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USA Today Bestselling Author Claudia Burgoa delivers an emotional, slow-burn, friends-to-lovers, fake relationship, accidental pregnancy romance you don’t want to miss.

Sometimes you have to stop planning and live in the moment.

What do you do when your grandma wants to set you up on a date?
You fake it. Simple.
At least, that’s what I thought ten years ago.
It was a little lie: I’m dating Heathcliff Spearman.

Tall, dark, and incredibly handsome Heath Spearman.
My best friend.
I never thought things would get out of hand.
But things snowballed, and my grandparents think he’s my fiancé.


They say some moments can change your life forever. Five happened to me in less than two months.

1. My grandparents threaten to visit me.
2. Heath offers to play the role of my fake fiancé.
3. We kiss—the kind of kiss that takes your breath away.
4. The lines between us blur. We go from friends to friends-with-benefits.
5. The word positive appears on the pregnancy test.

I’m positively screwed.

Have I mentioned Heath doesn’t want children or a family?
Oh, and of course, my grandparents caught the lie…

What am I supposed to do now?

Kindle Edition

Published March 14, 2023

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About the author

Claudia Y. Burgoa

123 books5,994 followers
Claudia is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author.
She writes alluring, thrilling stories about complicated women and the men who take their breath away.
She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and her youngest two children. She has a sweet Bichon, Macey, who thinks she's the ruler of the house. She's only partially right.
When Claudia is not writing, you can find her reading, knitting, or just hanging out with her family.
At night, she likes to binge watch shows with her equally geeky husband.

Instagram: http://bit.ly/ClaudiasIG
TikTok: https://bit.ly/CBstiktok
Bloggers/Influencers: https://geni.us/CBBloggers
Newsletter: https://geni.us/CBNewsletter

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 165 reviews
Profile Image for BookAddict.
1,470 reviews102 followers
March 8, 2023
If there's one romance queen I can count on for drama and angst, it's CYB. And there's no more drama to be found than in the Spearman family, with their literary names and histrionic mother. Holy wow, that woman is a piece of work.

Heath Spearman and Atzi Rivera-Lavigne have been BFFs since they first met at grief camp seventeen years ago. He had lost his dad, but had a whole passel of siblings to help carry his grief. Atzi, however, lost a lot more and learned that anyone she loves ends up leaving – a belief that has followed her into adulthood.

Heath is now a prominent cardiologist and Atzi is a chocolate artist, combining her father's chocolatier profession with her mother's artistic talent. They're still BFFs and there's nothing Heath wouldn’t do for Atzi, except lie. But when Atzi's grandparents decide to visit, her own little white lie is about to be revealed, the lie that says Heath is her fiancé. And somehow, Heath agrees to play along.

He figures it can be his last act of friendship before he takes a fellowship on the other side of the country. Except faking becomes real for a few days before things blow up. Maybe if Heath hadn’t ghosted Atzi, he'd find out he left her a parting gift.

This is the faintest thumb-nail sketch because there is A LOT that happens on the dramatic, twisting, bumpy road to forever for Heath and Atzi. I can’t say much without spoilers, but when push comes to shove, the guy who was so against romantic relationships and kids of his own really steps up.

And if all the drama between these two isn’t enough, Burgoa then adds a danger and suspense element that raises all kinds of questions we don’t quite get answered right now. So Heath and Atzi may have secured their ever after, but we readers are chomping at the bit, guessing, supposing, and eagerly anticipating until we can find out who is responsible.

If you’re new to this author, you absolutely have to jump in and start reading her, otherwise you’re really missing out on some exceptional romance. The interactions between the Spearman sibs alone make it worth the price of admission. But the angst, steam and heart are unparalleled, and guaranteed to make this one of your very best reading escapes ever!
Profile Image for Jodi - JodiReadsnListens.
625 reviews22 followers
March 17, 2023
**Audio Review**
Oh, my heart! The Way of Us by Claudia Burgoa was a best-friends-to-lovers romance that completely enraptured my heart from start to finish! This book is filled with Claudia’s signature angst, spice, healing, and swoon! Heath and Atzi’s romance started out flirty and fun, but then packed a huge emotional punch that had me feeling all the things! This is book 5 in Burgoa’s Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers Series, and I am so happy Heath and Atzi finally found their very own HEA.

Janine Granda and Joe Arden narrate this audiobook, and both brought quite a few chills with their performances! Janine, a new to me narrator, did an amazing job portraying Atzi’s strength, passion, and determination to do what is best for her! Plus, Granda transitioned seamlessly to several Spanish and French phrases making me fall that much harder for Atzi! Joe was the epitome of swoon as Heathcliff Spearman. I love how he portrayed Heath’s stubborn, broody, and loyal loving charm. Plus, when he went into full-on protective daddy/ doctor mode, I swooned!

