FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Inkslinger PR.
Series: Barley Cross #1
Publisher: Smashwords (Self-Published) on December 13, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
My name is Brooke Barker...
And I'm a freaking disaster.
No, seriously. I’m a college drop-out working a dead-end job, my best friend Carly’s dog gets more action than I do, and I have more bad dates in my diary than there are movie remakes.
Not to mention I'm completely and utterly in love with Cain Elliott.
The problem? He’s in a relationship. With a girl who’s so plastic she makes Barbie cry herself to sleep with jealousy.
The second problem? He's my best friend.
My shut-up-and-put-on-Harry-Potter, yes-this-is-your-shirt, help-I-have-no-power, crap-I’m-out-of-tampons, kinda best friend.
And that’s all he can be, right?
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Being Brooke by Emma Hart
Brooke has a serious problem, and it’s more than just her complete failure at being a responsible adult. Pining away for her best friend Cain over the last several years is getting her nowhere, especially since he’s dating a Barbie doll perfect woman who can’t stand Brooke at all. But her friendship with Cain is a deep one, and she wouldn’t risk it for anything in the world, not even to save her breaking heart.
Judging Covers: Once again, I was sucked in by a book’s cover. I’m not sure what it is about this one that caught my eye, but the second I saw it, I knew it would be a fun read. One look at the synopsis, and I was a goner.
The Verdict: Brooke is an awesome character, and even though I can’t necessarily relate to her physical and verbal clumsiness, her chaotic internal dialogue had me laughing till the very end. She internally verbalizes pretty much every panicked thought one can have when trying to navigate early adulthood, not to mention all the craziness she’s trying (and usually failing) to contain as she watches her best friend get more serious with the woman he’s been dating.
Cain, despite the fact that he’s dating someone else, is just about perfect. He loves Brooke for who she is, trainwreck and all, and he prioritizes their friendship even to the detriment of his current relationship. He’s always there for Brooke, usually trying to contain his laughter, as she stumbles through life as a college drop-out and general clutz. From pizza to Harry Potter to not even flinching as Brooke causes one disaster after another, he’s the perfect guy. Throw in some swoon-worthy muscles and a teasing smirk, and he’s pretty much the book boyfriend.
While romance definitely the theme of Being Brooke, the laugh-out-loud humor throughout the story is just as worth reading in one long span. Even the most serious moments are sprinkled with laughter, and when it comes to Brooke’s string of never ending mistakes and second guessing, we’ve all been there. I love that she didn’t just spill her guts to Cain and hope for the best, and even better is that he didn’t play into that old trope, either. Neither one of them seemed to have a clue what they were doing as they crossed from friendship to something more, and if that’s not realistic, I don’t know what is.
Really, the only thing I didn’t like about the story was the fade-to-black, and my biggest issue with it is that it seemed so out of place. Thanks to the language and sexually-tinged jokes throughout the story, it’s by no means clean, so naturally I expected all that build-up would lead to one hell of a bedroom scene. Unfortunately, that part was simply glossed over, and while I wasn’t necessarily looking for erotica, I was looking for some kind of conclusion instead of a jump to four months later. Not really happy with that let-down.
Still, Being Brooke by Emma Hart is a romantic comedy not to be missed. When you’re not falling in love with Cain alongside Brooke, you’re laughing at her daily disasters and self-deprecating narration. And don’t even get me started on Grandpa! Being Brooke is humorous romance at its best, somehow avoiding all the usual drama and angst that goes along with falling for a best friend and instead delivering intense chemistry, awesome secondary characters, and a sweet story of love finally requited.
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