Review: How to Kiss Your Best Friend By Jenny Proctor

by Theja Pk
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Last updated on April 12th, 2024

In this week’s review, we’ll take a look at the first book in the Hawthorne Brothers series by Jenny Proctor – How to Kiss Your Best Friend.

This is a friends-to-lovers romance between Brody and Kate, who were childhood best friends. They grew apart when Kate left Silver Creek to travel the world with her dad.

But Brody has been in love with Kate since they were kids, and when she returns to town to take care of the family business, she begins to see him in a new light and wonders if it’s worth taking the risk.

Friends to lovers is my all-time favorite trope, so I was excited to read this one. I enjoyed learning about kayaking, and the Hawthorne family dynamics were absolutely adorable and entertaining.

However, I felt that the characterization of Kate and the lack of communication between the characters dampened the experience for me.

How To Kiss Your Best Friend – Jenny Proctor

3.2 out of 5
illustrated book cover of how to kiss your best friend by Jenny proctor showing a man standing and a girl on a bicycle

GENRE: Contemporary romance
PUB DATE: May 24, 2022
TROPE: Friends to lovers, small town

Brody and Kate, childhood best friends, grew apart when Kate left Silver Creek to travel the world with her dad. But when she gets back home to take care of family business, sparks start to fly.

Characters
3 out of 5
Plot
3 out of 5
Writing
3 out of 5
Overall Enjoyment
3 out of 5
Narration
4 out of 5

Pros

sweet, sexy Brody

endearing family dynamics

interesting facts about kayaking

Cons

Kate is hard to like

major miscommunication

slow pacing with rushed ending

repetitive inner monologues

underdeveloped romance

Table of contents

Synopsis

Kate Fletcher is my kryptonite.

She’s also my best friend. Former best friend?

I’m not sure what you call it when we grew up attached at the hip and then she left Silver Creek (and me) to travel the world.

The important thing is: Kate is back. (Temporarily.)

And I’m still in love with her. (Permanently.)

But something is different now. The attraction doesn’t seem one-sided. I don’t think I’m imagining the heat in Kate’s eyes or the chemistry crackling between us.

But will that be enough to keep Kate here, when, for as long as I can remember, all she’s wanted to do is leave?

I’m determined to give her a reason to stay. Family. Connection. Roots. And me. I’ll have to start with sparks and fire, but if I take this step, there’s no turning back to simple friendship. And if she doesn’t feel the same way, I might lose her again—this time for good.

Characters

BRODY is a sweet and sexy nerd. His caring and competence were absolutely swoon-worthy. At the beginning of the book, he is a bit obsessed with Kate, which gives off stalker vibes, but as the story progresses, that mellows out, and you can tell how much he truly loves her.

I enjoyed reading about his passion for kayaking and learning more about it, which made me want to try white water rafting.

I had difficulty liking KATE, and it’s hard to enjoy a book where I’m not too fond of one of the main characters. While I appreciated her backstory and understood her commitment phobia, her treatment of Brody felt selfish.

She kept leading him on and changing her mind, and she only liked him for his physique. I didn’t feel emotionally connected to Kate’s chapters and didn’t understand why Brody liked her so much. I wanted more of Kate outside of her insecurities.

What made this story move up from a 2-star rating was the dynamic between the Hawthorne brothers and their family. Their teasing, worry for each other, and support made it an entertaining read.

Plot

The transition from friends to lovers often hinges on physical intimacy. However, for this to work, the reader must believe in the underlying friendship that already exists.

Unfortunately, in this book, I did not get that sense. The plot progression feels more like a transition from strangers to lovers with a history of friendship. I would have loved if Proctor had included more details, like inside jokes or flashbacks to their childhood, to make their friendship connection more believable.

One of my pet peeves is when a character makes decisions for another based on what they think is best without ever having an actual conversation with them. Therefore, if you don’t like miscommunication or lack of communication in stories (like me), this book might not be for you.

There is a lot of internal monologue that negates any form of action by the characters.

The pacing was inconsistent throughout the story. It was a slow burn for the first 80%, but then the ending felt rushed, and everything got wrapped up too quickly.

Writing & Narration

The inner monologue got tiresome with repetitive details, but the dual point of view helped balance it.

I listened to this book on Audible, which made it easier to get through. I might have given up on it if I had been reading it. The characters were well-portrayed and brought to life.

If you plan to read this book, I recommend trying the audiobook version.

Conclusion

How to Kiss Your Best Friend by Jenny Proctor is a sweet and entertaining read perfect for fans of small-town romances and brotherly banter.

However, if you’re not a fan of miscommunication and redundant internal monologues, you may want to skip this one.

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