Overall, I LOVED this book. If you are a fan of a best friends-to-lovers romance with a hot hunky doctor, a fierce sassy chocolatier, a fake engagement, supportive siblings, trips to Santa Cruz, an outspoken mother, long hours in residency, super hot steamy times, an unexpected pregnancy, angst, secrets, heartache, healing from past mistakes, and finally a HEA that will nestle its way into your heart, then you will love Heath and Atzi’s story. I always look forward to more from Claudia Burgoa.
Profile Image for Nagma (Take A Look At My Bookshelf).
1,028 reviews73 followers
March 22, 2023
The Way of Us is an emotional, slow-burn, friends-to-lovers, fake relationship, accidental pregnancy romance I could not get enough of. I loved this story and this combination of tropes! The drama, angst, swoon-worthy hero and fierce heroine was evidence of a classic Claudia Burgoa book. I was obsessed with Heath and Atzi’s romance from the first page and their romance was so so good! I had the chance to listen to this book in audio and I loved the way Joe Arden and Janine Granada brought these characters to life. Claudia Burgoa always writes the best romances and this one is no different. I look forward to reading more from Claudia Burgoa!
Profile Image for Nadine Bookaholic.
3,507 reviews317 followers
March 13, 2023
I am so happy to have returned to Paradise Bay and the Spearman Family. This is Heathcliff and Atzi's story and if you have read any of the previous books in the series you will know that these two have been best friends from childhood, in this book we find out how they met, became friends, and when exactly their feelings changed...not that they let the other know about it. OH THE DRAMA! LOL

Neither Heath nor Atzi has had an easy life, Heath lost his dad when he was thirteen and he was the one that found him lifeless in the family vineyard and Atzi lost both of her parents and sister in a car accident that only she survived when she was eleven. To say that they found one another at a time they needed someone the most would be an understatement but the fact that they remained friends for so long is a testament to how they felt about one another. So when Atzi's maternal grandparents keep pushing her about getting a boyfriend and wanting to fix her up with someone it's only natural for her to say that she's dating Heath, I mean she's with him all the time if she's not working and she's friends with all of his siblings, so over the years it only progressed from dating to being engaged...no harm no foul right? Well, now her grandparents want to visit and Heath has no clue that he's been "dating" Atzi for the last ten years let alone engaged to her...oh let the fun begin!

But that's not all the angst, there's more...so much more. And I for one loved it all, well maybe not one part but it was a necessary part for other events to happen so I'll let it go.

Claudia gives us an emotional read, so keep some tissues handy because you will need them, with a long awaited HEA. I for one couldn't be happier that this Grumpy Doctor and his Sunshine Chocolatier finally got their act together and declared their love for one another.

I also need to add that I listened to the audiobook version and LOVED the way Joe Arden and Janine Granda brought Heath and Atzi to life. Joe Arden is like catnip to your ears... his voice is yummy!

If you enjoy Slow Burn Romances, Friends To Lovers Romances, Grumpy/Sunshine Romances, Small Town Romances, Surprise Pregnancy Romances, Fake Relationship Romances, Forced Proximity Romances, or Contemporary Romances I would highly recommend this book to you.

Happy Reading!!!

Find out more here ➡ https://bit.ly/NBReviewTWoU

the way of us by claudia burgoa

Nadine's Obsessed with Books **I have voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book for my Blog, Nadine's Obsessed with Books
**I also pre-ordered a kindle copy
You can find me here:  https://linktr.ee/NadineBookaholic
Profile Image for Ann.
1,385 reviews24 followers
March 16, 2023
This book has all the feels that had me angry at Heath and broken hearted for Atzi, then shocked and holding my breath for all to be well at the end. The mystery surrounding Atzi's family and her own predicament was yet to be answered, which means Ms. Burgoa continues to torture me until hopefully the next book. Heath was emotionally tortured by his psycho mom which she used to gain his sympathy. She needs serious help! Atzi had so little family around that she felt she had to please everyone to get them to stay in her life. I felt so bad for her because of those who took advantage of her love, including Heath. Don't worry, they get their HEA!

The narrators Joe Arden and Janine Granda were the perfect fit as Heath and Atzi. Janine had the French and Spanish accents down pat. She also spoke the Spanish dialog.
Profile Image for Laura Fabian.
327 reviews24 followers
March 12, 2023
ARC kindli provided fo the author in exchange for an honest review

OMG, what a book Claudia Y. Burgoa wrote for Heath & Atzi!! I didn't expect their story to break my heart so much, to give a super twist to the Spearmans plot, and to make me enjoy so much their friendship, their love and EVERYTHING that happens between them throughout this book, which is already my favorite from the author.

Atzi was a character that started to interest me a lot since I read her in Christmas in Paradise Bay and with this book I fell completely in love with her! I loved her quirky & fun personality, her love for sweets & confections, chocolate and sculpture, plus I really enjoyed reading the way she makes Heath suffer, even without knowing it. And although her personal / family history broke my heart a lot and made me cry, I liked the way Claudia included representations of a Mexican family with positive and negative aspects as well. And I think what I liked the most about Atzi was the strength that she showed in the last few chapters, how she stuck to her decisions and finally realized what she deserved from the people around her.

Heath is another male character that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with, but with him I can really understand his fears, bad decisions and mistakes throughout and especially at the end of this story., I also suffered a lot with him, knowing how his father's death affected him, his mother's manipulation and the great guilt that crushes him every day and leads him to hide what he feels for Atzi for fear of not being enough for her. Also, I really liked that Heath showed two completely different sides in The Way Of Us: a grumpy, moody doctor, 100% focused on his work and that spends his time with his best friend, but when he starts "pretending" with Atzi he becomes a tender man, who shows what he feels, when he feels it and can be the most flirtatious & adorable in the world.

