A fake date for a family wedding at Christmas...that's all the favor was supposed to be. But their hearts didn't get the memo. Aspen Luke Simmons is my best friend at the office. A cinnamon roll in human form. He's the ultimate good guy, always looking out for me (and everyone else around him). He's sexy, in a nerdy way. Not my type at all . My abandonment issues would never let me pick a guy like Luke. So, when he needs a fake girlfriend to bring home for a holiday wedding, I agree. It’s not like I’m going to fall in love with him.. Or so I keep telling myself… Luke I’ve been pining for Aspen Shaw for years . Her beauty, that adorable birthmark, her intelligence…she’s perfect. Too bad the feeling is totally unrequited and she's got me chilling in the friend-zone. Moving out of state for a job promotion is my remedy for getting over her and moving on. Now we're back in my childhood home and stuck sharing one bed. So, I’m not about to let a little forced proximity make me do something stupid –- like act on my feelings. . Can I survive being so close to her without professing my undying love? Especially since she has no idea I’m moving away after New Years… Life is Better with You is book one in the YOU Series, and can be read as a standalone, contemporary romance with it's very own happily ever after.
It's the holidays, and Aspen has found herself without anywhere to go. So when her co-worker Luke asks if she'd be willing to be his fake date to his sister's wedding, Aspen agrees. What Aspen doesn't realize is that Luke has been pining for her for years. And she never expects her closely guarded heart could fall so hard for the man who has been right in front of her for so long.
I LOVED this book SO MUCH. Luke is the PERFECT cinnamon roll hero. I mean PERFECT. There are multiple references to Jim and Pam from "The Office," and that's so true! Except Aspen is an edgier version of Pam with a more troubled backstory. She's used to being left behind, and finds it difficult to make space in her heart for Luke. But the week they spend together at Luke's family's ranch in Utah, which is such a beautiful setting, by the way, erodes Aspen's walls. I adored this couple, and seeing them fall in love was SO BEAUTIFUL. The love scenes were EVERYTHING. Spicy and emotional and just plain GORGEOUS.
This book is deep, too. Themes are explored such as what it means to be a family, how to support and love someone, and how to allow oneself to be loved in return. Aspen has a birthmark on her face that Luke finds beautiful, and, more than that, Aspen learns to love herself, flaws and all. And that's another beautiful topic covered in detail: how humans are flawed but worthy of love. This story delivers on romance, tension, emotion, and gives the reader something to think about long after reading the final pages. I cannot wait to read more by this author!!
Trigger warnings: alcoholism, drug addition, abandonment by a parent, sexual assault (off page), cheating (off page)
I'd like to thank BooksGoSocial and Netgalley for the eARC of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
“Life is better with you” is such a romantic and heartwarming book with a Xmas holidays background!
So, Aspen and Luke are coworkers for a couple of years and have a very special friendship and way they communicate. Luke is into her since always but never had the courage to ask her out. That’s one of the reasons he accepts a big career opportunity that requires him to move to another city but has not yet announced it to Aspen. When he invites her to spend Xmas holidays with his family and attend his sister’s wedding as his fake girlfriend, a lie he told his family long time ago to get them off his back, things will begin to get complicated for both of them.
What to expect from the book: * Friends to lovers * Fake relationship * Forced proximity * He falls first * Dual POV, 1st person * A couple of steamy/spicy scenes
I really, really liked this book and the way it was written! Both the characters are lovable and have their special traits and I like how their feelings and thoughts are explained as well as the struggles they go through. The chemistry between the MCs is fantastic. The supporting characters are cool overall and you are left with a cozy, warm feeling by the end of the book. The book literally had me hooked until I reached 3/4, then the pace slowed down a bit and there was less tension; I guess this is the only thing I’d change in the book. And maybe its length; I would so love a few more pages with our heroes.
Overall, I give this book 4,5/5 🌟 and I think it’s definitely worth reading for those who are romcom lovers.
Thank you Shannon Paige & BooksGoSocial for providing this book for review via NetGalley.
Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and BooksGoSocial. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
Definitely one of my favorites of the year! I love finding new authors and I'm so appreciative to have received this ARC. This was funny, witty, chemistry filled, a little spicy, and all the tropes you could want. Absolutely loved Aspen and Luke. All great characters, and it looks like it's going to be a series. Yay! The character of Granny Mae was such a hoot, and I so enjoyed her analogy about finding your "root person" and the story of the aspen tree - beautifully written and poignant. After the epilogue, you also get a chance to read a prequel showing how Aspen and Luke first met. It's called Along Came You, and if it's not included in the final publication, you can get it on the author's website. Well worth it, and I'm actually glad I read it after Life is Better with You. Can't recommend this highly enough. Would give more than 5 stars.
I adored the way this book made me feel. If anyone needs a book where they want to be grinning and kicking their feet while getting hot and bothered in the spicy scenes then this book is definitely for you. Characters = amazing. Story = amazing. Pacing = amazing. Writing = deliciously easy to follow. Heading into winter/christmas time means I will be re-reading this book as much as I possibly can. Please get your hands on it!