Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
S.M. Lumetta is a new-to-me author and while I did have a somewhat ho-hum experience with the first half of her Bodhi Beach series starter, she--along with her main characters, Fox Monkhouse and Sophie Fordham--won me over. Fox is a friends-to-lovers romance and is centered on twenty-eight-year-old Sophie who's informed by her doctor that she's experiencing the onset of early menopause. This leads her on a wacky quest to get herself pregnant before her eggs are no longer viable and she chooses to do it the old fashioned way and with her oldest friend, twenty-eight-year-old Fox, whose manwhore ways are not exactly a secret in their close-knit group of buds.
While Sophie certainly has a number of options by which to be with child, the idea of becoming pregnant by someone she actually loves (platonically speaking) and trusts and not having to spend thousands of dollars on egg-freezing and in vitro was far more appealing. Of course, if we're being totally honest here, there are two things that can make a purely platonic friendship awkward--love and sex. Money, too, but that doesn't play into this particular scenario, so let's just skip that, shall we? Sophie and Fox truly have this great friendship, one that has them more than comfortable with one another, complete with teasing, banter, and off-color jokes that only their group gets.
I liked the honest-to-goodness camaraderie between Sophie and Fox, although there appears to be a bit more intrigue going on within their circle of friends, i.e. those who have crossed the line between friends and friends with benefits. The first half of the book had me trying to get a feel for the couple, especially since it seemed that it was more about them joking around and teasing each other--and I'm not talking about flirty teasing either. Some of the humor felt more forced than anything else, almost as if there was an arrow with a note saying "laugh here". And no, I didn't laugh. I wasn't put off by the jokes, and I can't honestly tell you why I didn't laugh. I simply didn't.
I nearly wanted to give up for the night and just pick the book up again the next day, but I stuck it out and I'm glad that I did. Things picked up in the second half, and I felt more at ease and actually started to become invested in the whole Sophie and Fox pregnancy quest. There was more emotion here, more communication than simple getting down to business, so it's possible that's why the story clicked more in the latter half of the book. The ending was rather adorable, and I dare say that Fox and Sophie had me smiling and then I swooned at that two-worded last line. The first half gets three stars, the second five stars, so I'm averaging my rating for Fox at four stars. ♥
Date Read: 16 April 2017
Learn more about S.M. Lumetta.