Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Book Review: Friends Like Us by Sarah Mackenzie

Friends Like Us (Cranberry Cove #2) by Sarah Mackenzie
Published: January 26th, 2021

Publisher: Forever

Genre: Romantic women’s fiction

Heat level: 🔥

# of pages: 272

My rating: 4.5 stars

Acquired this book: From the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest consideration

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Buy on Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Indigo

Bree Rhodes and Jill Kelly have been best friends since kindergarten. When Bree survives a cancer scare, the knitting shop assistant takes it as a sign to step out of her comfort zone...or at least take a few tentative tiptoes. But in no time she's in over her head with a hot architect, a new puppy and a shot at buying her dream inn. And the harder she tries to stay afloat in her new normal, the harder it is to hold onto her friendship with Jill who seems to be ebbing away.

While her best friend is living her best life, art boutique owner, Jill, is simply trying to live. Still struggling after a freak motorcycle accident took the life of her husband, Jill doesn't know how to start over—or if she even wants to. Life isn't easy as a young widow, especially when she's hiding a painful secret. But when she learns that the fairytale Maine cottage she'd once dreamed of buying with her husband is on the market, she has to decide whether she's ready to let go of the past and to write a new chapter. But the only way to do really heal is by revealing to Bree a truth that will either destroy their friendship forever or bring them closer together.


While I love romance, I have a special fondness for books about friends. Bonus points if those friends have known each other forever, like Bree and Jill, because my own bestie and I have known each other since the first grade. I enjoyed Sarah Mackenzie’s 2019 debut, Forever Friends, but I LOVED Friends Like Us. It was realistic, funny, hopeful, and heartwarming.

After a cancer scare, Bree makes an anti-bucket list: things that will push her outside her small life and her comfort zone and help her truly live. Her first task seems simple but it sets a whole new life into motion. Jill is grieving the loss of her husband, along with the life she knew and the life they’d planned together. She has a successful business, but the rest of her life is a mess; she’s stuck and doesn’t know how to move on or even if she wants to. With each other’s love and support, both women learn to take chances, open their hearts to love (and not just romantic love), and see the possibilities life has to offer.

Friends Like Us spoke to me in so many ways. I loved how Bree and Jill leaned on each other and were strong for each other, but also learned to be strong for themselves. I loved seeing them both open themselves up, and I cheered them on throughout the story. I enjoyed the romance storyline in this one more than the first book, I think because I relate to Bree much more than I did to Sadie or Renee. I also appreciated that Jill’s story didn’t include a front-and-centre romance because she was still deep in grief and figuring things out. I can’t say much more without the risk of spoilers, but I was pleased and satisfied with how the romance storylines progressed. I also enjoyed seeing the characters from the first book and ‘catching up’ with them and seeing them happy. I hope there’ll be more books in this series because I’d love to see Essie and Ashley get their chances at happily ever after.

Friends Like Us is going to be one of those books I recommend often. Love books about friendship? Self-discovery? Taking chances? Finding love in unexpected places? This is the book for you. Also, if you love Jill Shalvis’s Wildstone series (which I discovered last year and continue to love this year with the newest installment), Friends Like Us has a similar vibe - an emphasis on character growth with a swoony side of romance.

Read my review of Forever Friends by Sarah Mackenzie

Have you read Friends Like Us? What are some of your favourite books that feature close friendships? 

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