Entangled Edge / May 27, 2014 / $.99 digital
Reporter Saroj Shah has been in love with bass player and bartender Adam Harper since her first day of college—seven years ago. Forever thinking of her as part-friend and part-little sister, he's just been too blind, and too clueless, to see it. Until one pivotal moment pulls her into the spotlight.
The moment Saroj steps on stage, Adam sees his friend in a new light. He can't take his mind off of her and realizes they could make beautiful music together. But seven years is a long time and Saroj is ready to move on. Adam will have to hit the right note if he wants to prove to Saroj he was worth the wait.
Seven years is a long time to suffer from unrequited love. In the friends-to-lovers novella Opening Act, Saroj Shah has been the one carrying the torch for one of her best friends, musician Adam Harper. Opening Act probably has the most stubborn hero I have read in a long time; he’s also probably the sweetest. The world that Snyder created for her lovers is filled with laugh out loud humor and poignant emotional connections.
Saroj has had it with pining after Adam Harper. After seven years and many mates between them, it’s obvious that Adam is never going to take her blatant feelings for him seriously. Adam's deliberately obtuse view of his relationship with Saroj is first shaken and then broken when mutual friend and band member Johnny Ray makes out with her one night. JR is a notorious playboy that I actually wouldn’t mind reading more about; he’s bisexual, naughty, funny, and sensitive enough that we can tell he is damaged.
JR is part of the endless population of people that knows how Saroj feels about Adam, but more importantly, he is part of an important population of people that knows how Adam feels about Saroj—unfortunately, Adam himself has not joined that community. When JR openly flirts with Saroj she has a few “why not?” moments; after all, they are both single and it turns out JR’s raunchy reputation is honestly earned. As Adam’s roommate, JR was willing to bet that any involvement with Saroj would drive Adam crazy, and boy, was he right. He was so right, in fact, that Adam decided he couldn’t let Saroj leave the bar with JR’s kiss on her lips, so he gave her one of his own.
Now Saroj has a serious problem. What do you do when your longtime crush finally notices you...but only because a mutual friend notices you first? Well, Saroj does what I probably would have done, and gets pissed off. Snyder does such a great job of packing years of history into this novella, helping us understand their relationship as friends and what happens when that switch gets flipped to lovers. Upon meeting Saroj, Adam immediately starts treating her as a little sister. Saroj calls him out on it later, telling him he friend-zoned her before it had a name. Adam prides himself on being a good guy. He is friends with all of his ex-girlfriends and generally well liked.
What we learn about Adam is that he never imagined the two of them together because he thinks Saroj is too good for him. When he and Saroj have an argument and she reveals to him that she is in love with him and imagined having his babies he was completely shocked, telling her he didn’t even know that was an option in their relationship.
Over the years, Saroj has owned embarrassing moment after embarrassing moment in her fruitless pursuit of Adam. As a journalist, she has written biased reviews of Adam’s band to the delight of her teasing co-workers; as a student her first encounter with him was in the showers when she found out the hard way that the dorm was coed; with her girlfriends he is a regular topic of discussion at sunday brunch; even her parents check in with her about Adam, and they don’t even like him because they are suspicious about his intentions towards her. Adam has serially dusted her feelings off as a minor crush and despite the fact that he deserves every bit of what he gets you almost (almost!) feel sorry for him by the time Saroj gets done with him. Opening Act is a funny, sexy read until the curtain closes.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Opening Act by Suleikha Snyder, available May 27, 2014:
Nicole Leapheart's alter ego is Miss Boxy Frown, and she posts book reviews and TV recaps at missboxyfrown.blogspot.com. She reads and watches everything from romance to sci-fi, but enjoys it even more if some smut is involved. And tattoos.