Friday, January 24, 2020

Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis: Is it Too Soon to Call 2020 Favourites? + Giveaway!

Almost Just Friends (Wildstone #4) by Jill Shalvis
Published: January 21st, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Genre: Contemporary romance
Tropes: Fling to forever
Heat level: Steamy 
# of pages: 364
My rating: 5 stars
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for honest consideration
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Buy now: Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Indigo 

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

I keep saying this is my first Jill Shalvis book, but that’s technically not true. My first was actually Her Sexiest Mistake, which I read about fourteen years ago (!!) when I was still new to romance. I remember loving it, but then I became obsessed with YA and never picked up any of her other books until now. And wow...not only was Almost Just Friends a fantastic way to kick off 2020, it also made me want to read Shalvis’s entire backlist. I know it’s pretty bold to say this so early in the year, but I already know this book is going to make it onto my list of 2020 favourites.

Piper is the list-making, journaling, planner-obsessed, “fixer” of the Manning family. She raised her younger brother and sister after their parents’ deaths, and with her siblings finally off living their own lives, she had just started to live life for herself. The sudden, unexpected reappearance of both of her siblings throws a major wrench in her does the appearance of her gorgeous new neighbour, Camden Hayes.

I absolutely loved these characters and all the different dynamics. I also loved that while the main focus of the story was on Piper and Cam, we got to see things from a variety of perspectives, including Piper’s brother, Gavin, who is gay. The stories wove together seamlessly, showcasing emotional, heartfelt journeys that touched on life and death, guilt and grief, second chances, and the duties we have to the people we love. It was a love story in every way - the love between siblings, between parents and children, and romantic love.

And speaking of romantic love...I adored Gavin and CJ’s second-chance romance storyline, and I loved watching Piper and Cam fall in love. It’s been awhile since I loved a hero enough to call him a book boyfriend, but I fell hard for Cam. I loved the way he treated Piper and how good he was to her siblings and his dad. He was trying to make up for lost time with his dad, and be around for the Manning siblings the way he couldn’t be for his brother. Piper and Cam had such great chemistry, and I loved that their interactions ranged from sweet to hilarious to steamy.

Expect to see me raving about and recommending this beautiful, heartfelt, relatable book a lot in the coming months. I may be new to Jill Shalvis’ books, but luckily she has a massive backlist and I’m looking forward to delving into it.

The publisher has generously allowed me to offer a print copy of Almost Just Friends to one lucky Canadian or US reader. Good luck! 

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures. Follow Jill on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Have you read Almost Just Friends? Have you read any of Jill's other books? Do you have any recommendations for which of her books I should read next? Are you a planner, list-maker, or journaler like Piper?

*Please note I'm an Amazon affiliate, and some of the links in this review are affiliate links. All income made through affiliate sales goes directly back into maintaining Ramblings of a Daydreamer. Thank you for your support!  


  1. This sounds like a fab read! Added to my TBR! xx

  2. I've only read 1 book by this author but I've been meaning to read more so thanks for putting this one on my radar. Thanks for the giveaway too.

  3. Marie, How is it I haven't been following your "ramblings?" I love getting book recs and, of course, your reading habits are close to my own.😜 I think I've read maybe 4 Shalvis books and they have all been from the Hearbreaker Bay Series. I finding that I'm beginning to love women's fiction/chick lit more than just a straight romance, so the Wildstone Series has been on my radar. Your review tells me that I'll probably love these books. Great review and I'll be sticking around to see what other books you've loved. See you at Brenda's!

  4. I’ve only read one of hers but I want to read more.

  5. I've read her lucky harbour series, and probably a couple others here and there. She's great!


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