Friends with benefits was never the plan…
Melanie Jacobs is in trouble. With three jobs—including running her ranch—and dwindling funds, she’s exhausted. Not to mention desperately trying to hide a secret. Unfortunately, her best friend Colton Freeze knows all too well that’s something is going on, and he won’t give up until he knows exactly what he needs to fix.
Then Colton learns the truth—that Melanie’s future happiness rests in the fickle hands of fate, and her chances for having a family are shrinking with every passing day. Her only comfort is Colton, but when a heated argument between them turns into an even hotter kiss, the boundaries of their friendship are erased, leaving only a scorching-hot hunger for more.
Every kiss—every touch—is a stolen pleasure. But will their new friends-with-sexy-benefits arrangement bring them closer together, or destroy everything they once shared?
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I’m a big fan of Zanetti, so although I hadn’t read any of her Maverick Montana series, the friends to benefits trope was enough incentive to have me requesting either way!
Melanie is in desperate need of funds. She has three jobs, and with a big secret to hide, she doesn’t seem to have time to do anything she actually wants to do. But her best friend Colton knows something is up with her, and isn’t willing to accept her brush off to his questions. Melanie isn’t ready to share her secret with anyone, especially Colton. But their friendship takes a turn when Colton lays a sexy kiss on her during the middle of a heated argument.
Colton hates the idea of not being able to take care of Melanie. He wants to take care of her, and when he realizes her secret, Colton realizes that his life plan of waiting for something more serious isn’t going to happen. Although Colton isn’t ready to admit he’s in love with Melanie, the thought of living without her is more than he can bare. But her secret is a big one, and in order for them to make it work, Colton is going to have to step out of his comfort zone and fight for his best friend.
The friends to lovers trope is one of my favorites, and I thought Zanetti did a wonderful job with it. Melanie and Colton have been friends practically their entire lives, so they know each other better than anyone else, save their mutual best friend Hawk. I liked that although their friendship was super important to them, they also didn’t let the idea of being friends dictate their relationship. They transitioned smoothly to friends with benefits, and then struggled with becoming more. Their relationship was important to them, but so was maintaining their individuality. I liked that Melanie didn’t bend to Colton’s every whim, especially when he got a burr up his bum about telling her what to do. She stood up to him, as she did throughout their entire friendship, and demanded that although their relationship was changing, that he still treat her with the same respect and courtesy as he did before.
I adored poor Colton. The guy was so regimented about his life; he had plans for his life plan. I loved that everyone knew that about him, teased him about it, and yet loved him for it. He was such an interesting character. One second he was working the ranch with his bare hands, rescuing cattle from a storm. The next, he was sitting in a private plane with a suit on getting ready to head into a meeting where he was all Alpha-boss-man. He seemed to be able to do it all, and while that bothers me in other cases, I thought it really worked for Colton.
Melanie was great as well. Like I said, she demanded respect from Colton, even after their relationship changed, and wasn’t willing to bend over backward for him just because they got naked together. I loved that about her. While I didn’t connect with her secret well, I could see why it was so important to her, and why she would go to such extremes to see it through.
All in all, I thought this was a great shorter, steamier story. I loved the way Colton and Melanie’s relationship progressed from friends to lovers, and the way they pushed each other to be better together. I will definitely be going back and picking up the other books in this series.
I give Rising Assets a B+