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The Best Part

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  334 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Best buddies Manny Velazquez and Ben Green grew up together. Now after ten years of living separate lives in separate states, they are reunited as roommates when Manny comes back to their hometown for a job. Growing up, Manny was a skinny geek, but not anymore. Now he's this super buff fitness god, and since Manny came back, Ben can't help noticing his friend in a whole ne ...more
Published March 16th 2014 by Smashwords Edition (first published June 23rd 2012)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  334 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Another cuteness in the LHNB collection!

The Best Part is a sweet friends-to-lovers story with no angst, no freaking out, but with open communication, and a do-what-you-love / make-your-dreams-come-true message. The story is uncomplicated and delicious.
Ben’s best friend, who at some point turned into Tattooed Sex God, also known as Manny, was in Ben’s kitchen, naked. No, almost naked. He was wearing bright pink underwear. And Ben hadn’t been able to look away.

Mandy*reads obsessively*

Ok, first I have to say OMG, that picture prompt was sooooo hot .

I might have spent longer looking at the picture than reading the actual story, and I sure scrolled back up, numerous times.
The story itself is cute, Manny and Ben were best friends for all of their childhood, until Manny moved away.
They stayed in loose contact over the years and now live in the same city again, and until Manny finds a place even in the same apartment.

It's light, fast, and conflict free short
ETA: with a real
Great interpretation of prompt! Cute story!! And you get to learn a little something about Minnesota legislation.

Ben is a young accountant who meets up with his former best friend after ten years. Both men have changed but their connection never diminished. Ben sort of develops a crush on Manny (who is the owner of one rocking bod and underwear) Cuteness ensues, smiles and minor squees are had.

And we get one romantic epilogue.

3.75 stars

Offered for FREE from the M/M Romance Group's Love Has No Boundaries Anthology: Volume 12. Thank you too all the amazing authors who participated!

First of all, I don't have words for this photo. My mouth literally dried up, slack-jawed and just... yeah.

Second of all, amazing cover.

Third of all, loved it! Just the right length and lightness for right before bed. I was worried it would feel abrupt at the end with the time-jump "now we're a happy couple" thing, but that last little bit just put a s
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyable sweet story from the LHNB freebies with a VERY nice picture prompt. Pink undies have never looked so good! Thanks to Mandy who taught me how to scroll down ( it was so so hard ) otherwise I may never have got to read this fabulous little romance that left me smiling. Oh I'd love to find Manny stripping in my kitchen... * sigh* great match to the story prompt too. Nice job Penny, thank you.
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ by: Chris, the Dalek King
Fluffy Pink…

That's the most apropos description I can come up with for this slice of life GFY short. It's cute. It's quick. It's easy. You can eat read it in one sitting & it's pretty to look at. Have you seen the pic it was based on? *fans self* Oh my…
3.1 Stars

The prompt was way hot...
Perfect book to read when you need something quick and fun. There is also the Hotness factor but that is a given..really liked it.
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dritc
LHNB Story released 31.7.13
3.5 stars rounded up.
Ben, a rather straight laced accountant, and Manny, a professional sports coach, were best friends until the pair were 14, when Manny's family moved to another city. The story itself takes part 10 years after, when Ben starts to feel more than friendship for Manny. This isn't really a gay for you story, as Manny is out but just hasn't told Ben because he's worried about loosing his best friend and the man he's been attracted to since they were kids
Cassie Richards
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shorts, lhnb, sweet
This more of a "I hadn't realised I was gay" story than GFY and it worked really well.

Ben hasn't seen Manny since they were 14 when Manny's family moved away, but they've stayed in touch and when Manny moves back for a job Ben lets him have the spare room. Manny has changed a lot since they last met and Ben likes the changes - rather a lot! He's never thought of himself as gay before, but he can't deny he's attracted to Manny.

The story is really well written, with a great cast of secondary chara
A gentle and sweet story about Ben, an accountant with a love of music, whoe gets a roommate when his childhood best friend, Manny, moves back to Minnesota to be an assistant coach for the Gophers. After seeing Manny's toned body and tattoos, suddenly, Ben is questioning his attraction for his friend.

