Let me just start off by saying that little sister and brother's best friend books are seriously my crack. I cannot get enough, and I will read every single one that crosses my path. For real, I cannot turn them down. That being said, I really wanted to read this one because I enjoy Michelle Lynn's writing and have liked other books that I have read by her. Love Surfaced was a good story, and there were a lot of things I liked. But I also had some mixed feelings because there some things that I really didn't like as well.
Piper Ashby has grown up with Tanner McCain and has loved him for most of her life. Her twin brother Brad Ashby is Tanner's best friend, and all three of them spent a lot of time together growing up and pursuing their dreams of being US Olympic swimmers. When they are seniors in college, Piper and Tanner finally decide to give in to their feelings and begin a secret relationship. But when Piper finds out that Tanner lied to her, she ends things and cuts all ties with him. Two years go by without contact, until her brother is preparing for his wedding with Tanner being his best man. Now Tanner is back and is determined to win Piper back, but Piper isn't ready to forgive him, Can Tanner get her to finally hear his side to the story and take a chance on a future with him, or will Piper and Tanner be over for good?
One of my biggest issues with this story I am sad to say was Piper. This girl was so insecure, and it absolutely drove me nuts. She was weak and it didn't get better. I honestly believe that if it weren't for her best friend Bea, that she would have pretty much ruined her entire life because of her fears. She would have moments where it appeared that she was finally making progress, but then it would just disappear and she would be back to the same scared little girl. She was wishy washy and I just wanted her to believe in herself and in the feelings and connection that she had with Tanner. Tanner was another problem for me. While I liked his character, I felt like there were a lot of things that he should have done differently. He didn't encourage attention from other girls, but yet he didn't really handle it either. He would let them flirt and touch him in front of Piper without really pushing them away. He also let Piper get away with running from him without ever knowing exactly what had happened. I understood part of that as the story unfolded, but why did it take him two years to finally try and get her back? He could have easily reached out to her before then or made an effort, and that just didn't seem to fit with his personality and claims to have loved her forever. Especially if he was so hung up on Piper as to have never been able to move on with other women.
While I thought that these two had chemistry and a bond forged through years of friendship, I also felt like there were some inconsistencies in the story regarding their relationship throughout the years. At some points it was stated that Tanner would torment Piper when they were younger, yet then it would be stated that he was also the one that would protect her and was the one she would turn to for a safe haven. It just didn't fit, and without seeing their childhood I was left a bit confused. I think part of my problem was that this story was told only from Piper's POV, so we were left wondering what was really going on in Tanner's head. I also felt like Piper's brother had really affected their relationship and he was such a jerk. He really pissed me off, and I couldn't believe everything that he pulled in this story. For him to have done the things that he did and have to be forced by others around him to ever do the right thing really bothered me. Brad needed to grow up and I really wanted to hit him. For me, the huge secret wasn't as big of a deal as it was made out to be and I thought that Piper overreacted. A lot of the blame for this is on her, though I do believe that others had a part in it as well. I just felt like this story took some turns that I couldn't really get behind. While I liked Piper and Tanner together, I felt like a lot of the angst and drama was a bit over the top. These two should have been able to talk and explain things to each other, and neither of them did until it was years after the face. While I like Michelle Lynn's books, I have to say this one wasn't my favorite. I will still read more from her in the future, but this one wasn't what I had thought it was going to be going in.
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