Synopsis from Goodreads
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Wildstone with the touching story of finding your place in the world—and the people who make it home.
Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.
When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.
Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.
Find the first chapter Excerpt HERE
I am utter awe of the depth of characterisation Jill Shalvis has woven into Almost Just Friends. The third-person narrative is a necessary device in order to deliver the number of viewpoints we get throughout the narrative giving a 360 degree perspective of each character.
While the main story revolves around Piper, the oldest of the Manning siblings, there are also sub-plots surrounding the other members of the family, Gavin and Winnie.
Piper has had a lot to cope with from a young age, having lost their parents when Piper was only 13, she stepped into the role of the parent as well as sibling, putting her own hopes and dreams on the backburner to take care of her brother and sister. Unfortunately, this also changed the dynamic of their relationship as well as Piper herself living within a self-imposed purgatory.
The characters are realistically flawed and utterly endearing. The character development throughout Almost Just Friends will amaze you. I loved the way in which each individual idiosyncrasy was relatable and an intrinsic part of the characters.
The romance was amazing and for Piper completely unexpected. Having closed herself off to ensure no-one else could stand between her and her future or hurt her if she lost them, she has a lot of work to do in order to deal with the emotional baggage that has basically been festering within her from her teen years.
Cam is the stuff dreams are made of, but not only that he is a genuine and honest person who works hard to get the things he wants and what he wants is Piper.
I adored the way in which both Piper and Cam’s family blended together including the acceptance of the moments of crazy.
Almost Just Friends will have you swooning as well as shedding a few tears here and there, but it will also make you realise that life is messy and there is no way to protect yourself from the mess so just enjoy it while you can ❤