Friends become lovers in this invigorating romance set against a backdrop featuring the holiday of love. Keep reading to get a tempting glimpse of A Very Friendly Valentine’s Day by Kayley Loring, along with getting my impressions of it, then add it to your bookshelf today!
EDDIE: Cancel your dinky little roomette on the train. I’m booking us two of the big bedroom suites.
BIRDIE: I’ll cancel it AFTER you’ve booked the other sleeper rooms. And reimburse you.
EDDIE: Don’t worry about it. Just cancel your tickets. I got this. Round trip. I’m on the Amtrak website right now.
BIRDIE: You don’t have to leave NYC when I do! You’ll hardly be able to spend any time with your Instagram girlfriend that you've never met!
EDDIE: It’s fine. She’ll be fine with it. Cancel your tickets.
BIRDIE: You aren’t going to stop texting me until I’ve canceled them, are you?
EDDIE: Damn right I’m not. Just do it. You can thank me later.
EDDIE: Um. Did you cancel your tickets?
BIRDIE: Yes, Edward. I canceled them.
EDDIE: Okay, because it turns out they only had one Family Bedroom from LA to Chicago. But the good news is I booked it for us. It’s the biggest room they had. The bad news is I booked it for us. And it’s the only sleeper room they have left now.
EDDIE: In related news, there was also only one room left from Chicago to New York.
EDDIE: Hands up if you’re excited! *man raising hand emoji*
BIRDIE: I am so mad at you right now.
BIRDIE: I’ve compiled a list of ground rules re: shared train bedroom. Check your email, please read carefully, and refer to it again on the ninth of February. Thank you.
EDDIE: *nerd face emoji* Received. I have some notes.
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
This is the fourth book by Ms. Loring that I've read and she has once again crafted a winner, an entertaining romance with witty banter and a main couple whose relationship evolved from friends to lovers in a journey that kept me glued to the pages. Featuring Eddie Cannavale, a secondary character from Ms. Loring's previous holiday release who definitely caught my eye and who I found to be a delicious hero here, this was a fun and flirty read from start to finish. After the chaos and emotional turmoil of the last year this was the perfect start to a new year as it was a sweet read full of warm, feel-good moments that wrapped me up in a big ol' blanket when I needed it most.
Eddie Cannavale is a star on the rise, notorious for his sexy looks and for the attention he gets from his many female fans. Beyond the teen heartthrob facade though is a man of substance, a man with a big and caring heart. He's funny and self-deprecating, not at all the typical privileged star, and he quickly endeared himself to me as a hero with a heart of gold. He was honest and open regarding his emotions, protective of his college friend which made their transition to something more feel seamless. Readers who found his brother Declan (the hero from Ms. Loring's previous book) drool-worthy will find Eddie even more perfect as a hero who's sweet, charming, and with a talent for dirty talk!
Birdie's been friends with Eddie for six years and from the outside they appear to be opposites. Whereas he's the outgoing and larger than life teen heartthrob, she's the quirky nerd who's a bit of an introvert. She starts off showing a socially awkward side, content being on her own, but the closer she and Eddie grow the more outgoing she becomes. Through it all I found Birdie an immensely likable heroine, one with the proverbial "adorkable" personality, and I could easily call her friend while cheering her on to take a chance with Eddie. Though she and Eddie appear as opposites, they could not have formed a better bond! Their exchanges were crackling, heartwarming, charming, and frequently put a smile on my face. Their banter was witty, playful, with an undertone of flirtatiousness that built as they shared close quarters on their train ride to New York.
From start to finish this was a delightful romance full of heart with lots of flirty moments depicted through text messages, voice mails, and quiet moments of introspection and honesty. This was a fun story low on the angst while high on the sexual tension of wondering when they'll finally give into each other as their close quarters made their romance and HEA inevitable. Readers looking for a carefree, feel-good romance full of steamy encounters and funny interactions will get all that and more courtesy of Ms. Loring's talent in crafting rom-com relationships. By the turn of the final page this ended up being an entertaining and satisfying start to 2021 that has me now counting down the days until the next book by this author hits bookshelves.
My rating for this is an A-
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Before writing steamy romantic comedy novels, Kayley Loring got a BFA in creative writing from a Canadian university and had a fifteen-year career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles (under a different name). She mostly wrote PG-13 family comedies that studios would pay her lots of money for and then never make into movies. In 2017 she decided to move to the Pacific Northwest and write about all the fun stuff that she wasn't allowed to write about in those PG-13 scripts. Now she’s breathing cleaner air and writing dirtier words. It’s an adjustment she’s happily getting used to.