The Finn Factor is my first Rachel Bailey book. I really love NA books and the friends to lovers trope though, so after reading the blurb for this one I had to read it. I have to say that while this one had some really enjoyable moments, it was also not what I expected at all. I wouldn't say that the blurb is misleading, yet it definitely didn't really touch on what all was going on here. I thought that this book had a lot going on, and none of that had been mentioned in the blurb.
When Scarlett begins to notice that her dry spell is going on much longer than she has ever experienced before, she decides that it all leads back to her kissing abilities. Thinking that she must need some help in that department, she tells her roomie and best friend Finn that she is going to find a guy to help her. Though they have always been platonic, Finn can't stand the idea of her turning to anyone else and offers to give her a few lessons himself. But once they cross that line, their friendship is forever changed and soon they are both beginning to think about each other differently. Not wanting to destroy their friendship, they agree to not kiss each other again. The more they try to stay away though, the more they find themselves wanting it to happen again though. But can they take the risk of possibly having a relationship together when it means that they could also lose everything?
I think part of my issue here was that I didn't connect with these characters at all. Finn seemed to be off in his own world and almost completely aloof to everything going on. Except when it came to Scarlett dating anyone else, in which he would constantly sabotage them since he felt that they were never good enough. He wanted Scarlett to be happy, yet he never really gave her that chance. He also was hugely against dating her, yet he would then become very protective and possessive. Scarlett was a bit childish for me at times, then at other times she was made out to be wise and smart and almost motherly. Because of Finn's parents dying when he and his sisters were young, he was forced to step into that role and relied on Scarlett's help a lot of the time. The whole thing didn't really seem to fit though, and just never really rang true for me. It was so weird that he would be okay with both of his sisters just dropping out of school to return home while he was trying to finish his PhD after everything that they had all been through. Him and Scarlett basically went from being friends and roomies to a ready made family and full house, all while trying to figure out their feelings for one another. It just seemed like too much going on, and the focus seemed to be more on them interacting with all the family members rather than themselves.
The other big issue I had was that they seemed to get over the whole risking the friendship thing relatively easy, but then suddenly the future was a huge issue for them. It was years away and hadn't ever even been thought of before. Rather than just focusing on becoming a couple and making that transition, things got way complicated super quickly and instead of discussing things rationally they both just seemed to give up. I just didn't really get it, and the whole book and relationship just seemed a bit forced. I also didn't understand the teddy bear thing at all, and didn't really get the significance of why she did that for Finn. I just thought it was weird that Scarlett painted them for him, and weird that he had them all hanging in his room. If I ever entered into some twenty-something guy's room to a ton of pictures of teddy bears, I am pretty sure that I would immediately turn around and run away. I get that he kept them because she made them for him, but the whole thing was just odd to me. There were some really heartwarming moments here, and I do think that these two had a great friendship. But overall I never really saw a romantic relationship develop other than a few steamy kisses that seemed to immediately make them view each other differently. I felt like it was told rather than shown, and I wanted to actually see it. This one wasn't what I was hoping for, and ended up falling flat for me.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**