Heath & Atzi were a much more complex couple than I expected, they made me suffer, laugh, cry & enjoy with them. I LOVED that Claudia told us how their friendship began, all the rituals and traditions they have created over the years and the bond that is so moving, tender and full of love that they share,and I don't want to say more because I think this story is more enjoyable if you get to know these characters throughout its pages.

💙Heathcliff: 4.5/5
💙Atzi: 5/5
💙Plot: 5/5
💙Love story: 5/5
💙Secondary characters: 5/5
💙Universe: 5/5
💙Cover: 3/5

ARC amablemente proporcionada por la autora a cambio de una reseña honesta

OMG, que libro escribió Claudia Y. Burgoa para Heath & Atzi!! No esperaba que su historia me rompiera tanto el corazón, que le diera un súper giro a la trama de los hermanos Spearman, y que me hiciera disfrutar tanto con su amistad, su amor y TODO lo que pasa entre ellos a lo largo de este libro que ya es mi favorito de la autora.

Atzi fue un personaje que empezó a interesarme muchísimo desde que la leí en Christmas in Paradise Bay y con este libro me enamoré de ella por completo! su personalidad peculiar, divertida, amor por las confecciones dulces, el chocolate y la escultura me encantó, además de que disfruté muchísimo leyendo la manera en la que hace sufrir a Heath, incluso sin saberlo. Y aunque su historia personal/familiar rompió mucho mi corazón y me hizo llorar, me gustó la manera en la que Claudia incluyó a representaciones de una familia mexicana con aspectos positivo y negativos también. Y creo que lo que más me gustó de Atzi fue la fortaleza que demostró en los últimos capítulos, como se mantuvo firme en sus decisiones y por fin se dio cuenta de lo que merecía de las personas a su alrededor.

Heath es otro personaje masculino con el que tengo un poco una relación amor-odio, pero con él puedo comprender muchísimo sus miedos, malas decisiones y errores a lo largo y especialmente al final de esta historia, también sufrí mucho con él, conociendo como le afectó la muerte de su papá, la manipulación de su mamá y la culpa tan grande que lo aplasta todos los días y lo lleva a ocultar lo que siente por Atzi por miedo a no ser suficiente para ella. También, me gustó mucho que Heath mostrara dos lados completamente diferentes en The Way Of Us: un doctor gruñón, malhumorado, concentrado 100% en su trabajo y que pasa su tiempo con su mejor amiga, pero que cuando comienza a "fingir" con Atzi se convierte en un hombre tierno, que demuestra lo que siente, cuando lo siente y puede ser el más coqueto & adorable del mundo.

Heath & Atzi fueron una pareja mucho más compleja de lo que esperaba, me hicieron sufrir, reír, llorar & disfrutar con ellos. Me ENCANTÓ que Claudia nos contara como inicio su amistad, todos los rituales y tradiciones que han creado a lo largo de esos años y el vinculo tan conmovedor, tierno y lleno de amor que comparten, no quiero decir más porque creo que esta historia se disfruta más si vas conociendo a estos personajes a lo largo de sus páginas.

