Book Review: Friends With Partial Benefits by @lukeyoungbooks

Friends With Partial Benefits (Friends With Benefits Book 1) by Luke Young – 4 stars

Disillusioned in the wake of a divorce, best-selling romance novelist Jillian Grayson can’t seem to write a chapter without unjustly throwing her hunky male heartthrob into a near-death scenario. Brian Nash is a tennis-obsessed college senior who is unlucky in love despite his six-pack abs. When Jillian’s son, Rob, brings Brian home with him for Spring Break, Brian meets the surprisingly young and beautiful Jillian, and their shared interest in tennis quickly develops into an intense mutual attraction. After almost giving in to their feelings one warm Miami night, they hatch a plan – a plan to be Friends With Partial Benefits, complete with a strict set of rules to define the boundaries. Will the lonely pair adhere to their rigid relationship rules, actually explore their growing desires, or discover all of this is just a really bad idea? And will Jillian finally have the inspiration she needs to give her hero a happy ending?

The most important things to know going into this book are: 1. It’s silly. 2. It’s got adult content. However, although it has adult content, it’s not erotica. I’d characterize this, overall, as an R-rated romantic comedy. Sex scenes are done obliquely – as either an overview or a fade to black. Body parts, on the other hand, are discussed at length by the characters, and it includes plenty of what would be full frontal (and rear) nudity in a movie.

I enjoyed the writer’s style, and found the book amusing. The only unfortunate issue is the strange way it hovers between being hardcore and softcore. I felt like it was meant to be full-blown erotica, but every time it goes there, it pulls out too soon, leaving an awkward moment before scrambling to put its clothes back on. (See what I did there?)

Taken in the light of romantic comedy, which is a very important caveat, everything that happens in the book is completely reasonable. The characters cracked me up. The tennis angle is good for a laugh.

I recommend this as summer beach reading for people who like romantic comedies and aren’t offended by reading about sensual nudity.

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