Friday, July 7, 2023

Friends Don't by Leah Dobrinska: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

A heartfelt and hilarious romantic comedy, loosely inspired by While You Were Sleeping.

As the oldest of three sisters, Poppy Kasper doesn't remember a time when she wasn't the glue holding her siblings-and their lives-together. So moving across the country to Cashmere Cove, the hometown of her new boyfriend, is completely out of character. Add in the fact that said boyfriend is leaving for a months-long pro-golf tour, and it's enough to make Poppy question her sanity. But it's fine. Everything's fine. She can still be a good sister from a distance, and she'll keep the spark in her relationship alive with calls, texts, and old fashioned love notes. See? Fine.

Quiet and serious Mack Bradley is used to playing second fiddle to his famous younger brother, especially since his own reputation was ruined nearly a decade ago. He's made his peace with his circumstances, but when his brother begs him to show his new girlfriend the Cashmere Cove ropes, and then ups the ante with an even bigger request to stand in as her pen pal, Mack finds himself thrown into the path of the effervescent Poppy Kasper. She's his foil in every way...she also makes him feel things he's never felt before.

A summer of pranks, late-night swims, and stargazing finds Poppy and Mack forging an unlikely friendship-one built on laughter and pushing each other to see life in a different light. But when Poppy's relationship with Mack's brother unravels, will she leave town? Or is there another reason for her to stay?

After all, friends don't fall in they?

(Friends Don't is the first book in the Fall In Love series, which follows three sisters as they find love after moving across the country to the small town of Cashmere Cove, Wisconsin. This is a closed door romcom with plenty of sizzling chemistry and romantic tension, but no spice.)

Leah Dobrinska is the author of the Fall In Love romcom series, the Larkspur Library Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in the Wisconsin Northwoods, and the Mapleton novels, a series of award-winning standalone small town romances. She earned her degree in English Literature from UW-Madison where she was awarded the Dean’s Prize and served as a Writing Fellow. She has since worked as a freelance writer, editor, and content marketer. As a kid, she hoped to grow up to be either Nancy Drew or Elizabeth Bennet. Now, she fulfills that dream by writing mysteries and love stories.

A sucker for a good sentence, a happy ending, and the smell of books—both old and new—Leah lives out her very own happily ever after in a small Wisconsin town with her husband and their gaggle of kids. When she's not writing, handing out snacks, or visiting the local library, Leah enjoys reading and running. Find out more about Leah, join her newsletter community, and connect with her through her website,

If we're being honest, 'falling for your boyfriend's brother is a trope that just shouldn't work, right? It most definitely has the potential to be super awkward and leave us feeling like our main characters are being disloyal pretty easily. But Friends Don't proves that it can absolutely work and work well without any of those cheating or bad sibling vibes! 

This book was absolutely fantastic! The meet cute between Poppy and Mack was hilarious and awkward in the best way possible....and it only got better from there. I absolutely adored these two together with their cute nicknames and natural chemistry progressing from friends to more. That first kiss? Oh. My. Goodness. Truly, this might have been one of my favorite first kisses in a romance ever. Sizzling chemistry is right! There were plenty of laugh out loud moments, but also some really heartfelt and healing moments throughout as well. 

Friends Don't is a closed-door romance. The chemistry is sizzling and there were a few innuendos but goes no further than kisses. There were just a couple (1-2) minor swears. 

This is the first book in the series, and the epilogue gives us a little peek at what's to come next... and I am absolutely here for it! I cannot wait to see what will happen next. It's hard to believe that this is the author's first RomCom because it was perfection, I can't wait to see more from her in the future! 


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