💙Heathcliff: 4.5/5
💙Atzi: 5/5
💙Trama: 5/5
💙Historia de amor: 5/5
💙Personajes secundarios: 5/5
💙Universo: 5/5
💙Portada: 3/5
478 reviews6 followers
March 13, 2023
Claudia Burgoa has done it again! I absolutely loved The Way of Us; it is an incredible love at first sight love story. It is the fifth book in her Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers series. The Way of Us is my favorite book in the series, and I am looking forward to reading the remaining books in the series. Claudia Burgoa shows that she is an amazing storyteller and has once again provided her readers with amazing characters. I love that she continues to write the stories that I love to read. I love all the characters in The Way of Us, they feel like family! The Way of Us filled me with a rollercoaster of emotions, it was impossible to put it down, and I loved every moment on every page. Who does not love hot sexy men, strong females, loving families, and friends, who always support one another? I love how Claudia Burgoa always manages to create the "perfect" heroine, who is a strong woman on her own, to balance out the sexy, swoon worthy men. I really enjoy how the book is told in the first person from the perspective of the main characters. I love getting the insight and feelings from the different characters. I love the lighter moments where I find myself smiling and laughing aloud. My favorite moments are the ones that pull at my heartstrings that cause me to sigh, as I read the heartbreaking moments. The Way of Us is filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming moments that I have come to love and expect in Claudia Burgoa love story, and she did not disappoint, especially with the poignant and bittersweet moments that filled this page turner. The Way of Us is friends to lovers, fake engagement love story between Heathcliff “Heath” Spearman, doctor and Atzi Maelie Rivera-Lavigne, chocolatier, chocolate sculptor, and artist. Heath and Atzi originally meet as children at a grief camp. Heath is there to come to terms with and his perceived responsibility in his father’s death, while Atzi is there to cope with the deaths of her parents and her little sister. They have remained best friends ever since, even though they are both secretly in love with one another. I love that the Spearmans have always treated Atzi like family, and that she is best friends with Cory. They each want different things from life, Heath has made it known that he is not interested in getting married or having a family, which is all that Atzi dreams about. Atzi runs Decadent Dreams, part of her family’s Lavigne Chocolatier and spends her days making and sculpting chocolate. Atzi fears of having those she loves leaving her, so what began as a little white lie to her grandparents that she and Heath are dating, so that she did not have to date men that he grandparents wanted her to, turns into major fabrication where they are engaged. Atzi’s grandparents announce they are visiting from Mexico with the intent of meeting Heath and discussing wedding plans. Atzi tells Heath, about the lie and he agrees to be her fake fiancé. Atzi will inform her grandparents that they breakup when Heath heads east for his fellowship. Heath did not apply for any fellowships nearby. He knows that he needs to let Atzi and their friendship go, so that her dreams of having a family can come true. As they spend time together pretending to be engaged, things quickly change between them. Heath can act on his feelings for Atzi, without revealing to her that he is love with her and Atzi does not admit her feelings for Heath. I love the chemistry between Atzi and Heath. I love that both Atzi and Heath were both so vulnerable and that each of them changes because of their love for one another. An unexpected plot twist changes things between them, putting an end to their friendship, and included heartbreaking moments for Atzi who lost the only family she has ever known with the Spearmans, make sure you have a box of Kleenex nearby. I love the surprise that happens for Atzi, and then another surprise plot puts Atzi’s life in danger and causes Heath to return home, make sure you still have your Kleenex nearby. I love how everything gets resolved between them, except one of the plot twist. Cannot wait to see how that gets resolved. I love all the changes that they are willing to make in their lives to have a life with one another. I love Heath’s proposal and the location of the proposal. I also love how the epilogue went above and beyond a happily ever after. I love the surprise that is disclosed with Benedict Farrow. I love the characters and the family dynamic in The Way of Us, the characters feel like family and friends. I enjoyed all the interactions between the Spearman family, the characters feel like family and friends. I enjoyed all the interactions between the Spearman siblings especially their teasing that made me laugh. I loved all the characters in The Way of Us, it felt like a family reunion and catching up with the other Spearmans and the new little Spearmans. Who does not love family and friends that always have each other’s backs? My favorite part are the images used with each chapter to identify Atzi or Heath. I thoroughly enjoyed The Way of Us, who does not love a friends to lovers, fake engagement love story that turns into true love? Highly recommend this incredible love story and am so looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
Profile Image for Jackie (Jackie's Book World) .
831 reviews59 followers
March 14, 2023
***Review can also be found at Jackie's Book World. :)***

RATING: 4.5/5

The Way of Us is Burgoa’s fifth book in the Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers Series. This steamy and heartwarming friends-to-lovers romance had me rooting for the characters until the very end!

Although his family might describe Heath Spearman as an introvert, he would say that he is observant and quiet. He has learned to read people very well at a very young age and nothing gets past him. So when his best friend calls to tell Heath about another disastrous date, he’d known that wouldn’t work out, his immediate reaction is to go after Atzi. Having gone through similar circumstances growing up, it has tighten their bond over the years. Making it extremely difficult to fall out of love with her. As a cardiologist, it’s time to do his fellowship and it’s the perfect time to put some distance between them. But when Heath finds out what Atzi has been keeping from him, he vows to pretend to be her fiancé. Little did they know that playing pretend would turn into so much more and he is about to put his heart on the line.

As the daughter of a famous sculptor and an expert chocolatier, Atzi Rivera-Lavigne is under immense pressure to continue on with the family legacy. While everyone around assumes that she has everything she could possibly want, on the inside Atzi is not very happy with where she is at the moment. There is a part of her that doesn’t want to feel so alone and wants to find the one. But while she goes on dates after dates, her family thinks that she got engaged and they want to meet her fiancé. She panics and finally comes clean with her best friend about the little white lie she had to tell her family and now they all think that they’re getting married soon. Heath has always been there for her and this time is not different. He will pretend to be her fake fiancé, but the more time they spend together, the more she starts to develop new feelings for the man that has always been there for her. It would take a turn of events to change their lives forever.

I loved reading The Way of Us, the chemistry between the characters is magnetic from the very beginning. It’s clear how close Heath and Atzi are as friends and how that slowly changes overtime the closer they get. While Heath is trying to put distance between them, she is all that has and doesn’t know how their lives are going to change after he moves. It’s a lie that brings them closer and the attraction is so hard to deny at that point that they can’t help but to cross the line of no return. I really enjoyed the interactions that we get from Heath’s family as well, they are kind to Atzi and as their own. The ending was really sweet, fitting of the story and I can’t wait to read more from the author in the future. Would definitely highly recommend checking it out! :)

***I received an advanced copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.***
Profile Image for Laurie.
1,360 reviews22 followers
March 20, 2023
Heathcliff Spearman and Atzi Rivera-Lavigne have been best friends for almost 20 years, ever since they met at a summer camp for kids who'd lost their parents. There's never been anything romantic between them, but that doesn't mean the feelings don't exist; the truth is that Heath has been in love with Atzi for years, but he's never pursued her because they want different things out of life. Atzi's fondest wish is to have a family of her own, while Heath has no intention of getting married or having children.

