by Melissa Schroeder
Advanced Reading Copy
Published: September 26, 2013, Melissa Schroeder
My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐
Tess Keller hadn't expected her buddy Bran to show up on base this early. She just got off shift at the hospital and there he is, looking all gorgeous like he always does. Tess has been in love with Bran since high school but they always had been such good friends, she didn't want to mess that up. Besides he had never treated her as anything but a friend. A pilot, Bran is the type of guy Tess now avoids, all charm, all play, and anything but steady or permanent.
Having weaseled a temporary roof over his head with Tess, Bran is a little put out that she seems to have an active social life she seems intent on continuing. Not that he really has any claim, but she had always been so involved with his family and his life, he never really had considered her as dating. It didn't really sit well with him and before you know it, they are having a blow out fight over his meddling. Except, the argument ends in an even more explosive kiss.
Realizing they can't really pretend it never happened, but not quite trusting where to go with this, Tess suggest a 'friends with benefits' scenario. Bran doesn't like that idea at all, but agrees to keep Tess close at hand. He knows Tess doesn't believe he is ready to settle down, but Bran is about to show her how serious he is when it comes to having Tess.
A short but very hot and intense slice of a long-term relationship, highlighting the phase where the focus of the relationship shifted from friends to lovers.
More than most books with this trope, this particular story felt real to me.
What seemed logical was an initial slow individual adjustment period, where mainly each was trying to wrap their heads around the concept of being more to each other than just friends, and any possible consequences that would follow as a result. It then moves to the actual physical confrontation, and once that is out of the way and their mutual attraction is out in the open, Bran and Tess can openly deal with their own and each other's possible remaining misgivings. But here is where having been friends for so long should come in handy. They know each other, they can read each other, they know how to communicate. At this point they are miles ahead of other couples and the trust and comfort that they knew as friends, shouldn't be hard to recapture, except this time as lovers.
I was able to get all of that out of this novella, and feel I have gleaned all the information I need. It's complete, it is sexy as all get out, and I can't wait to read the next one in this series. This family sounds very interesting!!!
✨An intense and passionate slice of military life!!✨
**ARC courtesy of the author in return for an honest review.**