Title: Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me
Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 20, 2016
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
and One Time I Kissed Him First
When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.
As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.
When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.
Childhood friends-to-lovers is one of my absolute favourite themes. The author did the theme justice and the story of Evan and Scott is very sweet. But the way the story unfolded, both in terms of plot and structure, was not very smooth and it left me a bit wanting.
As the author explains, the format of the story-telling here works as a sort of ode to fan-fiction. I read fan fiction and have actually loved stories told in this way so I wasn’t put off by that. However, because of the fact that “the five times” were not in chronological order, the story did feel somewhat disjointed to me and I was struggling to connect the dots. I get that the “five times” were supposed to be snapshots of major events throughout Scott and Evan’s lives as they worked toward getting their HEA. But the flow wasn’t smooth from “time” to “time” and I had a hard time connecting with the characters.
What I did love, and I think the author excelled in this, was the segments depicting Evan and Scott as kids and teenagers. There is something so precious about young love. It vibrates under the skin. The depiction of the characters at those two age stages was perfection! The dialogue, the plot, their fumbles to express emotion, everything was right on the money. Adult Evan and Scott? I wasn’t sold. And the main reason was that the book was building into this epic romance, which started at age 6, and when it was realised, everything was very anticlimactic. I am not sure if the author was going for a “it’s just so natural that we’re gonna end up together” vibe and she did not choose to put more oomph into their coming together, but for me, it fell flat. I wanted it to be a big deal. I wanted to feel the desperation after so many years of all of that emotion lying dormant. But, it just happened.
This is a very sweet story that will appeal to most readers and fans of mm. It has a bit of everything really –some YA, NA, hot sex, coming-of age, second-chance romance (of sorts), medical drama, and a lovely HEA. I did enjoy it, but I wasn’t blown away like I usually am by this author’s works.