The Best Thing I Never Had – Erin Lawless

What to Expect:
Five years ago at university they had been seven friends that laughed hard and loved harder.
Nicky and Miles were the couple that were always meant to be… Leigha and Adam, not so much…
So when Adam and Harriet grew close during endless days in the library, they did the one thing that changed everything – they kept a secret. And when it came out, it all fell apart.
When the day comes for bridesmaids to be chosen and best men to fulfil drunken promises, Nicky and Miles’ wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion – loaded with past hurts, past regrets, past loves…

The tale begins with present-day wedding plans, before flashing back for more than half the book to the student dramas of 5-7 years prior, then to the wedding weekend reunion itself and its aftermath.

Kooks for your Kindle?– It took a couple of chapters to get to know the 4 main girls, but they emerge as very distinct characters. Harriet is self contained with a quiet confidence, the opposite of flashy, gorgeous, insecure Leigha. Sukie mainly observed the comings and goings with sardonic comments, trying unsuccessfully to stay out of it. Nicky was caught up in an intense relationship with older guy Miles, and losing herself in the process. The guys were another mixed bunch, Miles was grown up and focused on his future, Johnny was less mature and obsessed with Leigha, finally Adam was the guy Leigha wanted, but he only had eyes for Harriet. Not really a love triangle, or even a square, more of a map of the underground.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– The girls here are young, even in the present day parts they are around 26, but quite mature with it, except maybe for Leigha. Her insecurities were the main catalyst for all the secrecy and betrayal. There’s a fabulous scene at the wedding where it’s all addressed.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– If you went to university in the last 30 years it was probably a lot like this; housemates; house parties; day time telly; cheap booze; student union bar; romantic and friendship dramas. It brings it all back, along with the feeling when you all get together again in adulthood with the bonds remaining.

Evaluation of your eBook?– This is such a strong, assured novel, it’s hard to believe it’s the author’s debut. The characters are all believable, not always likable, but always easy to empathise with. The tone is quite serious, not so frothy, and could be appreciated by people much older than the main characters. The fast pace is maintained throughout, various little mysteries keep the reader in suspense until nearer the end. Speaking of which- its not tied up too neatly, but there is a satisfying sense of fairness and closure with everybody’s individual outcomes.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for 99p.

US: Amazon for $2.99 or Kobobooks for $6.39.