the uk edition. whoever gave it up made a mistake... oh well, their loss, my gain! i finished all 500 something pages in one week exactly and loved every minute of it! i wish freya were real and jack and cat too! i think i would have fun with them, i even liked jack! too bad! anywayz the book was great and i do recomend it to anyone who loves a good book and a good laugh!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the author was pretty wordy in some parts, the book was great. 400 pages, but very worth the time it took to get through it. I laughed at loud at a couple of points and loved how the book ended; It was great! Can't give it away, but would recommend this book to anyone from my mother to my best friend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful and so true about relationships with friends. I can't say enough great things about this book except that if you have ever had feelings for a close guy friend, you will absolutely love this book. I read the entire book in one weekend that's how good it was and i don't even really like to read. That's how good it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as i did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just Friends is an exciting feel good book. Robyn Sisman must have been in love when she wrote this. Although some parts are very detailed and copious she got her point across that Freya wanted love more than anything. She came across some barriers trying to reach love but it all works out in the end. Just Friends has many conflicts. Freya the main character has an internal conflict with herself and also a conflict with other characters in the story. Freya is an art publisher in New York City. She moved from London where she was raised so she could start a new life. Freya¿s internal conflict was her desire to get married. She wanted to fall in love and get married more than anything. At the beginning of the novel her live in boyfriend, Michael, breaks up with her but she thinks that he is proposing. After that misunderstanding she is crushed and looks for a man to marry the rest of the book and someone to accompany her to her sisters wedding. Another conflict is with Jack, her good friend and roommate. Jack accompanies Freya to Tash¿s, Freya¿s stepsister, wedding. Jack is just going to pretend like he is in love with Freya to make her look good in front of the family. Jack gets in a fight with Freya and decides to tell Tash that he isn¿t dating Freya and the yare just friends. Freya gets really upset at Jack and they end their friendship right there. Robyn Sisman does a good job involving conflicts everywhere in the story and making characters interesting. The conflicts in the story are very reasonable. Although it seems Freya is always on the bad side of the conflict she is main character and the protagonist. It all works its way out in the end. Ms. Sisman makes each character intriguing. Each one has very detailed attributes that make the novel even better. For example Jack one of the antagonist is an author and he is talked about a lot in the story. His father is a rich man and he gives Jack a monthly allowance. Robyn makes him detailed and interesting to keep the story getting better and better. Just Friends is a book that makes you feel good when you are done. I recommend this book to young women who are in love or looking for it. This book puts a smile on your face when you are done. It is a great summer book and a book to relax with while tanning at the beach.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle. I can't resist star crossed lovers and the hijinks they get up to while trying to fall in love. Just Friends was perfect for me! I loved the love story between Freya and Jack, and the funny dialogue between them and all their friends. Freya's dates, blind and otherwise, were hilarious! The book zipped along and I didn't want to put it down until I knew that everyone would end up happy. This was the perfect book to read by pool or on the beach.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the third Robyn Sisman book I've read and, like the other two, it was a very enjoyable read. I knew she had done a great job with her character development when I found myself wanting to hit Freya over the head numerous times! I wish Ms. Sisman would have ended the book with an Epilogue, though; to let us know how Jack's book is received and what direction his and Freya's life takes (and Michael and Cat's as well). The story ended a bit too abruptly. Still, I recommend it.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Manhattan, art dealer Freya and attorney Michael have lived together for the past five months. Freya expects Michael, a man of habitual routines, to propose because he has changed the usual Friday night scene into something expensive and romantic. Instead, he ends their relationship by asking Freya to become his friend. A distraught Freya flees to the home of her decade long friend writer Jack, who gives her two weeks to seek shelter.

Freya cramps Jack¿s style as he tries to make it with Candace, a creative writing student in his adult class. Meanwhile, Michael apparently falls in love with Freya¿s best friend Cat. Freya rebounds from the feeling of betrayal by beginning to fall in love with her host, who reciprocates. However, will she realize in time that Jack is her Cary Grant?

JUST FRIENDS is an amusing romance that will remind readers of the TV show Friends. The story line is fun, breezy, and adorable as the individuals, especially Jack and Freya pair up. Robyn Sisman provides a warm, friendly look at the New York singles scene in a tale that will provide entertainment to fans of lighthearted contemporary romance.

Harriet Klausner

August Sanchez More than 1 year ago
This was a very messy and poorly written book. Not worth the money at all!