Mina V. Esguerra’s previous books did not disappoint me, so seeing that a new book of hers came out, I immediately grabbed a copy at a nearest local bookstore.
Here’s the synopsis from the back cover of the book:
Lindsay and Jake have loved each other (as friends) since their senior year in college, and she made sure they didn’t become more than that. The guy now known as Jacob Berkeley, star of a wildly successful TV show, was always too much for her. Too handsome, too many questionable hookups, too restless. Also sensitive, fun, and genuinely caring. She’s his emergency contact, his “zombie apocalypse buddy,” his holiday dinner companion.
They’ve kept up this low-maintenance friendship for years, surviving graduation, their new careers, her move to New York City to work as an environment consultant. But then, days before a big climate change conference, he shows up, with big news. Jake wants to pick up what he never managed to finish in college. He wants to save forests again, work in environmental research – and he wants her.
Don’t fall in love with Jake…Why again?
The book cover alone triggered my curiosity as a different side of Mina V. Esguerra is about to be revealed in her new masterpiece. I haven’t read any works by Filipino authors with steamy scenes in it, so reading this book would be a new experience for me. With no preconceived notions or expectations, I felt a bit excited as I anticipated how I would react to this book after finishing it.
I loved the fact that Mina V. Esguerra stepped out of the norm and explored a different setting. The main characters were based in America and Mina was able to capture its culture and lifestyle through her characters. From the moment the main characters were introduced to us, it was evident that they had an undeniable chemistry together. The attraction they felt for one another pushed them to reflect about what they truly want in their lives. But of course, as in every relationship, it’s not always perfect. Confused about Jake’s true intentions, Lindsay refused to listen to her heart. It was definitely a bumpy road they encountered, but in the end, I liked how the conflict was resolved, impressed even. This made Jake even more likeable and swoon-worthy.
Overall, this book just raised Mina V. Esguerra into a whole new level. Despite being just a quick read, Never Just Friends satisfyingly portrayed a love story between two people. Mina V. Esguerra surely narrated the story well and even wrote the detailed steamy scenes remarkably awesome. The character development of the main characters can truly be seen as the story progressed. Her inclusion of the zombie apocalypse in the story did not make it awkward or random. I was impressed that it fitted the story fine and served a significant part in the characters’ relationship as well as in the plotline. Never Just Friends was definitely an enjoyable read.