In need of time apart to get over his feelings, Heath accepts a surgical fellowship on the other side of the country, but before he goes, Atzi needs one last favor. Years ago, she lied to her grandmother to get out of being set up on a date, and that lie spiraled out of control. Now her grandparents think she's engaged, they're coming to pay her a visit, and her lie is about to catch up with her. She needs a fake fiance, and Heath is the only logical candidate. Will he be able to hide his true feelings for Atzi while pretending they're in a relationship? Even more importantly, will he be able to let her go when it's over?

I loved this story so much! The chemistry and banter between Heath and Atzi were phenomenal, and I adored the subtle ways they showed how much they cared, such as Heath trying to force Atzi to eat her vegetables. In a lot of ways, they were already in a relationship when the story began but were just too blind and/or stubborn to admit it. There was quite a bit of baggage for them to work through related to their respective childhood losses, but their fears were understandable, and I was rooting for them both to find happiness after everything they'd been through. I must admit, however, that there were a few times I wanted to yell at Heath for the way he handled things with his mother. There are still some Spearman family secrets to be revealed in future books, but it seems pretty clear to me that Dawn Spearman is toxic. I can't blame Heath's siblings for their decision to cut her off, and I wish he would have come to the same conclusion sooner.

At any rate, I highly recommend "The Way of Us" for all contemporary romance fans and can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series.

*Review copy provided by the author. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Neeru Rana.
538 reviews6 followers
March 7, 2023
I was eager to know how Heath would finally profess his love to Atzi and the journey was not easy. This friends to lovers was way to intense than I expected which made me love it even more. My heart ached for Heath, Atzi for everything they have to go through. Just like always Claudia created something magical with her words.

Heath and Atzi complete each other she is the peace to his turmoil and he is her rock. I was in awe with there friendship and how well they knew each other. Atzi and Heath both have there own baggage which makes them hide not just with each other but even themselves.

When things take a turn and they decide to pretend while actually showcasing there real feelings I did a happy dance. There chemistry is off the charts and I loved getting to know them. I was deeply connected to them and could feel there pain. I was upset at Heath for some of his decisions.

I enjoyed all the games the Spearman siblings played. I fell a little more for them for how they made Atzi a part of themselves and how all of them were there not just for Heath but Atzi as well. They may not be perfect but I love there bond.

My heart broke a little for Cory but I am sure she is gonna get the love she deserves soon. Ben was an amazing friend for Heath and the way he considers Spearman's his family made me love him a little more. I am way to eager to unsolve the mystery along with Lyssandar. And with every book I hate there mother a little more.

I am sure Lysandar's book is gonna blow my mind. And I am guessing his will be the last in the series as Claudia loves to keep us on the edge. Thanks to Claudia for the advanced copy of this amazing read.
Profile Image for Sheila Schoenauer.
792 reviews9 followers
March 10, 2023
Another Spearman sibling falls. I absolutely love it. However I have a feeling I might be in the minority. I love Heath and all his *****le ways. My feelings about Atzi are mixed. She definitely wasn't perfect. In fact all of this started because she lied to her grandparents. Granted Heath has been in love with her for years and kept it under lock and key. He could have been honest. But I don't think he was ever in the right frame of mind to believe he could have it all. And with a mom like his? Yeah that would take some deep soul searching. Why do I have mixed feelings about Atzi? Because she wanted everyone's love and acceptance and would go out of her way to get it even if it meant she didn't get anything in return. She loved her grandparents and didn't want to lose them because she didn't want to lose her last connection to her mom. So she lied. But she couldn't see that she herself was her connection to her mom. That if her grandparents couldn't love her for her it wasn't worth the fight or lie. I'm so glad these two got their HEA. It was a struggle and a journey but I do believe they needed to go through it. This is me now patiently waiting for Cory's story (is it Ben??) And Lysander. I seriously need his story!

