Enjoyable "friends to lovers" story with a relatable dilemma
MORE THAN FRIENDS, my first book by Monique DeVere, met my expectations perfectly—a smexy, "friends to lovers" quick read with the requisite HEA for romance lovers. Perhaps a bit predictable but enjoyable nonetheless.
MORE THAN FRIENDS was very well-written (thankfully) so that I could focus more on the story. (Technical errors were well within the "we're all human range", although one was particularly jarring.) Despite its short length, there's enough development and depth to the story and the main characters so that the reader can understand (if not necessarily agree with) their motivations, reactions, and behaviour. The sex scenes weren't overly explicit—perhaps a notch or two above current category romances.
Although neither Lily nor Justin knew it, the instant attraction was mutual when they first met. But because Lily was already in a relationship and Justin had just started to date Lily's BFF, both tried (rather unsuccessfully) to ignore/suppress it. Now free of their significant others, Justin is hopeful about his chances with Lily but he's got some tough hurdles to overcome.
TBT, I actually liked Justin a lot more than Lily. He has been trying to do all the right things, patiently waiting in the wings. As for Lily, I understood her dilemma. Although I haven't experienced it personally, I've certainly witnessed similar situations over the years. But! But.... her determination to remain loyal seemed entirely misplaced after certain facts were revealed. Then she seemed more like a doormat, almost assuming the role of a martyr. (Her insecurities, on the other hand, were easier to understand.) Thankfully, she gets her priorities in order by the end. ^_^
Even though I personally had issues with Lily's part of the story, it wasn't too far-fetched. I also couldn't help but wonder why both of them stayed in their respective relationships once they realized that they had feelings for another person. But that's just me and despite all that, I still enjoyed MORE THAN FRIENDS enough to consider trying another book by Ms. DeVere (but maybe a longer length for the next time).