A Guide to Just Being Friends by Sophie Sullivan

Published: January 17, 2023

St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 330

Genre: Romantic Comedy

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Sophie Sullivan is a Canadian author as well as a cookie-eating, Diet Pepsi-drinking, Disney enthusiast who loves reading and writing romance in almost equal measure. She writes around her day job as a teacher and spends her spare time with her sweet family watching reruns of Friends. TEN RULES FOR FAKING IT is her rom-com debut novel, but she’s had plenty of practice writing happily ever after as her alter ego, Jody Holford.

Hailey Sharp has a one-track mind. Get By the Cup salad shop off the ground. Do literally everything possible to make it a success. Repeat. With a head full of entrepreneurial ideas and a bad ex in her rearview, her one and only focus is living life the way she wants to. No distractions.

Wes Jansen never did understand the fuss about relationships. With a string of lackluster first dates and the pain from his parents’ angry divorce following him around, he’d much rather find someone who he likes, but won’t love. Companionship, not passion, is the name of the game.

When Hailey and Wes find each other in a disastrous meet cute that wasn’t even intended for them, they embarrassingly go their separate ways. But when Wes finds Hailey to apologize for his behavior, they strike up a friendship. Because that’s all this can be. Hailey doesn’t want any distractions. Wes doesn’t want to fall in love.

What could possibly go wrong?

“It would look like whatever they made it, together.”

Hailey has just opened her salad shop and is fully invested in her fresh start. Her ex hurt her, so her focus is entirely on her business. And maybe making some friends, but mostly her business. When she has a random encounter with a handsome stranger, she doesn’t put too much into it. Until she meets him again, and they decide they are going to be just friends.

This was such a charming story. I loved the characters, and I will have to read the previous two books to get to know them better.

Hailey was charismatic, sweet, and utterly herself. Wes was determined to be successful and entirely in control. He was not expecting a Hailey-shaped whirlwind to blow into his life, but here she was.

I loved the brothers’ dynamic and the bond between the women. I enjoyed the wit and the banter. I also love that this story leaned into the romcom tropes and embraced the classics.

This relationship felt authentic. This could be how a forever love happens, and I found that endearing. I enjoyed the plot, the pacing, and the self-awareness the characters had.

I liked how the main characters could look inside themselves and realize their flaws without being wrecked about them. The relationships throughout this novel are all so heartfelt and genuine.

This was my first rom-com by Sophie Sullivan, but it won’t be my last. I found her writing style easygoing and entertaining. I had a hard time putting this book down. A light, beautiful read for any romcom fan.

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