Always Been You is my first book by Beverley Kendall, but this book is actually the third book in her Unforgettable You series. Each book is a standalone story though with the characters being interconnected. I am glad that I hadn't already read the previous books as it appears to have been quite a wait for this book and I am sure that would have drove me nuts. I have to say that I am really wanting to read Emily and Graham's story next, so hopefully there won't be a huge wait for that book. I have such mixed feelings after finishing this book. There were things that I really loved here and enjoyed thoroughly, and then there are things that I just didn't care for and didn't work for me.
Troy and April have been best friends since they were kids and grew up together. Their families are really close as well, with their parents being best friends also. Though April had always loved Troy as more than a friend, nothing happened between them beyond friendship until one night they slept together and everything changed. April was hurt when Troy acted like nothing had happened and moved on quickly. Trying to distance herself from Troy, April began to see someone else though she still was in love with Troy. But just when April was deciding to really move on with her life, Troy decides that he wants more. But can Troy and April finally take a chance at something more than friendship, or will they ruin everything between them by taking the risk?
Troy and April were all over the place here, and that is a lot of what really sealed the deal here for me. There were times that I loved each of them, and their friendship and connection was clear from the start. But these two were a disaster, and honestly their relationship was a bit toxic at times. They each hated every person the other was with, which was understandable considering that they had feelings for each other. But they went about things horribly here, and they never talked to each other about anything important. When they did have conversations they just seemed to fight and argue, constantly assuming the worst about each other. Even once they finally decided to give things a shot, they continued to jump to conclusions and treat each other terribly. I just didn't understand these two at all. While I wanted to root for these two, I had a really hard time doing that. They had moments that really sold me on their relationship, but honestly those were few and far between.
The other thing that I feel I should point out here is that there is a ton of drama here, and a lot of it was super cliched. The psycho ex-girlfriend and the preppy ex-boyfriend that can't accept that April and Troy were friends only while together and were convinced that something was going on the whole time to the point that they do super crazy things...it just seemed so predictable. The one thing I didn't expect was the random monkey wrench thrown in at 85% through the story that wasn't necessary at all. These two already had so much going on in the angst and drama department that it just seemed to be completely out of the blue and pointless. This book left me exhausted and I honestly think had it not reached the ending when it did that I would have thrown in the towel. I liked these two when they were together and talking to one another, but for the majority of this book they were just too toxic for me to really get behind their relationship. I am really curious about Emily and Graham though and what happened to make them go from being together to hating one another and how they found a way back to each other in the epilogue here. I am really hoping that their relationship is better than that of April and Troy. While I love best friends to lovers stories, this one wasn't my favorite and I don't know that I would recommend this book with everything that happened here. If you are a fan of the series or if this one sounds like something you might like, then go ahead and give it a shot. Not every book is for every person, so even though this one wasn't for me it might be the book for you.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**