I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Most Likely To #1
Published by Macmillan on March 14th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Purchase Links: Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound
ADD TO GOODREADS:
Seven minutes in heaven never felt so good...
Valerie Barkin and Alec Rogers survived bullies, awful parents, and seriously shitty social standing the only way best friends can—together. But with the unexpected sexual tension suddenly flaring between them, surviving their ten-year high school reunion might be a different story...
Val hasn’t changed. She still feels like the stringy-haired band geek the popular kids teased, but Alec has definitely changed. He’s now the front man for the Grammy-winning rock band Chronic Disharmony, with the sexual reputation to match. And he’s more than willing to help Val rock the reunion.
And then it happens—a drunken game of Seven Minutes in Heaven—and their fourteen-years-long foreplay comes crashing to the forefront...changing everything.
Seven minutes turns into a weekend of mind-blowing, no-strings-attached sex. But these best friends won't be able to leave their hearts out of it forever, not when the most meaningful benefit could change their relationship for good.
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It’s no coincidence that some of my favorite fictional couples started as friends before making the (terrifying) leap to a romantic relationship. The friends to lovers trope is an all-time favorite of mine. From Ron and Hermione in the Harry Potter books and movies to Oliver and Felicity of the CW’s Arrow TV series, the journey from best friends to more is fraught with anxiety, tension, and vulnerability. Alec and Valerie, the romantic protagonists of author Candy Sloane’s sexy new release, Best Friends with Benefits, perfectly demonstrate why falling in love (and lust) with your best friend is so scary — and ultimately so rewarding.
Despite what Harry told Sally in the iconic film all those years ago, men and women can just be friends (look no further than Kate and Leo as a prime example). However, sometimes, a connection can begin to develop that goes far beyond the initial emotional bond friendship. Finding yourself attracted to a close friend can be unnerving. What if they don’t like you that way? What if it’s one-sided?
Then again, maybe it’s mutual and there’s unresolved sexual tension leaking all over the place — but making the move to a physical relationship could mean risking the friendship.
Best Friends with Benefits deals with both of these fears head on. Being inseparable all throughout high school, best friends Alec and Valerie have worked hard to maintain their connection in the ten years since graduation. With true affection —and the help of FaceTime and texts— they have been able to weather time and distance, rifts and career changes. However, their high school reunion marks the first time they are actually in the same room in ten years. Their deep-seated emotional connection is now complicated by an immediate, and mutual, visceral physical and sexual attraction.
Despite international success as a rock musician and current Rolling Stone cover boy, Alec is, at his core, still an abused boy longing for safety. Alec uses his sex-god status to avoid emotional connection since he doesn’t believe in marriage and commitment (given his family life, it’s understandable). Being used to meaningless (but great sex), Alex initially figures he can manage have sex with Valerie without it causing irreparable harm to their friendship. Silly man! Soon, Alec wonders if maybe he isn’t a forever kind of guy, as long as forever is with Valerie. But what if he isn’t worthy of her? Or worse, what if she doesn’t want him beyond a quickie in secret? Insecurity can cripple anyone when their heart is on the line.
Valerie knew she missed her chance with Alec ten years ago, but she knew a relationship wasn’t in the cards for them. Val still sees herself as the quiet, awkward band geek even though she has grown into a stunning, talented woman. On the verge of achieving her dream position with the London Philharmonic, love with her famous best friend is the last thing Valerie expected. Of course Alec loves her as a friend, but why would he ever consider giving up a smorgasbord of groupies for someone like her? Val’s risk-averse nature almost ruins her chance for happiness —and some SERIOUSLY sexy fun.
The problem with self-denial, is, once the flood gates open there can be no going back.
Unable to resist their attraction, Alex and Val finally give in to their physical needs, and have mercy, is it ever satisfying. Deciding they can handle a weekend affair, Alec and Val embark on a ‘friends with benefits’ farce arrangement. The communication between Alec and Val is always honest, being honest with themselves is the problem. With humor and vulnerability, Alec and Val find their way.
Finding your other half is nerve-racking and overwhelming and all together perfect, especially when they’ve always been right beside you.
Author Candy Sloane skillfully explores the pitfalls, and joy, of sharing your body with the person who shares your heart. Best Friends with Benefits earns its place among the most satisfying friends to lovers stories.
Excerpt from Best Friends with Benefits (NSFW)
He shouldn’t want this. She was his best friend. But he couldn’t stop.
Even in the dark, he could sense her curves. Ample breasts just begging for a skimpy tank top, her ass plump in that tight little skirt and insistent for a strong squeeze, or a smack if she was being naughty.
The way her gaze locked and her breath met the speed of his own as he erased the last bit of space between them, he was sure she was naughty. Very naughty. That she would welcome the palm of his hand.
And just like that, his best friend had made him hard.
“I don’t hear anything in there,” Randy Tines yelled from outside the door.
“I think we’re supposed to be kissing,” Alec said, his cock so rigid he thought she could feel it through his pants.
“You mean each other?”
“We could just make kissing noises,” he suggested, thinking of his lips teasing along the inside of her collar, biting off button after button of her shirt and spitting them out like watermelon seeds.
Hell yeah, he wanted to kiss her, her lips and her neck and the little spot behind her knee that she had been kneading as they drove here. He knew it was crazy, he knew it was wrong, but he wanted to be the guy to fuck Mr. Peanut out of her.
“Like this?” She pressed her hand to her lips and pretended to make out with it, her eyes on him as her tongue slicked over her skin.
His stomach rumbled in pure sexual hunger. One thing was for sure—all that flute practice had been good for a lot more than music.
“That sounds completely fake,” he scoffed. Though considering the way his cock fought against the fabric of his pants, that was not entirely true.
Her bottom lip lay open against the inside of her palm.
“You think you could do better?”
He yanked her hand to his lips before she could protest, before he could consider. He kissed it lightly at first, soft and drugging, slid the tip of his tongue up to her wrist, until he hit the buttoned cuff. “Maybe it should be me.” The words spilled out against the soft-as-sin fabric.
“Maybe I should be the one to fuck you like you deserve.”
Val didn’t reply, just breathed out more peppermint, hot peppermint against the skin of his face. Her eyes smoldered with want. It was clear she felt it, too, the heat between them, the confusing, beautiful, delicious heat.
He grabbed her forearm and drew her closer, slanting in to her chest. The shock of their bodies against each other caused them both to freeze. Not even a breath passed between them, but he knew exactly what he needed to do.
He clenched the back of her head, and his lips dipped to her neck, dripping down her skin like melting ice. Fuck, he had to taste her. He opened his mouth, and his tongue lapped at her tender skin.
“Alec,” she breathed.
“Follow my lead.” He couldn’t stop, though she certainly didn’t seem like she was asking him to. If anything, she was yielding to him. He trailed a finger down the center of her neck, playing with the top button of her shirt, pausing so he could think. Ten years. He could have gone to see her so many times. He hadn’t at first because of how they’d left things after graduation, and then because their careers got in the way and they had both gotten into the routine of being like pen pals, but maybe he had really been avoiding their attraction.
There was no avoiding it now. There was no thinking.
She needed this, and he was going to give it to her.
About Author Candy Sloane
Candy Sloane is a pseudonym for a Young Adult & New Adult author who needed to write some naughty books her mother couldn’t read. She lives in Portland, OR and loves Lifetime movies. She would tell you more, but this persona is a secret.