Friendly Fire by Saxon James
A Never Just Friends Novel, Book 4
It started in high school.
We grew apart. Bit by bit, then all at once.
The friend who was my ride or die suddenly wanted nothing to do with me.
Now Cam’s back from college, living in the house next door, and pulling stupid pranks just to annoy me.
Between my intense family and my failing relationship, I’m struggling enough without his antics.
But Cam won’t go away. And I’m not so sure I want him to.
It started with a smile.
A shared look of mischief.
Rafael Ortega stole my heart before I realised it was mine to give away.
We were best friends from the time we were in diapers right up until the unthinkable happened: he started dating.
I put distance between us to save myself, but now I’m back, willing to do anything for his attention again.
Because the only thing worse than Rafe breaking my heart…
Is him not getting a chance to.
Friendly Fire is the final book in the Never Just Friends series. It’s a low angst childhood-best-friends-to-lovers romance with skinny dipping, sex toys, and one final happily ever after.
Reynolds, Matti, and Arlo walk ahead of us, and Rafe falls into step beside me. He leans closer, making me hyperaware of all the places we’re close and not touching. “What’s going on up here?” He waves his hand toward the three of them.
I mime locking my lips.
“Hey …” He shoves me. “What happened to telling each other everything?”
“Not my thing to tell.”
He eyes them for a moment before glancing at me. “What can you tell me?”
“Your jeans are completely obscene.”
“You can talk. I keep waiting for those to tear every time you bend over.”
“You’ve been watching me bend over?”
“Don’t get ideas. I was being a good friend by making sure you didn’t need a backup pair.”
I sling my arm around his shoulders. “Aw, we’re friends again?”
“I thought that was obvious.”
“I like to be sure of things.” And just as I’m about to pull away, Rafe wraps an arm around my waist. I swear the ground tilts under me.
“Who else would I share my deepest and darkest secrets with?” he asks.
“I hate to tell you this … your secrets aren’t that dark.”
“Feels that way sometimes. I downloaded a dating app, and as I was filling out the profile, I realized that anyone I met up with, I’d have to tell I was ace. Like … every. One. That’s scary.”
“A dating app?” Somehow, I keep my groan internal.
Kill me fucking now.
“I was curious about what I’d been missing.”
“Speaking from experience, nothing. It’s a minefield. Some of the men …” I shudder.
“Maybe I should limit my search to women, then.”
I stop walking. His arm falls away. “You, ah … weren’t just looking at women?” All the places we were touching suddenly feel cold.
Rafe shrugs. Shrugs like it’s no big deal, but I’m reeling. “Turns out there’s a lot I don’t know about myself. I haven’t focused on all the details, but I’m pretty sure I’m aromantic—probably demiromantic—as well as ace. So if I take sex out of the equation, I think emotionally, it doesn’t matter to me either way.”
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. The last few weeks I’ve struggled to differentiate between friendly banter and flirting. My ego hasn’t let me acknowledge that maybe that shirtless photo he sent me wasn’t so innocent.
I know he mentioned something like this before, but I assumed he was thinking out loud. I didn’t think for a second he was serious.
Rafe stumbles to the side, so I use it as an excuse to pull him back against me. We lean heavily into each other as we stumble down the street to the fairground.
“So you know,” I say close to his ear. “You don’t have to come out to anyone you’re not comfortable with. You’re allowed to have boundaries. Set them and stick to them. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.”
I adored this book!! I love best friends to lovers and Rafe and Cam totally delivers!!!
Cam has been in love with Rafe since they were kids and all the delicious pining was top notch. I also loved how their relationship went from bestfriends to sorta enemies to friends to lovers.
Friendly Fire is a funny and heartwarming novel. Rafe and Cam have incredible chemistry and I really liked how the author portrayed asexuality.
The epilogue is quite lovely and I’m sad this is the end of the series (I think I missed reading the previous book but will get on it asap). Though this is the 4th book, it can be read as a standalone. Highly recommended if you love childhood best friends to lovers!
*ARC provided by the author via Gay Romance Review Tours in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
Enter the Giveaway:
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Saxon James is an author from Aus who’s obsessed with writing queer characters.
She has a range of books from YA to adult and they all have one thing in common: swoony, sweet love.
When not writing, Saxon exists on a diet of coffee and chocolate while putting her KU subscription to the test.
Connect with Saxon:
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/saxonssweethearts/
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/thesaxonjames/