Anything For You, by Sarah Mayberry

>> Thursday, October 15, 2009

TITLE: Anything For You
AUTHOR: Sarah Mayberry

PAGES: 2006
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Blaze

SETTING: Contemporary Australia
TYPE: Category romance

REASON FOR READING: I really liked the other Mayberry book that I read. I chose this one from her backlist because of the friends-to-lovers theme, which is one of my favourites.

Since when was his best friend this hot?

The world according to Sam Kirk has just turned upside down. His best friend and business partner, Delaney Michaels, has returned from vacation a new woman...a gorgeous, hot new woman. Suddenly Sam is thinking entirely inappropriate thoughts about his buddy. Worse, with Delaney's changed look, she's abandoning their friendship in pursuit of the picket-fence dream. It's a nightmare come true.

Then one night finds them tangling in the sheets.

It should feel wrong, wrong, wrong...instead, it feels very right. And now Sam knows exactly what he'd do to keep his best friend: absolutely anything.
Delaney Michaels and Sam Kirk have been best friends forever, since they were teens. They're huge parts of each other's lives, they even work together in the extreme sports magazine they founded and live in flats in the same building.

Sam has no idea, but Delaney has been hoplessly in love with him all those years. When her biological clock suddenly wakes up, she decides she really needs to do something about meeting the right man and starting a family. And the only way she sees to achieve this is by cutting Sam completely out of her life.

But Delaney makes the mistake of getting a makeover, and her radical actions of leaving the magazine and selling her flat are slightly undermined by the fact that Sam has suddenly started seeing her as a woman, and neither of them can keep their hands off the other.

There's something about Mayberry's books and I'm going to keep reading her, but this one didn't quite hit the spot. Part of it might be that I absolutely hate plots based on biological clocks, and there was a very strong "all women one day wake up and crave having children" message here. Ugh, because the other thing I get from that is "and if they don't, there's something wrong with them". Or maybe I'm being to sensitive.

But it was more than that. Like I said above, I love friends-to-lovers plots, but I didn't quite see the best friends bit here. Delaney, especially, didn't seem like a particularly good friend to Sam. At points I even felt she didn't much like him. Most of her thoughts about him concerned how resentful she felt that he didn't feel the same way as she did, and she seemed out to punish him for it.

Also, I understand about pride, but if she was going to take extremely radical action and completely cut her best friend ever out of her life, making both herself and him suffer, wouldn't she want to make absolutely certain that it was needed? Especially after they began their affair and it became clear that Sam couldn't keep his hands off her, suggesting he just might feel something. But no, since he hasn't made a pass in those 16 years, he clearly doesn't feel anything. No matter that she has been madly in love with him for the same period, and she hasn't made any moves, either.

There's a lot of angst in the relationship, Delaney's about feeling she needs to do this but finding it hard, Sam's about his best friend abandoning him and he having no idea why. Unfortunately, though, I found Delaney's logic for doing this faulty (not too mention nonexistent logic in her idiotic plan to burn out on Sam by having a whole weekend of uninterrupted shagging with him -great capacity for fooling herself, that girl). This meant that the angst on her part felt manufactured. She just seemed determined to make herself miserable, and I wanted to shake her, rather than feel for her.

So what did I like? Well, Sam's nice, and I did feel for him. His bewilderment about what the hell is going on with his best friend and the way he's so torn about wanting her were excellently done. lso, the book and its setting feel younger and hipper than I'm used to in category romance (I mean, how many heroes with dreadlocks, have you seen in these books? Although if you don't quite fancy that, he does cut them off quite early on). Delaney, again, is the exception here. For all the extreme sports paraphernalia in her life, she seems staid and dull.

So this one was a bit of a dud. Not a huge one, since I liked a lot about Sam and it was a quick, breezy read, but I don't think it will take a place among my favourite categories.



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