Always the Best Friend (Never the Bride #4) by Emily EK Murdoch ☆☆☆☆
Published July 7, 2020 by Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.
Always the Best Friend is the story of Lady Harriet Stanhope (or Harry to her friends) and Montague Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire. They, along with Harry’s twin brother, have been thick as thieves for as long as they can remember. Harry has always had feelings for Monty, but Monty has always seen Harry as his best pal. Now Monty is a duke, and in order for him to keep his title he has to be married by his 26th birthday. But who could he possibly marry so quickly?
Monty is very hung up on how silly all the girls he meets are, how they wouldn’t be able to run his household like he needs them to. He wants a wife who can be his partner and also someone who loves horses like he does. The entire time he is searching the parties for this perfect woman, his pal Harry is there next to him. His pal Harry, who also loves to ride horses, and who is an independent woman with an income of her own that she manages.
You see where I’m going with this. Monty takes forever to see Harry as a possible wife. Harry decides to take it into her own hands and force him to see her as a woman – by seducing him.
The pining was so good at the beginning of this book. Harry has it bad for this man. Monty is just so willfully oblivious to her feelings. It made me so frustrated on her behalf. I did think Harry’s plan to seduce Monty kinda came out of left field, but once I accepted it (I thought Monty was dreaming at first and was waiting for him to wake up and be horrified at having a wet dream about his bestest pal, but then it was real so I just rolled with it), it really drove the rest of the plot.
Harry does that thing where she can’t believe Monty would ever want her, even when he clearly does want her, that made me want to shake her, but it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of this book.
I’m going to be real with you in this review – this book would have to have been seriously bad for me not to like it. Best friends to lovers is one of my favorite tropes of all time, and I will read literally anything with that premise. Just that trope alone will add at least 2.5 stars to a review. If there is some serious pining going on, I am there. Bring me all the angsty pining, and then make it better. I just eat that up.
This book is only 174 pages, so it was a breeze to get through. The characters were very well written, and the drama I sensed from the twin brother and his wife makes me want to know what happened in their book. This is book 4, but can be read alone. I have not read the others in the series and I enjoyed it a lot.