Ya’ll know I ADORE a good friends-to-lovers romance, and The Best Friend Problem by Mariah Ankenman — available NOW — not only ticks off all my favorite things about the trope, but it tackles them in a refreshing, unique way. The end result is a romance that is charming, sweet, and surprisingly down-to-earth.
Prudence Carlson has been lucky in life. A fulfilling wedding-planning business run with her girlfriends in Colorado, plus the best guy friend ever in her firefighter bestie Finn. All that’s missing from it is a baby. Luckily, it’s the twenty-first century — Pru can take matters into her own hands. She doesn’t need to find true love to create the future love of her life.
Except all this talk of babies and insemination and … Pru and Finn cross a line they never expected to. Sure, one night of passion won’t change their close friendship. Until Pru goes in for a fertility check-up to find … she’s already pregnant.
As best friends, Pru and Finn have survived college, new jobs, and bad breakups, but can they survive crib shopping, birth classes, and late-night cravings. Especially when Finn has never considered himself even remotely Daddy material?
This book was absolutely charming! The Best Friend Problem showcases a fun, fresh take on the beloved friends-to-lovers trope, making for a unique and delightfully entertaining read.
I also just adored Pru and Finn, and their dynamic — both as friends, and as more. They are engaging, captivating characters, and it’s easy to root for them and their relationship success. But the friendship that is the foundation of their relationship is really what makes this book so special. I appreciated that this was a friends-to-lovers story in which the two characters haven’t been secretly pining away for each other for years (although they do learn that those feelings may have been buried a little deeply) — but that their romantic feelings for each other develop and progress mutually, after they find themselves in such a bizarre and unique situation. And even as their feelings turn to more, that friendship? It’s still the solid foundation of their relationship.
I also want to talk about a less significant — but still, to me, important part of the story. As someone who’s been going through fertility treatments, I really appreciated the fairly realistic portrayal of the process leading up to/planning for artificial insemination. I see fertility-related treatments mentioned so carelessly sometimes in romance (like NBD, I’ll just go get IVF — without any regard for cost & what’s involved in the process) & it frustrates me to no end. Because fertility treatments? They are ridiculously expensive, wildly invasive, and wreak havoc on your body physically, even before you’ve gotten pregnant. Pru shows us that she’s done extensive research into these procedures, and has saved and planned for it accordingly. So it was particularly nice for me to see fertility treatments of any kind portrayed realistically and honestly.
All that is to say, that I simply adored this book. The Best Friend Problem was a delight from start to finish; it’s available now.
Bestselling author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious daughters and her loving husband who provides ample inspiration for her heart-stopping heroes. Her books have been nominated for the prestigious RWA Golden Heart and CRW Stiletto awards.
Whether she’s writing hometown heroes or sexy supernaturals, Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books.
Mariah is represented by Eva Scalzo of the Speilburg Literary Agency.