Top critical review
30 January 2019
Let me start by saying this was a fun read. It sits right in the middle of the 'best friend's girl' romance trope, in that Leo and Tripp met Lulu at the same time, but it was Tripp who got the girl while Leo remained silent, just wanting his friend happy. Lulu had no idea how Leo felt, and he wanted to keep it that way - even if no girl could ever really take her place in his heart.
The banter between Leo and Lulu is fun, witty and cute. I loved the riddles and games that were woven throughout. The supporting characters were fun, and I loved seeing some of them get their HEA in parallel to Leo and Lulu's story.
My gripe - Tripp and what happened to him. The storyline jumps back in time to when they first met Lulu, and then to various points throughout their past. While it showed how into Lulu Leo was, I didn't feel that it showcased either Tripp or Lulu very well. I didn't get to know Tripp at all, nor understand what drove him to alcoholism. Lulu supposedly put up with his behaviour for years, but aside from a few passing comments, I didn't feel that she was as affected by her love one destroying themself as she should have been - her mention of being let down was more just that - missed dinners, anniversaries and appointments, rather than her feeling devastated at what he was doing to himself. It was almost like she was more lonely than anything else. And then the mention of her divorce was a single line at the end of a flashback: "Three months later, I served him with divorce papers." That was it! I didn't see her have to get over him, nor when he ended up in the car accident that killed him several months after their divorce. The one chapter from Tripp's perspective towards the end just served to confuse the issue - as while he was now separated from Lulu, he wasn't pining after her or seemingly upset about it. He was hanging with Leo and wondering when Leo was finally going to make a move on Lulu. What was the point if the relationship between Lulu and Tripp? I really didn't see any evidence if them being in love, so then the guilt that Leo felt was really misplaced. As was the fact that Lulu didn't even consider Tripp when she went after Leo - even said he didn't factor into it and that she felt no guilt or similar - that's great on the one hand, but when she only knew Leo from when Tripp was around and hadn't seen him since Leo's funeral I expected her to have to do some sort of processing, or go through some sort of sadness.
I love this author, but to me this wasn't her best work. I'll still read other books she puts out, but would recommend other books over this one.