Lauren Blakely / January 9, 2017 / $10.99 print, $3.99 digital
I've been told I have quite a gift.
Hey, I don't just mean in my pants. I've got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing....
Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard...place.
Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy's smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man's got to do what a man's got to do.
I can resist Josie. I'm disciplined, I'm focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It'll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.
Spoiler—neither one of us sleeps.
Did I mention she's also one of my best friends? That she's brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.
What's a man stuck in a hard place to do?
Isn't it cute? That's basically the tone of the book. I've really liked Lauren Blakely's (loosely) connected series told from the hero's POV. Each book can stand alone, but they're all peripherally related. It's great. Each one stands alone, but it adds a little if you know the stories of the secondary characters as well.
I really really really liked Full Package. It just made me happy. It was so nice to read a romance where the characters are adult, and human. What do I mean? They're incredibly dynamic. They aren't perfect—they're uncertain, awkward at times, emotional, busy, working to balance work and family... and present. They screw up, but talk about it and own up to their mistakes.
Chase Summers is adorable. He is the full package. An ER doctor, charitable guy, good friend, smart, fun, and loyal. Josie Hammer is a delight. Who wouldn't like to be friends with someone who owns her own bakery? (Or you know - own a bakery?) She's comfortable in her own skin, a small business owner, has a great sense of self and maturity, and always smells like awesome baked goods. These two have been friends forever—and in love forever, although neither of them figured out the latter until they move in together (just for convenience). (Is this the modern “marriage of convenience”? Real estate finangling in New York?)
It was nice that Chase and Josie already had an established relationship as really good friends, but what makes it better is that the entire dynamic changes when they become roommates, and Ms. Blakely writes it perfectly. They're forced to acknowledge and address their attraction to each other. Despite knowing each other so well Chase and Josie still go through the awkwardness of establishing a romantic relationship. Then there's the fact that Chase is so head over heels in love but trying to keep it “casual.”
I loved the interaction with the secondary characters too—all the conversations Chase has with his brother (and side note I can't wait for the other Summer story!) and the complication that Josie is also his best friend's little sister. It's such a great cast of characters that are subtly interwoven. Just like Chase and all his inner musings. He's desperate to compartmentalize his feelings, but can't. The personal growth, the development of the relationship—all of it happens in such an engaging way.
... If I could pick a romance to be my life, this would be it. I'm already looking forward to the next books. If you're picking up Full Package to start off your 2017 reading, I envy you. You're starting off with a winner.
Learn more about or order a copy of Full Package by Lauren Blakely, available now:
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