Just Friends To...Just Married by Renee Roszel
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This is one to read if you like friends to lovers romances. Jax was too adorable. I loved him. He was stone cold in love with Kim for many years. She was his neighbor who brought joy to his lonely life when he was a geeky teen. He fell in love with her, but she only saw him as a friend, or so they both thought. He's tired of her running to him when she gets her heart broken by another man, and brushing him off as just her best friend. He wants more. So, he goes away to Chicago for school and stays there. But, Kim comes running to him again when her live-in lover leaves her because he wants marriage and she doesn't. This time, Jax is ready to get her out of his life for good, so he can finally mend the hole in his heart.
Kim was very frustrating to me. I think she was a nice person, but she was very insensitive about Jax's feelings. She had put him in the 'friend' box because of her mammoth fears of commitment from her mother's many marriages and relationships. She was afraid to pursue a romantic involvement with Jax because she couldn't bear the thought of that destroying their closeness, since they'd inevitably fight and break-up. But, in the process, she hurt him again and again. This book has a heavy POV from Jax's perspective, which made the book for me. If it was just from Kim's, I think I would have given up, because I didn't like her. I can understand how her mother's mistakes scarred her, but I felt like she needed to grow up. If she could commit to living with a man that she merely liked for two years, I didn't see why she couldn't consider marriage and a committed relationship with a man she truly loved, who had never let her down, Jax. Love is taking risks, but those risks pay off when you meet the 'one', who loves you so much that he puts your needs first, almost always. That was Jax. She seemed willing to allow herself to get into passionate relationships with the wrong men easily, so long as she could keep her heart uninvolved. It wasn't that much of a jump for her to take a chance with Jax who was definitely the right man. Kim definitely lacked some maturity, in my opinion.
In contrast, Jax did the right thing, again and again, even though it hurt him. He was all you could ask for in a guy. It was very painful to see him suffering, and knowing that Kim was so clueless. I was glad that his friend and business-partner did some heavy meddling to throw them together so that Jax could sleep with her and get her out of his system. Not for the same reasons, per se. Because it really gave Kim a wake-up call about how she truly felt about Jax. But, being an emotional coward, Kim does a runner. It would have served her right if Jax wrote her off. But he goes after her, and it turns out to be a good thing. She's so lucky to have this guy. Hopefully she will realize just how lucky she is at some point in the future.
If you don't mind a book where you want to slap some sense into the heroine, so long as you can enjoy a splendidly great hero, you might enjoy this book. Especially if you're a fan of the friends to lovers theme. Because Kim was such a pain, I'd give this book a 3.5/5.0 star rating .
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