Liquid Silver Books, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-62210-259-4
Contemporary Romance, 2015
Maya Gregory, our heroine, knows that there is something “defective” about her. The man she almost married was a cop who was also a drug dealer and cheater, and her last boyfriend was fired from his job for stealing from his boss. Therefore, any man who wants to see her again must be defective. Mind you, her last bad boyfriend happened four years ago, and in the time that passed from then till when the story opens, she dated some nice but boring guys. Therefore, it’s so obvious, her pattern of behavior: she thinks that she can only attract lousy men, so she must reject any man who shows interest in her, while complaining that she can’t meet any nice guys.
You know, I like this heroine already. I’d love to use her head for target practice.
Oh, and in the meantime, she is sleeping with Liam, who is short, nerdy, and therefore, in her opinion, perfect for a fling thing. Okay, she knows that he had a crush on her in high school, but who cares how he feels about everything at the end of the day? The world revolves around her and her only, so stop asking stupid questions and pay attention to her. Anyway, she tells him after they’ve had sex that she’s going to start seeing other men. Liam knows that he shouldn’t be mad or anything, but he can’t help feeling hurt and… oops, she gives a talk to her hand gesture because the guy she has her eye on calls so he should shut up now, thanks.
And then the guy turns out to be a creep, and she runs back to Liam for comfort.
The heroine is straight out of a chick-lit story, as she is horribly self absorbed, treats people like dirt while moaning that the world isn’t handing everything to her on a silver platter, and doggedly sabotages her own happiness out of habit. Poor Liam comes off as a doormat here. Still, things don’t necessarily have to be so bad. I’m sure we all know someone like Maya in real life, The problem with Not Just a Friend, though, is that it offers a very superficial and unbelievably simplistic half-arsed epiphany on Maya’s part before giving her a happy ending. As a result, Maya still comes off like some selfish turd who would ditch Liam the next time a guy who fits her definition of a bad guy wags his p.. er, finger at her, and Liam will always seem like someone who settles for a turd because the turd has a hot body and lets him bang her when she can’t find anyone better.