The Best Man Plan
by Jaci Burton
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Book #1 in the Boots and Bouquets series
Number of Pages: 350
Source: borrowed from MCL
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 4/6/21 to 4/8/21
Three days before Erin Bellini’s wedding, her fiancé breaks up with her–in an email! Hurt and embarrassed, she decides to have a fling with veterinarian Jason Callum, who’s both the best man and the hottest guy she knows. But Jason wants a lot more than just a one-night stand with the woman he’s cared about for years. So he’s taking things slow. And hot. And showing Erin what real love can look like.
Suddenly Erin finds herself spending a lot more time with Jason than she intended. Feelings she never planned on having again are wrapping around her heart, refusing to let go. Erin isn’t sure she can trust her instincts, though. After all, she made a terrible choice with her ex-fiancé. But Jason intends to convince her that he’s the best man for her, and that what they have together is a real love that will last forever.
When I reviewed the introductory novella to this series, I spoke of how I had all but given up on this author. An author, I want to note, was once a go-to of mine. I’m happy to report that my enjoyment of that novella wasn’t a fluke, I liked this full-length story just as much.
In The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission, it was already apparent that Erin and Jason have chemistry, even if they’re oblivious to that chemistry. In this story, we learn that Jason isn’t oblivious at all, but he’s being a good friend to both Erin and her fiancé, all of whom have been friends since childhood. He’ll do anything for Erin, but always keeps it friendly and totally above board. But what’s a guy to do when one best friend leaves the other days before the wedding, and the one left behind is practically begging for a fling? Even a stand-up guy like Jason can only resist for so long.
One of the things I absolutely love about a friends to lovers romance is when one or both of the characters thinks they’ll “get it out of their system” and things will go back to normal. Every time I read that scene played out in a book, I shake my head at the character’s naïveté. Then I sit back and enjoy the ride.
The level of need the rolls off of this couple is palpable. They are so used to being friends, decades of growing up together, that they really don’t know how to proceed with the feelings they are experiencing. There were plenty of butterflies involved in the early chapters, waiting for them to both give in. Totally and completely give in and let nature take its course.
Jason and Erin are definitely a two steps forward, one step back type of couple. But overall, things move quickly. That’s quite alright since their relationship has been a long time coming in the grand scheme of things. I’m not always on board with Erin’s reticence, but I can understand when these thoughts pop into her head. Her confusion and the questions everything has brought up about how she’s lived her life up to this point are a natural thing. Jason is truly the best man in so many ways. Patient and kind and non-judgmental. We can all use a Jason in our lives, that’s for sure.
I’m glad I was able to find my way back to this author. I’m really having a great time reading this series so far.