Title: Friends That Have Sex Duology
Author: G. L. Tomas
Shelves: New Adult; Contemporary; Romance; LGBT+
Overall Rating: 7/10
Contains minor spoilers
Novel One: F*THS (F*THS #1) (Published February 29th, 2016)
Teddy had two rules—Live for the moment and never look back.
With wealth, good looks and confidence at her fingertips, nothing was going to stop her from living life to the fullest. Not even the secret she’s been forced to live with.
When Asher Rose met Teddy King, he knew it’d be trouble but it was just the kind of trouble he didn’t mind himself falling in, what he didn’t plan was falling hard for the girl no one could tame.
What happens when you take a trip on this sexy ride? An intense, messy and wild ride all the way down.
Spotting her friend-with-benefits, Reggie, at a bar one night, Teddy uses Reggie’s presence as an opportunity to shrug off some unwanted attention, and it is there she meets Reggie’s friend Asher. While they are equally attracted to one another, neither one plans to make their attraction known, since Asher and Reggie are friends, and Teddy and Reggie have a past. Bumping into one another at a house party the following week, Asher and Teddy eventually act on their attraction, but decide to keep their casual relationship a secret to avoid hurting their friend.
I’m lucky enough to have downloaded this duology when it was free on Amazon. They’ve been sitting on my Kindle app waiting to be read, and I finally got round to reading them! (My reviewing skills are rusty as fuck so please forgive me!)
F*THS was a great first novel to a NA duology/series. I liked Teddy and Asher a lot – they were both entertaining and interesting characters, really well-developed, and likeable but by no means perfect. Teddy is smart and beautiful, and seemingly cool and care-free, almost cold at times. But she is hiding a lot of pain and fear under this facade, as she is secretly battling cancer. Asher was also a laid-back character. He’s very sweet and hard-working, and like Teddy, lives for the moment. Their relationship felt really natural to me, and it was fun to watch it grow and develop. I think they made a great couple!
One of the draws to this novel for me was its diverse rep. Teddy is an Afro-Cuban woman, and this rep is very prominent in her POV: from her parents and their pasts, to her hair she is desperate to hold on to, to her ability to speak Spanish, as well as her tastes in music and fiction. Teddy and Asher were also pretty open with their sexuality, which I loved, and while Teddy applies the label bisexual to herself, Asher prefers not to use labels. I liked how open and comfortable they were with their sexuality. Also, I don’t recall a single moment of slut-shaming in these books which makes me very happy! And their sex scenes were hot and well-written 😉
The only complaint I have about this novel was the near-constant falling out and making up between Teddy, Asher, and Reggie. It happened so much! Angsty romance novels are my shit but it was tiring trying to keep up with all the drama between these three characters!
Novel Two: Friends That Still… (F*THS #2) (Published March 24th, 2016)
Teddy’s back in Miami with her mind made up. Live like it’s your last day. Love like it’s your last day.
The moment those steel-blue eyes gazed back into hers, there was no question. Asher wasn’t just the only one she wanted, but the only one she needed. This time around there would be no more room for regrets, but would they ever be more than friends that still…?
Three months after the previous novel, Teddy returns to Miami from a clinical trial determined to move forward with her life. She wants to go back to college, but to do so, she must get a job to pay for her classes. Since Teddy’s sudden departure, Asher has been worried sick over her, and is shocked when he sees her at his workplace. As they reconcile, Teddy is worried that her relationship with Asher will cost her her friendship with Reggie, because as she faces a very uncertain future, she cannot afford to lose them both.
Friends That Still was a slow starter for me. It look me a while to actually get into the novel, but overall I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. F*THS did a really good job in character development, and I feel that this novel was great in terms of portraying the growing relationships between Teddy, Asher, and Reggie. Teddy and Asher’s relationship became more honest and intimate which was awesome, and Teddy and Reggie’s friendship also went through some changes. I felt closer to all three characters throughout this novel and it was so nice.
And again, there was a lot packed into this novel outside of the romance/love-triangle, which is one of the things I like most about this series. Much of the focus was on Teddy and her health, her future, and her relationship with her parents. She’s badass.
I found the novel’s ending to be quite abrupt and underwhelming, however. I was sat there like, “is that it?” I also didn’t like how the ending was just us being told what happened to these characters as opposed to seeing it for ourselves. It felt like several important scenes I would have loved to have seen were just a footnote tacked on the novel’s end. Slightly disappointed with that. I will also mention that I did notice several typos and grammatical errors in this novel. The odd mistake in novels I completely understand (there’s probably a couple in this review, tbh), but there were a noticeable amount of errors in this novel.
Overall I enjoyed this duology a lot! They were entertaining and funny with lots of serious and sweet moments. These characters live messy, complicated, imperfect lives and the authors do a great job of accurately portraying that. I also really liked these novels for their social commentary on a variety of topics – I feel like that’s one of the reasons why they are so different from other romance novels I’ve read. There’s actually a novella that takes place years later but it deals with a topic that hits way too close to home for me so I’ll most likely skip it, even though I’m curious as heck! But I hope Teddy and Asher (and Reggie) have their deserved happy ending.
Would you read this novel again? Possibly! Maybe one day I’ll even read the novella.
Who would I recommend this novel to? NA readers, absolutely! Readers searching for a diverse read, romance readers wanting major angst!!