Saturday, June 22, 2024

For The Record by Juliana Smith: Book Review

 **Complimentary copy received via Netgalley. All opinions are my own. 

For the Record Book Cover

The Book

Wedding bells ring in this marriage of convenience, friends to lovers, light-hearted rom com full of heart, laughter, and sourdough starters.

After accidentally marrying her best friend on a last minute Vegas trip, Rachel decides that instead of getting an annulment, she and Adam could reap the benefits of marriage and play the system for his military benefits. This platonic, no-strings-attached marriage should, on paper, be easy. No problem. An incredibly attractive man putting a ring on her finger and bringing flowers home to her has no effect on her decision to keep this unattached. Except the more Adam plays into the doting husband role, the more Rachel is seeing a life with him as more of a reality than a dream. Her priorities lie with her job and taking care of her dad, but her marriage has potential to make all of that slip away.

Having Rachel as a wife made Adam's life almost perfect. Only there was a key piece missing in their marriage that he needed to share with her, despite it possibly driving her away entirely. Forced to overcome his fear of losing his closest friend, he is reminded that what happens in the dark must eventually come to the light.

The Author

Juliana Smith is an author in a small town in Alabama. She is a full-time realtor, and part-time author, but she spends a lot of her time with her husband and daughter. Juliana writes heartfelt romance filled with laughter and warm fuzzies. She can usually be found in a Chic-fil-a drive-thru or listening to Star Wars theory podcasts, often at the same time.

To subscribe to her super amazing newsletter and receive VIP behind-the-scenes, special offers, and exclusives go to her Instagram @authorjulianasmith .

Book Review

For the Record is the fourth book in the Wells Family series. While you'll recognize most of these characters if you've already been reading the series, I do think it could be enjoyed just fine as a standalone. 

I have really enjoyed the previous books in this series, so I was super excited to read this one. I've got to admit though, when it first started, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to feel about this one. Adam and Rachel first met at a bar and had a one-night stand... while this was completely off page, this just isn't my usual cup of tea, so I wasn't quite sure about it. As the story goes on though, I found myself really falling in love with these characters. They go from a one-night stand to secret best friends to a drunken marriage in Vegas to a marriage of convenience and with the alternating past and present POVs, we get to see it all unfold... and I absolutely adored it. The author did a really great job of hinting at things in the present, and then revealing more slowly in the past, and I found myself really enjoying that. Did I suspect some of the revelations? Yes, I did... but it didn't make my enjoyment any less. The chemistry between these two was undeniable, but it was also a really sweet and tender story too, broaching on tougher topics like a parent with dementia. While I may have been uncertain at first, it certainly won me over in the end. 

For the Record is a closed-door romance, with nothing but kisses on the pages. That said, there is implied intimacy off pages and some innuendo and language throughout and as such might not be for all readers. 

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