4 Hints You Love Your Best Friend
Author: Kelly Siskind
What I’m Talking About:
Cal has been in love with his best friend Jolene since he was a teen. But his need to make his family happy always overshadows his own happiness. So when his older brother Jake asked if he can date her, Cal didn’t tell him his true feelings for Jolene. Then after two years, Cal could no longer handle his jealousy so he spread a rumor to break them up. And then his family was put into WITSEC for 12 years.
4 Hints You Love Your Best Friend is the fourth romance from the Bower Boys series about a family of five boys and their mom who was placed into protective custody for twelve years and are returning to their hometown to reconnect with friends and rekindle romances. Cal is the middle brother and tends to make peace and take care of his family and friends. The catch, he doesn’t want them to know, so he has a spy and does a lot of managing from behind the curtain.
Now that the Bowers are back in Windfall, Cal thinks he needs to put Jake and Jo back together, despite is own feelings for her. Cal continues to meddle in the lives of those around him, working to manipulate the pair back together. The problem is that sometimes his good deeds backfire, and as his anxiety grows because of his conflicted feelings for Jo and the need to please his brother, he gets irrational and makes mistakes. The frustrating thing is that the issues he causes could have mostly been avoided if he’d just stop, think, and communicate. While I found most of his gestures loving, I became increasingly frustrated with Cal and honestly grew a bit apathetic to his plight because he just digs himself deeper and deeper by not talking about his true feelings.
After trying to avoid Jo when he got back to town, Cal is forced to deal with Jo when he agrees to let her live in his spare room while her apartment is being repaired. Every once and a while, Cal would forget about his brother and just be himself around Jolene, allowing their bond to reform and strengthen. I loved when they were playful and having fun without worrying about the outside world. In these scenes, I found myself routing for the pair. I understood why they are perfect for each other. Once the truth of their mutual feelings is out, Cal and Jolene have some perfect moments together. Years of pent up emotions make these new moments extra amazing.
So here’s my biggest issue: Cal is buried in so many layers of manipulation and anxiety that he continues to be his own worse enemy. I struggled to like him once he continued to both hide things (hoping the truth wouldn’t be discovered) and make assumptions about how other people feel (reacting poorly to that). It went on too long, and I found it hard to believe him when he promises “it won’t happen again,” especially since he expressed that more than once.
I also struggled with the minor plotline bringing together Jake and future love interest Larkin. The author is clearly setting up her next book, which is fine, but Larkin’s animosity towards Jake is constantly brought up and sometimes overshadows Cal and Jolene. Additionally, the reason for the hate is not shared (because it’s probably being saved for the next title), and I found the constant reminders of her dislike without a reason annoying.
In the end, I enjoy most of 4 Hints You Love Your Best Friend and found Cal and Jolene to be a great match. I loved their romance when Cal was fully present and not worrying about his schemes, but when he was plotting and planning, I struggled to enjoy Cal.
My Rating: B/B-
About the Book:
I am NOT in love with my brother’s ex.
We’re just temporary roommates.
Jolene Daniels is my best friend. Sorry…was. She was my best friend a lifetime and ten years of witness protection ago. Now that I’ve returned to my hometown, Jolene and I are once again hanging out.
I do not fantasize about the time we fell asleep in the tree house we built, and I woke up with her tucked against my aching chest. I don’t replay the days we raced through the woods, nothing but carefree adventure and laughter filling the air.
Nope. We’re just old pals, and I’m thrilled to have her back in my life. Of course, I notice how stunning she is, but it’s fine.
Until her apartment floods and she temporarily moves into my place. In the room beside mine. Nothing but a thin wall between us. She also walks around in flimsy tank tops. Zero bra.
Did I mention she’s my brother’s ex and he’s looking to rekindle their romance?
Good thing Jolene Daniels and I are nothing but the best of friends.
Release Date: July 26, 2023
Series: Bower Boys #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format(s): paperback (356 pages), e-book
Book Source: Author
Amazon (affiliate link)
Reviews in the Series:
50 Ways to Win Back Your Lover by Kelly Siskind (Bower Boys #1)
10 Signs You Need to Grovel by Kelly Siskind (Bower Boys #2)
6 Clues Your Nemesis Loves You by Kelly Siskind (Bower Boys #3)