Thank you to Lauren Blakely and her team for the advance reader copy of Plays Well With Others, the second standalone novel in the How to Date series.
This story is so damn adorable. Perfect for fans of both friends-to-lovers and fake dating!!
I am a Lauren Blakley review team member, but I remain honest and genuine in my reviews.
Am I fake dating my best friend? Hear me out…
So I’m throwing myself a breakup party, a glittery fete where I envision I’ll lift a glass and celebrate being free and single again.
What I actually do: Drink too much champagne and blurt out to my best guy friend that I’d really like to get back on the horse.
But what I truly don’t expect is Carter’s answer – he volunteers as tribute.
With his sinful brown eyes and too-good-to-be-true body it’d be no hardship for me to say yes, though I certainly don’t want him to feel obligated to, um, service me, just because my failed, loveless marriage was a s-e-x desert.
But since the charming and confident pro football star owes five public dates to his dating app sponsor, we make a deal to help each other out.
Pretty soon, our public how to date lessons turn into, ahem, very private ones. And I’m a star student, graduating quickly from flirty banter and lingering looks to toe-curling, sheet-grabbing, mind-blowing hours of physical education.
The problem? Turns out learning to date again feels a lot like the real thing. Can our friendship withstand all these late-night bedroom sessions?
Especially since I’m suddenly longing for my best friend and there’s nothing fake about my feelings…
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: Rachel, our heroine is a recent divorcee, after having left her toxic husband, the man who she thought would be the father of her children after she found his business trips were him visiting his secret second family. She is so relatable to anyone who has ever felt unsure about finding love and feeling worthy of adoration. Enter her best friend, Carter. They had been close friends since high school and are now back in the same city again after a while, ready to rekindle that friendship. The NFL player had a few exes but nothing was too serious. He too is deserving of using his great boyfriend skills on someone.
- Setting: This is Lauren Blakley’s San Francisco so lots of cute cameos from characters you will recognize. This includes Carter’s brother Axel and his girlfriend Hazel from My So-Called Sex Life.
- Pacing: I found myself intrigued by this story right away, which is a change from the pacing I am used to with Lauren’s recent work. It was a refreshing change to not have to put in a few chapters before getting attached to the story. I did find it lost some momentum near the third act though.
- Romance: What pulled me in right away was the tension between the characters. I am not as big on friends-to-lovers (I am usually more of an enemies-to-lovers girlie) but these two were adorable with their feelings and hot with their actions. Damn, Lauren Blakley treated us to some hot sex scenes. I found I got so emotionally invested in them too, the fans the characters had in the book, they also made one in real life.
Plays Well With Others receives four out of five stars.
You can pick up the story here.
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Thank you again to Lauren and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!