Release Date: September 9th, 2022
Here’s the thing — Mack has been Chase’s best friend for half her life, and they’ve always been platonic with a capital P. He’s also her business partner, and without question the best person she’s ever met. And Chase? She’s a self confessed disaster; she works too much, considers curly fries a food group, and might have an unhealthy dependency on iced coffee and whiskey. Then there’s her relationship history, which leans more towards tragic backstory than happily ever after.
An unexpected kiss turns their friendship—and Chase’s world—on its head. She’s pretty sure crossing that particular line was a mistake, but saying no to Mack has never been easy. So when he asks for one date, to show her what they could be, Chase agrees. She tells herself, and him, that it will only be one. One date and they go back to friends and pretend the whole unfortunate incident never happened. She won’t be agreeing to a second, or a third and definitely not five.
Because five dates with your best friend can only be a bad idea… right?
As a sucker for friends to lovers, and also a fan of Erin’s debut last year, I was super stoked to dive into this one. And it was such a fun and entertaining read. There was so much to love about this book and even though at times I did feel like things were dragging a little, it always seemed to pick itself back up and deliver another punch of feels to the gut! And if you’ve read The Wedding Planners, then you’ve already met Chase and Mack. And if like me, you’ve been itching for their story, it’s finally…almost here!
Five Dates Between Friends has:
✨ best friends to lovers
✨ mutual pining
✨ he does fall first, though
✨ food as a love language
✨ they own and run a bar together
✨ some really entertaining friends
✨ new york!
✨ bit of a slow burn too
✨ five really interesting and glorious dates
✨ a good dose of sexy times
Let me start by saying that Chase and Mack were so much fun. Between their shared history and the stuff they know about each other and the friendship and the banter—it was all so wonderful and such a good time. I loved that we got to learn so much about these two people who played a pretty big role in Erin’s first book and to see them really evolve from these secondary characters that first time around into something more was such a blast. It’s always so fascinating to see how authors will take a trope like friends to lovers and whip it into something different from what’s been done before and there were moments when I felt like maybe it would be predictable, but I like that Erin kept me on my toes.
“One date. Just you and me.”
“And how will that be different to every other time we hang out?”
“Because I’ll be kissing you at the end of it.”
Mack’s been hopelessly in love with Chase since they were in high school together, but he’s valued her friendship above all else, so he’s kept his mouth shut about it. But when things start to change and he finds himself unable to stay silent about it any longer, he makes his move. Chase is skittish about relationships and struggles to believe that she’s worth it, so Mack’s advances and little teases throw her off completely. But at the same time, she finds herself wanting all of that and so much more. So Mack suggests they go on a date and everything starts to change.
The great thing about this trope is that the characters know each other pretty well, so planning dates with all this information stored in his brain was great. I loved how personal every date was and how much detail and thought went into the littlest of things. Their banter and chemistry was fun, I enjoyed watching the two of them navigate this brand new part of their relationship and even though there were times when I wanted to bonk Chase over the head, I did (to an extent) understand where she was coming from with all of her struggles.
“The connection we had was more than I had ever experienced. Not surprising, when we’d known one another for so long. It was more than that, though, more than just history. There was a synchronicity, an understanding, a deep, unwavering rightness.”
Unlike the first book, this one takes some time to start building up to all of that smut and I kinda liked the fact that for a while, they were depriving themselves of what they wanted. But once they crossed that line, Erin did not hold back! Hot and beautiful, their steamy scenes were beautiful and I absolutely devoured every minute of them together. And every time Chase crawled into Mack’s lap, I knew we were going to be treated to something hot.
There are some really great emotional moments too, where Mack and Chase connect and talk. I loved the scenes where they just dug deep and talked about everything and nothing all at once. There’s this conversation they have in Chapter 26 where Chase talks about herself and how she doesn’t have anything outside of the job at the bar and it felt so real and raw and I loved that. I loved that they turned to each other when they needed a little assurance, but also just for comfort all at the same time.
Also, be prepared that by the end of this book, you will be craving food. Especially pie.
Thanks to Erin Thomson for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.