Book review: Best Friend With Benefits by B.B. Hamel

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Henry and Vivian dated in high school but broke up when Henry suddenly decided to ignore Vivian.  Years later, after both of them have finished college and are established in their careers, they find themselves working for the same news agency, with Vivian as a journalist and Henry as a producer. They don’t think much of it when they’re assigned a story about the opioid epidemic, but the small Alabama town isn’t what it seems and the story ends up being much more dangerous than either one of them expected.

I took a little break from BB Hamel since I have such a love/hate relationship with her books.  I’ve really enjoyed some of them and others have been downright disappointing, but I loved the idea of a second chance best-friends-with-benefits-type story.  Unfortunately, Vivian and Henry aren’t best friends. Like, at all.  They dated in high school but haven’t spoken for a good ten years or so when they’re reunited.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around a book called Best Friend With Benefits in which the characters are not actually best friends.

Aside from that, while the plot just sort of ambles around, the story itself feels rushed. I felt little to no connection to the characters as well as little to no chemistry between them. Usually, a BB Hamel book will have an explosive first connection between the characters. There’s usually some intense buildup to the first intimate scene, but here it just kind of happens. I was reading about Vivian and Henry having a normal discussion, and then all of a sudden they’re naked  It was kind of like, oh, I guess this is what we’re doing now… okay.  That’s never how I want to feel while I’m reading an erotic romance.

The drama, too, which is so often over-the-top in BB’s books, kind of fizzled out here.  I kept expecting more dramatic things to happen, for someone to be a villain when they seemed to be a friend or for a situation that seemed to be safe to turn bad, but everything is pretty low-key.  There’s more of a tense vibe than any sort of real tension.

Maybe it was just this particular story that didn’t work for me. I still have BB’s Prince Player on my next-up list, so I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy that one more.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