It was a great story, one that should be read when you want romance and a HEA between best friends.
This was short and sweet. I loved the picture and prompt - Penny did such a wonderful job with it. The epilogue was beautiful, too. I love a happy ending :D
Aug 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Yay for open mined people in our government! There's no reason for the hate.

Okay. With that said. :P

I like it. I wish there was more interaction between them. I felt the childhood history. But, not so much the adult lusty, I want you, I need you now feelings.

I'm barley convinced on the whole, I've wanted you since we were 15 gig. But, mostly since there was nothing giving away his preference other than a hidden tattoo and pink undies.
Mary Mary
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m

There are hundreds (if not more) of stories about friends to lovers and this one is NOT the most original or the most interesting, but it felt realistic to read about two guys who had been friends for almost all their lives and met again after years only to realize they don't really want to be ONLY friends anymore.
Plus, the photo?! Jesus Christ, I AM DROOLING! this guy is fricking GORGEOUS!

and oh.... maybe Cam is not such a dick if he made Ben finally spill his guts?
This was my picture and prompt and I love what the author did with it! The gorgeous man in the picture came to life in this story – beautiful on the outside and within. Manny and Ben were adorable. Their relationship built slowly and I couldn’t have asked for a more satisfying ending. Thank you so much, Penny, for volunteering to write this story and for making me smile! Great job!!
Very sweet friends-to-lovers story.

My only complaint is that having flashbacks like that right at the beginning made the story feel choppy and made it hard for me to get into.

Once we settled into one time, though, it was delightful to read. Ben and Manny were so sweet together. And the musical-theater elements just added an element of fun.
LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!! Thank you!
Totally cute, fluffy, and sweet. Loved it.
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So cute!
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition!! Ugh it was too short but omg it was sweet and hot! Awww Manny got his guy! Both Ben and Manny were lucky to have each other ;-)
Heather C
Cute friends to lovers story. Would be great it if was ever expanded bc I really liked the characters.
Cute short story about friends-to-love trope, Manny and Ben. Ben is a straight guy who welcomes Manny in his apartment after years of not seeing each other, but they still have kept in touch through phone calls and stuff. When Ben sees Manny undressing and peaks at his pink underwear, he cannot stop thinking about it...

It was nice but a little rushed, it is one of those short stories that just need more pages to see "why" and "how" they fell in love, in this case Ben, since he was always been st
Cute, sweet GFY read.
It's rough. Actually, more accurately, it's rather scattered. Well, no. It's rough, too. Rough, in terms of final proofing, and scattered, in terms of narration and possibly character voice.
I see a comma splice.

The thing about the vegetative state...
It's not a coma. The person's still alive, technically. The brainstem is functions. If the dad's body has been alive long enough for his VS to have been classified as permanent, then he probably wouldn't have been on machines for a while. 'Course, I'
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a completely sweet story!
I love the best friend falls for best friend scenario. Also have to say that the picture prompt was smoking hot! That mans body was just (let me wipe up the drool) worthy! Thank you Penny for sharing your wonderful imagination with us!
Enjoyed the friend relationship that superseded the potential geek/jock dynamic. I thought it was a nice touch using the play rehearsal to bring Ben out of his shell.

[NOTE: I rate most writing event stories (free reads) 4 or 5 stars because of my appreciation of the author's participation.]
This was a sweet and romantic story. Pretty much conflict free which would actually mean at least half a star less. But then again I appreciated the down to earth description/solution of ben's working situation against his singing.
Gorgeous picture prompt!!
I'm not ashamed to admit I read the book for the picture prompt alone...that was HOT!! Story itself was great too drama...just an easy friends to lovers that suited the picture prompt perfectly. ;) ...more
This story was hot and with a picture like that who need to imagine it. Ben and Manny been best of friends since but and now they going to be seeing each other up and close and when i say that i mean it. And Ben wont be able to get the imagine put of his mind.
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Penny Wilder is a queer human who writes and reads far too many books. She lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and four cats. Her favorite thing to do at the end of a very long day is to curl up with her tablet and read. She does bookkeeping for nonprofits by day, and by night moonlights as a blogger, artist, illustrator, actor, director, performer, and also sometimes as a business ...more

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