Note: This ARC was provided by Patchwork Press Cooperative via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Not in My Wildest Dreams is the second novel in Jamie Hollins's McKenna series and features Darcy Owens and Sean McKenna, roommate and close friend of Quinn Adler and cousin of Ewan McKenna, respectively, and best friends since they were ten years old. This is a friends-to-lovers romance, and based on how long it took for clueless Ewan to discover that Darcy's been in love with him for nearly two decades, it's a slow burn. This can be read independently of Quinn and Ewan's story, series starter The Best Part of Me, though I always suggest that books in a series be read in order for a more well-rounded reading experience, plus book one was quite a fab read.
Best friends for eighteen years, Darcy Owens and Sean McKenna have shared many things throughout the years. There are a couple of things, though, that Darcy has chosen to keep from Sean, the most important one being that she's loved him as more than a friend for as long as she's known him. She compares him to every guy she's dated and she's watched him go through girlfriends and hookups, sitting back as he unknowingly breaks her heart each time he's with some other girl. Darcy knows that a guy like Sean would never be romantically involved with his best gal pal, but when they end up working together on a project, the two slowly come to certain overdue realizations.
When Sean hires his closest female friend to be the interior designer in the building project the company he's a senior partner at is bidding on, he does so because he believes in her talent and because he hopes they'll be able to hang out more. The fact that they live in two different cities has caused a bit of distance in their friendship, and now they're together more and more. As Sean begins to see Darcy a brand new light, he's both excited and wary. The last thing he wants to do is risk their friendship, but he knows he wants to pursue this new thing with Darcy. When insecurities and miscommunication get in the way, will they end up no longer lovers as well as best friends?
More than once during this book, I found myself thinking in my head, "Oh God! Get a clue, Sean!" Maybe he honestly just never saw Darcy in a romantic or sexual manner, but come on! He blundered and fumbled more than once after she informed him of her long-held feelings. But that doesn't mean that Sean was a bad guy. Far from it. He truly was Darcy's friend and cared about her a great deal, even though it was purely platonic during the length of their friendship before they started sleeping together. Darcy seriously needs kudos. She never expected nor demanded anything from him, having been okay with just being friends. There was not a thing about her to dislike.
I liked the flow of the story for the first handful of chapters, which pointed out how strong Sean and Darcy's friendship was while also showing how Sean was beginning to notice things about his best friend. There was point, however, where things began to not just slow down but become muddled, and maybe that's why the book is much longer than its predecessor. The ending felt just a tiny bit abrupt and I was hoping the epilogue could have had a tad more oomph. Don't get me wrong. I did enjoy the book, just not as much as I did The Best Part of Me. Still, I liked Sean and Darcy and so far, the McKenna series has left me satisfied. Four stars for Not in My Wildest Dreams. ♥
Date Read: 16 February 2017
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