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book for my honest and unbiased review*
Profile Image for Brandi-Lynn Weiser.
548 reviews34 followers
March 7, 2023
I’m fairly new to reading Claudia’s books, but I’m definitely hooked!
The Way of Us is definitely a must read. Best way to describe Heath & Atzi’s story is emotional angst, frustrating, heartbreaking, heartwarming & so worth every bump in the road.
Heath & Atzi have had a friendship for 17 years, since they met at camp when she was 12 & he was 13. Heath has had feelings for her for years, but he always refused to tell her his feelings, he’s been holding onto the guilt of his dads death & doesn’t believe he’s worth loving. Atzi has just been going through life, after losing her parents as a teen, she’s afraid to let anyone in, in fear of losing them.
Now years later, he’s preparing to move across the country to take a fellowship (& to put distance between him & Atzi), but right before he goes he finds out Atzi told her grandparents that they’re engaged! And they’re visiting. He agrees to a fake relationship, but he knows his actions aren’t fake. Everything is going great until his awful mother stops by & goes into a rage. She’s never hidden her dislike for Atzi, but things escalate & it results in Heath making the biggest mistake of his life.
I so wanted to punch him for his behavior & allowing his mother to treat Atzi the way she did. All his siblings had the right idea, he was the only one who couldn’t see straight. I have a feeling she’s behind the “accidents”, & I can’t wait for future books to find out! I’m really looking forward to Ben’s story!
Profile Image for kgagnon.
1,778 reviews1 follower
March 22, 2023
I loved this irresistible friends to lovers/fake fiancé romance! It has a little of everything from sweet and swoony, to heartbreak and happiness with just enough sizzling passion that makes this a totally addicting story. Heath Spearman and Atzi Rivera-Lavigne have been best friends for years after connecting at a grief camp when they were young. They had both suffered heartbreaking loss and guilt and have confided and supported each other ever since. When Atzi tells a little lie to make her grandparents happy, it forces Heath to pretend to be her fiancé during their visit. They never expected to have to face the true feelings they never wanted to admit too, and risk losing the one person who is their whole world. But when the truth is exposed, both their worlds explode. When even more secrets are exposed, will they be able to find forgiveness and healing or will they be lost to each other, breaking both their hearts?
Heath and Atzi are opposites and so perfect for each other with their soul deep passion and love! I fell hard for them, loving how they supported one another, making their fractured parts whole, I couldn't help but become totally invested in their HEA. Atzi is strong, loving, and passionate, while Heath is grumpy, and stubborn on the outside masking his caring, compassionate, and loyal heart of gold. My heart broke for them as they struggled with the weight of their guilt and trying to make others happy, at the expense of their own well-being, but their strength and resilience was beautiful to witness. I loved their family and friends who are essential in their lives and are fun, loving, and supportive.
Janine Granda and Joe Arden were so perfectly cast and did a great job portraying both Atzi and Heath in all their strengths and vulnerabilities. I especially loved Granda's beautiful spanish and french accents. Granda and Arden masterfully captured these characters and made me feel all the hope, heartbreak, healing, love, and passion they possessed. I was completely mesmerized by their storytelling, and completely captivated by this beautiful and moving story from word one. It has the perfect blend of humor, heart, and passion, which is everything I love to get lost in!
868 reviews
March 13, 2023
I love the characters created by Claudia Burgoa and how the extended families often overlap across books and series. The families are never perfect, they squabble, make mistakes and hurt each other without meaning to, but they are genuine. No matter what series and what characters, Claudia always makes me feel the emotions between the main characters and their families. I always get invested in their story and the interconnected lives of their families.
There was a lot of angst in this book but it was not overwhelming. Neither Heath nor Atzi dealt with the grief and guilt that they felt over the loss of their family members. However, they met each other at a grief camp, so they might have never met if they hadn’t suffered the losses. Heath’s mom is the main reason he feels guilt over his father’s death, and she used it to manipulate him. Atzi seems to feel that she can’t make any waves or her extended family will cut her off.
Even though they clearly love each other, they both hide their feelings and sabotage the relationship. As always, they work their way through and come together but the journey is well worth your time.
I received a free copy of this book from the author and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Tania's Book Blog.
1,530 reviews19 followers
March 16, 2023
Best friends that were oblivious about the others feelings and/or didn’t dig deep down to accept their feelings. Heath and Atzi had the best friendship. From the outside looking in you’ll think that they were in a relationship but they weren’t. Heath has always been in love with Atzi and everyone knew but Atzi. Atzi loved being around Heath but never realized that she was actually in love with him. Their friendship was so genuine because they met as kids at a grief camp and it just blossomed. Heath stepped in to help Atzi with a personal matters and lines got crossed and the inevitable happened. But then there was some drama, secrets of the past discovered and a connection between Heath and Atzi from the past that was so unexpected. Heath siblings were the best and they have always loved Atzi as one of them and have always rooted for them to become a couple. When she was in danger they all stepped in to help her out without thinking twice. Their bond and the way they protect each other is admirable. Heath did something stupid and had lots of groveling but her heart is so beautiful that she gave him another chance. There’s lot more to this story and I can’t wait to read the other siblings so the mystery can be resolved.
Profile Image for Nicole.
3,379 reviews40 followers
March 15, 2023
This is the fifth book in the series. I really loved a good friends to lovers romance. Heath and Atzi have been best friends ever since they bonded at grief camp. They have that deep connection of knowing each other's moods. Though Heath is really keeping secret how he truly feels. These two really know how to pull on the heartstrings. Backstories for these two just broke my heart. I know how Atzi feels with anxiety and depression. It's a daily struggle for me as well. This book took these two on one roller coaster ride along with the reader. A lot of healing needs to be done in order to even see the potential for a HEA. I can honestly say with each book the more I dislike the Spearman mother. It kills me the way she treats her children. I really hope karma pays her visit because if anyone needed a wake up call it's that woman. There were plenty of moments that had me gasping of what was to come next. This book is also filled with plenty of feels. It's a big bumpy road for these two, but where they end up is so worth the journey. This book left my heart feeling full for Heath and Atzi. They so deserved that outcome.
Profile Image for Daisy Nijs.
249 reviews6 followers
March 11, 2023
Heath and Atzi, best friends since meeting at grieve camp all those years ago. She was there after losing both her parents and her little sister, Heath was trying to deal with losing his father. They have been there for each other every day, sometimes just by text because of Heath’s busy schedule as being a doctor, and Atzi having her own chocolate factory and art studio (chocolate art).
But with the visit of her grandparents, one she needs a solution for a little white lie she told a few years ago (and that has transformed over the years): she needs a fiancé, and actually it needs to be Heath.
Can their friendship survive this? And can Heath get over his feelings for not wanting to settle down?
This book contains a lot of tragedy, from the past, but even in the present. I loved this book from the beginning, but the subjects were a lot harder than in Claudia’s other books. They both have so much grieve to overcome, and they rely on each other for so many things. But with all of that, they don’t even realize the thing that is standing right in front of them.
When you start this book, make sure you have tissues near.
Profile Image for semper_in_libris.
48 reviews2 followers
March 13, 2023
What can I say about this book ? I'm speechless. The relationship between Heath and Atzi is explosive and beautiful.

