Review: The New Normal by LJ Hayward (Gold Coast Collage #1)


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Gay Romance Reviews Promos and Tours.

My introduction to L.J. Hayward's writing came by way of her Where Death Meets the Devil, the first in the Death and the Devil series. I was impressed back then, so when I learned that a new series starter was going to be her latest release, I knew I didn't want to miss out. The New Normal is the first in Hayward's Gold Coast Collage series, and it's a best-friends-to-lovers romance. This was different from what I was used to from the author, but I appreciate an author pushing themselves.

Twenty-six-year-olds Brian Stagliano and Andrew Fitzroy have a lot to be grateful for. They've been best friends for nearly two decades, two of their closest friends are marrying soon, Brian's about to begin his internship at the hospital, and Andrew is in remission from his cancer. All it takes is five words from Andrew to Brian to irrevocably change their friendship forever.

This was an overall good read that explored how a twenty-year-old friendship shifts and adjusts to it's "new normal" when not-so-platonic feelings come into play. I adored Andrew and loved how he was just this great guy who was all heart. Brian was, well, someone who needed to get his head on straight (pun not intended!) and learn to think before speaking or acting.

The group of friends were A LOT, and there were moments where I wondered if they needed to all sit down and air out all their grievances and issues. But, I also got it because being a close-knit group doesn't mean you're all faultless. In the end, the cast of characters and the story itself worked, and this has me hopeful for what is yet to come in the Gold Coast Collage series. I'm awarding The New Normal four stars. 🖤

Release Date: 25 May 2020

Date Read: 23 May 2020

Learn more about L.J. Hayward.

Purchase The New Normal on Amazon.

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