Author: R.S. Grey
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 | Steam: 🔥🔥🔥
Tropes: Friend to Enemies to Lovers. Second Chance Romance, Fake Relationship
Trigger/Content Warnings: None
Release Date: November 5th, 2020
Synopsis: I’m good at hiding my feelings.
Having to pretend I’m not in love with my best friend?
Pfft. That’s child’s play.
Here’s how I do it: I avert my eyes when he walks out of his room, shirtless in all his toned glory. I squash the butterflies that fill my stomach every time he slowly unfurls a dimpled smile. And, most importantly, I keep an arsenal of “personal massagers” in my bedside drawer. Wink.
Not to brag, but Aiden Smith isn’t hard to resist if you’ve been doing it for as long as I have. In fact, we might have continued as best friends forever if not for the fact that I needed him to play the part of my fake boyfriend.
Date me like you mean it, I told him. Nudge nudge. C’mon, just go along with a little lie, help a girl out, and then we can all return to life as we know it.
Except he veered from the plan.
He crossed the line.
Flirting with me when no one else was around? Pinning me down and kissing me like that? Okay, how exactly is taking off my bra part of the ruse, Aiden?!
I’d ask him about it if I could, but well…things got ugly and we’re not best friends anymore.
In fact, we’re the exact opposite.
Now, I have to play nice even though I want to crush his heart in the palm of my hand.
Pretending not to love Aiden was the easy part.
Pretending not to hate him?
Well…I might need a little more practice.
Review: My last few experiences with R.S. Grey books have left me disappointed, so it’s safe to say that I went into this with a little hesitation. The blurb was fun and interesting and I’m all for romantic comedies with an enemies to lovers twist. Let me just say that I was very happily and pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book. If you’ve read R.S. Grey before, you know that she has a knack for romantic comedies, so to get a feeling of the books I read when I was first introduced to her made this all the better an experience.
“In the beginning, when my crush was a tiny thing I could mostly ignore, it wasn’t so bad if I saw him with another girl. Now, that crush has ballooned to fill every chamber of my heart so that every beat reminds me he’s the one I want. He’s not supposed to date someone else. He’s supposed to be with me.”
In Maddie and Aiden, Grey has created two very interesting characters. Sure, Aiden is your quintessential hot guy who is best friends with a girl that is in love with him, but he’s actually really interesting. I love that he’s a journalist and one that goes out and travels the world to find his stories. To get recognised by the Times is no small feat, even in fiction! For a while there, I was incredibly confused by Maddie’s job, but the more we got to see what she did for a living, the more you grow to appreciate the amount of work she puts in. And together, they are pretty amazing, not going to lie. Even when they’re just friends, there’s something there that just sets the page on fire.
Date Me Like You Mean It is split into two parts – one where Maddie and Aiden are best friends and living together and the other where they’re enemies and haven’t seen each other in a year.
“You’re the person I want to be with. Okay? Through the bad times and the good. You’re my best friend.”
The sexual tension throughout the book is delicious, but the second half of the book is really where the story lies. Maddie and Aiden have both been feeling the same way for years, they just chose not to address the elephant in the room in hopes that it would all just fall into place eventually. Little do they know that that’s not how adulting or any of this works, really. And when they take that physical leap, it’s so fantastic. I mean…I don’t blame them for not being able to keep their hands off of each other, it’s been building up for years! Every kiss, every stroke, every accidental brush of skin against skin and the page is on fire.
Aiden and Maddie have A+ banter. Having known each other long enough, that’s expected. They are hilarious together and even after being apart for so long, when they’re together again, it’s like nothing ever happened. It’s so great to find characters who have this natural chemistry and that’s something I’ve always loved about R.S. Grey’s writing – everything fits together so nicely like a puzzle, even the bad and hard stuff.
Thanks to R.S. Grey and Inkslinger PR for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.