This was the book I didn’t know I was looking for!
What was the book about?
Kennedy Ryan loves her friends except for the annoying free-spirited Brooke Kennedy. Her best friends seem to love Brooke, though, so she puts up with her presence.
Brooke doesn’t really know why she rubs Kennedy up the wrong way, but it has never been intentional. All she knows is Kennedy Ryan is gorgeous and always in a bad mood when it comes to Brooke. But being together is part and parcel of maintaining her friendship with her besties, so they both grin and bear each other.
So when they are stuck in a cabin together, and Kennedy realises she has never really given Brooke a chance. Can they start fresh as friends now? Brooke is willing to try as long as she can keep her attraction to Kennedy at bay.
Friendship is one thing, but what are these feelings Kennedy is suddenly having? And why does she want to fill her days with Brooke when only a few short months ago she couldn’t think of anything worse?
Enemies to Lovers, Friends to lovers, Slow Burn, Bisexual/Pansexual Protag, Toaster oven, Oh! the Chemistry
Someone asked on Facebook recently, “What are you looking for in WLW fiction?” and my answer was “More story less angst!” and oh my, this book was just that. I loved everything about it, which was surprising because I am not always into slow-burn romances, but this book just stole my heart. It is one hundred per cent (in my opinion) the best book Monica McCallan has ever written.
I loved Brooke and her warmth and kindness. Her life is a bit chaotic, but I think that is about embracing as many possibilities as possible. I actually saw a lot of myself in Brooke. I loved being inside her head and how she was trying to keep herself from falling for Kennedy.
Kennedy was my favourite character. She seemed so stern initially, but what was underneath was a fierce protector, a loyal friend, and so much love that I felt myself just wanting her on every page. Her growth and acknowledgement of her past bad behaviours towards Brooke were actually endearing. She was probably just as loving and warm as Brooke, but her emotional walls hid it. She was most definitely my book crush.
Monica’s storytelling in this book was just superb. And if it’s the start of a new series, then I am even more impressed. Usually, the first book in a series sets up the central love story and the relationships surrounding them that will be spotlighted in the next book or books. But Monica built a world around them adaptable for more stories while still holding her laser focus on Brooke and Kennedy’s romance.
The epilogue in this book is officially one of my all-time favourites. It felt like a warm hug that just tied everything up in a big bow. So I was overwhelmed by the ending that I was glad I had the tissues handy.
When you look up soulmates in the dictionary, Brooke and Kennedy’s photo is a reference. They were meant to be together without a doubt. So even when they don’t want anything to do with each other, you can still feel the underlying tension. It’s really lovely to watch it all unfold.
This is a slow burn, so the sex scene is closer to the end and very sexy! But honestly, what got me were the moments of pure love and vulnerability between them. I don’t think I have ever called a sex scene beautiful before, but it really was. Filled with so much emotion and love. I’m tearing up writing this… Just thinking about Brooke and Kennedy’s connection.
🔥 🔥 🔥
Feeling a little overwhelmed with how much I adored this book. If you are looking for something to get you in the feels, then this book is for you. Also, there is a puppy? Who doesn’t love a romance with a puppy?
When I’m With You is most definitely the best book Monica McCallan has ever written. She excels at character development and keeping the reader invested in the character journey. This goes straight into my all-time favourite folder!