Atzi is a strong one and beautiful one. I really loved her and connect with her. I think she's one of my favourite characters from the series. She lost a lot of person but she stays happy and strong. I was so sad to read that she thinks that everyone she loves ends up leaving her.

Heath has lost his father and he blames himself, but he was just a kid. He deserves a better mother than Dawn. I'm glad he has his brothers and sisters.

This book is a bumpy one when you think everything will be fine a plot twist appears. I have a lot of questions that the book didn't answer. So I need more because I want to know more. I want to see if my assumptions are correct or not.
I had to hold my breath a few times !

The relationship between all the Spearman is one of the reason you should read this series. It's really a good one.

A lot of tropes in this book but there are perfectly written !
Profile Image for Heather.
287 reviews3 followers
March 13, 2023
I love Heath and Atzi. They has such a wonderful friendship and bond. The way they took care of each other was beautiful. When Atzi's grandparents come to visit and they much "fake" a relationship, swoon. When Heath Spearman decides to show his love, WOW!!! I love that because of the faking Heath could really focus all his love on Atzi.

Dawn Spearman may be my most hated of Claudia Burgoa's mother figures. Oh my goodness. I know from previous books in the Paradise Bay collection that Dawn had some issues but wow what a b!tch. And while I wait for his book, I think Lysander may be my favorite Spearman of this branch. I love that he is there for all his siblings and significant others as they deal with the tornado that is Dawn.

I am excited to read the next books in the series because we are learning more and more about the time of Joel Spearman's death. I don't want to spoil anything but I think some people are more guilty than they are trying to appear.

When the truth came out about the fake engagement, I wanted to smack Heath for how he behaved. My heart broke right along with Atzi's. My favorite thing about Burgoa's writing is the way she has her characters go to therapy and help themselves. I love that she shows that you can heal on your from trauma.

I loved how this book ended and can't wait for the rest of the series.

Thank you to Claudia Burgoa for the ARC of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Heather.
1,098 reviews2 followers
March 17, 2023
The Way of Us is Heath Spearman’s story. Heath has been in love with his best friend, Atzi for years. However, he thinks he can’t be the man she deserves, so he keeps her in the friend zone. Atzi has told her grandma she is engaged and needs a fiancé ASAP! Her grandparents are coming for a visit and she doesn’t want the, to know that she fibbed about the fiancé. I absolutely adored Atzi. She was a strong woman who knew what she wanted, but also wanted to please her family. Her parents and sister died in a car accident when she was little and only had her aunt and grandparents left. Heath was a good guy, but didn’t want the same things out of life that the woman he loved did. He drove me crazy at times, but he eventually redeemed himself. And I always enjoy reading the parts where all of the Spearman siblings are together. I really enjoyed reading Heath & Atzi’s story. It was sweet, funny, sexy, angsty, and I little bit suspenseful.
783 reviews16 followers
March 11, 2023
Claudia knows how to bring angst, passion and love into her books and writes beautiful characters.

Atzi and Heath are best friends and are always there to help one another through their challenges. They feel safe sharing their fears and hopes for the future with once another.

A situation forces them together in a “more than friends” situation…what comes out of this experience is full of passion, care and love.

HOWEVER, Heath is a jerk, selfish and a big dummy…he messes things up. Claudia writes groveling in the best way and Heath has his work cut out. Lol. The way Atzi and Heath find their way back to one another is really special and beautifully written.

Claudia leaves a few things unanswered…as usual :)…but I’m guessing the answers will come in another book.

Love the Spearman family and all their antics.

