Series: Wildstone #4
Published by William Morrow on January 21, 2020
Source: the publisher
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New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Wildstone with the touching story of finding your place in the world—and the people who make it home.
Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.
When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.
Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Jill Shalvis books are so consistently good. Almost Just Friends is the fourth book in the Wildstone Series, but it works perfectly as a standalone.
Piper Manning lives alone in the great big house that her grandparents left her after they passed away many years ago, leaving Piper to raise her younger brother and sister. When the story begins, Piper is celebrating her thirtieth birthday, and her adult brother and sister have surprised her by coming back home. Their relationship is a little bit tense for several reasons, but they love one another fiercely. Piper finds herself having to readjust her life plans in order to support her siblings…yet again. They are all at a big crossroads in their individual lives, and they need one another. And they all need to figure out how to live in the same place again.
Cam Reid has returned to his father’s house for a very specific task. He lives far away and plans to stay only a short time, but then he unexpectedly meets Piper. As he begins to know her, he falls hard for her siblings just as much as he falls for Piper. He dreads going back home more and more.
The thing that I loved about every one of these characters is this: they all have some pretty big issues in their lives, and all of these issues keep them from “moving on” with life and making better choices. They’re all very stubborn and have some very real flaws. This is the story of how these two families become one bigger family, and how they all learn to trust one another. I love Cam and I really felt for him, particularly with his issues of survivor’s guilt after his brother’s death. Even more, I was completely drawn to the Manning siblings and the very crooked-and often funny-path they took to making their family relationship work.
The Manning siblings each have such huge obstacles that they really just can’t manage on their own. Piper is convinced that they can’t reconnect and live together in a healthy way, and she harbors a lot of feelings and stresses on the inside from always having to parent them. I loved the way each of them took on their lives and found ways to enhance the lives of the rest of the family. I am a true sucker for sibling relationships like this one, because it feels so real to me.
I truly never sit down to a Jill Shalvis book that I don’t love it. There’s just something about her way to connect people and make them seem so real that appeals to me. The romance between Piper and Cam is so fun to read-slowly progressing for very good reasons. And I adore the other romances that show up in the book. This is just a really good story about growing up, moving on, and trusting the people you love.