Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother-announcing he's already engaged to Audrey. But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings.
While the story’s high-society setting and rom-com premise embue it with plenty of frothy fun, Audrey’s sadness and self-doubt, along with Clarke’s own insecurities as the child of parents who don’t quite seem to know how to show love to anyone, give it depth. Thankfully, they have each other, and the strength of their friendship helps them heal enough to realize not just that they’ve been in love all along, but that they deserve the happiness they’ve found together. Warm and heartfelt, this story conveys author Lauren Layne’s real affection for her characters as they overcome the past and build a beautifully messy, perfectly imperfect future.
... can be read as a stand-alone since enough holes are filled to bring readers who missed the other titles up to speed. As in the best friends-to-lovers story, sparks start to fly with each staged kiss, touch, or handhold. This light read will keep readers engaged as they follow Audrey as she tries to keep her feelings under wraps while being in the internet spotlight. Perfect for fans of Hannah Orenstein’s Love at First Like (2019).
... an unapologetic celebration of materialism and name brands. If you don’t want to read about someone’s Louboutins and how well they match said individual’s Stella McCarthy cocktail dress, then read something else. This book happened to catch me in peak escapist mode so I enjoyed it, and yet in a different frame of mind, I could just as easily have wanted to throw it across the room ... Materialism aside I have to say that this book is very fun, with good dialogue, a focus on friendship, and likeable — if exasperating — characters. The failure of Audrey and Clarke to communicate is frustrating but also, given the high stakes of their eternal friendship, plausible. The book succeeds largely on the fact that they really are good friends, with a nice lived-in relationship makes a good bedrock for a romantic relationship ... beyond that, there’s just no substance. It’s all frosting and no cake. At the end of the day Audrey and Clarke are rich people with no awareness of their privilege and no particular urge to use their advantages to help others. They each get a small amount of character growth but not a lot. At the beginning they are friends and at the end they are married (I guess that’s a spoiler but it’s a romance so you knew that was coming). Whoopee. I enjoyed it and I forgot it. However, I did love the idea of the pact that forms the series – three women refusing to let a guy make them enemies and instead becoming a family. It’s a medium book and an excellent pact.