Joe Arden and Janine Granda deliver a spectacular performance. Joe’s voice is so growly, smexy and delicious which is perfect for Heath. This is my first book narrated by Janine and I really enjoyed her voice as Atzi. She is strong, determined but also vulnerable…beautiful performance.
Profile Image for Athena D..
887 reviews50 followers
March 17, 2023
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 STARS

This book is another testament to Claudia Burgoa's extraordinary writing! I have loved all the Spearman siblings from Paradise Bay! Heath and Atzi's story is a wonderful addition to this series! I loved the BFF-to-lovers and fake-relationship aspect. Joe Arden and & Janine Granda The Way of Us by Claudia Burgoa is an EPIC read that will join the ranks of the BIBLIO-ARISTOCRACY!!!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 STARS

This book is another testament to Claudia Burgoa's extraordinary writing! I have loved all the Spearman siblings from Paradise Bay! Heath and Atzi's story is a wonderful addition to this series! I loved the BFF-to-lovers and fake-relationship aspect. I always enjoy listening to the audiobook rendition of Claudia's stories. Joe Arden and Janine Granda were incredible choices as the narrators for this book. The Way of Us by Claudia Burgoa is an EPIC audiobook that will join the ranks of the BIBLIO-ARISTOCRACY!!!
Profile Image for Pamela Kras.
283 reviews2 followers
March 8, 2023
Wow I loved this book, it's a friend to lovers and fake fiancé.
I knew Atzi, and Heath loved each other but was afraid to tell the other so when Heath suggested a fake fiancé when her grandparents come to visit its bound to end in tears.
They separated for a while with broken hearts it's not till tragedy struck that they get back together and try and mend their hearts it's a work in progress.
But I wasn't ready for the tragedy. they seem to get past the past issues and start a new life together. Looking forward to the couple of books to get the answers to some question.

I do recommend this book
March 8, 2023
This is the first book in this series I have read and it was wonderful. I am sure if I had read the other books a few things would have made more sense, however this story was lacking nothing having not read previous books, it does stand alone. This was a wonderfully heartbreaking story with so much love and loss. I have so many questions still and can't wait to first go back and read the previous books and then read the next book when it comes out. I loved the growth that both Heath and Atzi have in this book and the determination to fix themselves before loving someone else. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book for my honest review.
March 13, 2023
Nobody can do a romance like Burgoa! She has the ablity to write a story that is angsty in the perfect way, the right amount of drama, but then throw in suspense! I was not expecting the suspense part of the book but I am not mad about it! It was perfect! The history between Heath and Atzi is intense but I think that is what makes their story so great. I do not want to ruin the story, but I will say this is a must read! This book made me not want to put it down! Great story with so many layers, great supporting characters that makes me want to read their story, and the perfect blend of emotions!
Profile Image for Jenn Allen.
2,226 reviews28 followers
March 15, 2023
This is a great read! I love the emotion that is pulled from this story. Heath and Atzi have been friends for so long, meeting as kids, and they've been there for each other through many things. This bond is very special, throw in unrequited feelings, a bit of a grump, a fake relationship and you get some amazing heat and some eye opening moments for them. The emotion comes through well, keeping the pages flipping. This is my first read in this series and I loved everything about this family! I will be digging in to the other books so I can get to know more about them. A must read book!

I received a copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
Profile Image for Caroline.
1,113 reviews4 followers
March 14, 2023
Yet another beautiful romance from Claudia Burgoa. Each time I see yet another book ready to come out I can’t resist. I love how the series touch each other, to differing degrees.

This is Heath and Antzi’s story. He is a cardiologist, she is an artist, together they are best friends. Bonded before they were teenagers over the grief of lost parents, he has loved her forever but never prepared to take a romantic role in her life.

When they are forced together their fake relationship soon becomes so much more. There’s steamy moments, feelings and an unexpected surprise. Shame family gets in the way and puts a abrupt stop to everything.
Profile Image for Moriah.
2,178 reviews14 followers
March 15, 2023
Claudia has written another fantastic book in the Paradise Bay world. Heath and Atzi have been best friends since childhood. They have a special bond between them. Each of them harbor more feelings, but have yet to cross those lines for their own reasons. Well, until they can't help themselves any longer. With Atzi's family coming to stay, she needs a fiancee quickly to cover the fib she told and Heath steps in to play the role. These two are so perfect together. With their friendship, their relationship is already strong, but some things may break before they can become stronger. I loved their story and the emotional rollercoaster Claudia takes us on yet again.
Profile Image for Dana Busenbark.
2,355 reviews25 followers
March 20, 2023
We start with Heath's point of view this time. What does he learn during his texting with his BFFI, Atzi? What situation happens that completely changes the tone of the story had me shaking my head quietly. Why does Atzi seeing her grandparents freak her out? Some huge secrets come out in this story on three different sides. Why does Heath feel so guilty? Who makes him feel that way? What finally gets him to realize he should not be feeling guilty? How does that change his relationship with others in the story? What are the secrets, and how did they change things? Read and see what happened! Can love conquer all in this story?
Profile Image for Belinda.
839 reviews5 followers
March 13, 2023
Once again the queen of angst has delivered a wonderful and totally addictive book! I was excited to head back into the world of The Spearman’s and Paradise Bay. Right from the start Claudia had me hooked with Heath and Atzi’s love story. These two are best friends that bonded with each other after they both had traumatic experiences during their childhood. Both love each other but keep putting their friendship ahead of anything more but their chemistry is just so precious but with secrets surrounding them they just don’t know how to hang in there until tragedy strikes. I just wanted to hug both of them as they struggled with their demons and the angst that is in this book had me devouring it and I can’t wait for more from this series to see if my theory is correct. I wish I could give this book more than five stars as it was just that good. I received this book as an arc for my honest opinion.
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