Best friends will do anything for each other won’t they, just like sisters except more so because they choose to be together? At least that’s how Emma and Layne’s friendship seems to work at the start of Donna Small’s novel Just Between Friends. And, just as best friends are meant to know everything about each other, the author invites us into all the details of Emma and Layne’s thoughts as their friendship is tested by romance.
Emma loves Andy, but Layne is marrying Andy. When Layne’s marriage proves less exciting than the latest romantic fiction, then who should she turn to but Emma for advice, and help, and cover, and anything else she can think of? Great dialog keeps the story flowing, while long internal debates reiterate the past, going over all the reasons why Emma’s got to be the perfect best friend. There’s some head-hopping, because best friends and lovers should always be able to tell what their companions are thinking. And there’s lots of detail, because best friends know everything. In the end, there’s even a satisfying resolution to a story that defies genre, mixing romance and family drama with a tale of guilt and forgiveness. Not one for the cynical, and a fairly slow read, Just Between Friends should satisfy readers who like their romance touched with broken hearts and BFF friendship.
Disclosure: I got a free ecopy through the publisher’s book club.