Max and Andie are best friends. Once orphans, they became struggling youth in one of the tougher neighborhoods of Chicago. Now successful adults married to others, they have a bond that has endured years of heartache, misunderstanding, prideful posturing, distance, and tragedy. But like all good friendships that evolve into romantic love, ties of the heart prove unbreakable.
Adrienne Ruvalcaba offers a promising story arc with her My Best Friend’s Wife book series. Unfortunately, that promise falls short in the final installment, but before we get to that, let’s start with the first book, Her Darkest Day.
Her Darkest Day
Although I own The Prostitute’s Daughter this is my first time reading a Adrienne Ruvalcaba book. I was pleasantly surprised. Her Darkest Day is not without its flaws, but it’s a solid effort; an intelligent slow burn of a story for a mature audience. But as I stated above, there were flaws. There was a prominent continuity issue involving the main characters’ history together. (view spoiler)
In addition there were some minor copy editing issues (typos), and the ending devolved into the usual predictable evil blonde ex and accusations of cheating cliffhanger trope. To expand on that, though the cliffhanger did not bother me, it’s the trope she chose to end it on that did. I think this book could have ended well without the added drama. It would have been a much better read without it. To be honest, I’m not looking forward to reading the next two books in this series (though I’ll try). I don’t like melodrama being added to a perfectly good story that did not need it. Having said that, here’s what I liked about it…
What I liked the most is the slow burn between Andie and Max. I also enjoyed how her husband wasn’t diminished to build up Max as the better man. The friendship between the characters felt real and balanced. And the story’s pacing was spot-on. We are treated to glimpses into their past without lengthy flashbacks or weighty expositions. When the characters consummated their relationship it came across as natural and didn’t bog down the story.
This book had an overall maturity I’ve come to crave in this genre, but am rarely granted. Only a few authors write IRR novels for the 30 and up demographic and so I appreciate discovering Ruvalcaba is among this group. With that stated the book is worth the read and is available on Kindle Unlimited. If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited for .99 it’s a steal. In my opinion, she should bump the price, it’s worth it.
My rating: Some snags and an unnecessary cliffhanger, but lots of feels 4.0
Now, on to book two, Beautiful Beginnings…