Almost Just Friends
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Jill Shalvis’ romance poignantly explores the complicated nature of sibling relationships. After their parents died, Piper Manning took on the role of raising her younger brother and sister. Now, she finally can focus on her dream of becoming a physician’s assistant, but then her siblings return home, one just out of rehab and the other pregnant. Luckily, Piper’s new (and handsome) neighbor is there to support her as she grapples with her responsibilities and aspirations. Shalvis excels at depicting the type of human connections that can both heal and break your heart. We appreciated the book’s message: Don’t neglect self-care or ignore your own growth!
Shalvis (The Lemon Sisters) unites two people healing from emotional trauma in this tender contemporary. EMT Piper Manning is reluctantly celebrating her 30th birthday at a bar in her hometown of Wildstone, Calif., when she meets her neighbor's 32-year-old son, Cam Hayes, a DEA agent. The attraction between them ignites during a particularly stormy night, but Piper is reluctant to let anyone get too close to her. After her parents died, she raised her younger siblings, Winnie and Gavin; they've recently moved out and she's ready to live life on her own terms. Cam is also reeling from his younger brother's recent death and not sure how to connect with civilians. Then Piper's siblings come back home, seeking comfort from their sister but reluctant to admit the ways their lives have fallen apart. Piper's relationship with Cam heats up, but she's afraid that coming to rely on him will further hamper her quest for independence. Believable, realistic characters are at the heart of this novel. Shalvis will immediately grab the reader's attention with a strong heroine and caring connection between two wounded souls.
What an interesting and different romance read!
What an interesting and different romance read! I have to admit; I started off really confused at the beginning of this story, but as the storyline continued the pieces started to connect together. Piper is the foundation of her family that consists of her two siblings. After her parents and then grandparents pass away, she takes on the role of parent to her brother and sister, although she was parenting them long before then. Finally attempting to take control of her life and make decisions for herself, her siblings return home with their own set of secrets that finally come to light. Through those secrets being revealed these siblings are able to heal from not only their pasts, but the decisions they’ve made in life so far. This story was definitely a little prolonged for me, I felt that it was long-winded and definitely could have been shortened down but overall it wasn’t necessarily a romance book but rather focused on the family bond. With that being said, I was definitely happy for both Piper and her brother for finding love, but I wish we got an update on her sister and what happened with her HEA and if she ever got one.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Permanently on her bucket list?
Turning 30 isn't the end of the world but a surprise birthday party where she is the center of attention may actually be the end of the world for her. As evidenced by the fact that Piper continues to write in her bucket list and journal, something she has done her whole life. Her bucket list is now expanding as she is able to finally pursue her dream of becoming a physician's assistant since her siblings are finally grown and she no longer needs to take care of them.
At the birthday party, the new "hot guy" in town is there but Piper is not interested in any of this but little does she realize that "hot guy", also known as Cam have a man in common.
Cam is in town to take care of his dad and also deal with the grief of losing his brother. Little does Piper know that when she does her daily check on her diabetic neighbor Emmitt, that her world is about to completely change.
In Almost Just Friends, read the story of how both Cam and Piper end up finding themselves and maybe possibly each other. I particularly loved all the details present and the glimpses into the lives of the family members of Cam and Piper, especially her siblings.
As always, Ms. Shalvis does it again and you won't go wrong in this next installment of the Wildstone series. Maybe this is the time for Piper to let go of the planner? Or is it that Cam is now a permanent "bullet" point in her planner and the one that will take care of the items listed on her secret bucket list?
Amazing family story
Family circumstances caused both Piper and Cam to grow up and be responsible for others at a young age. For Cam is was helping monitor his mother’s illness. For Piper it was helping raise her siblings. After living those rolls for many years it is hard for them to have a different, more equal relationship with their family members. Trusting each other in a relationship is unexpected for both of them. Falling in love is the last thing they wanted to happen.
This story is a slight departure from other Jill Shalvis’ books. This one includes a few love stories, not all of them “traditional” romances. I enjoyed reading about the various relationships and their varied dynamics. A dark back story and heavy emotions also feels different from Shalvis’ other books. The character’s flaws make them more real and they have a deeper connection to each other.