Harnessing sass, heartfelt struggle, and unapologetic sexuality, Jimenez’s debut is as hysterical as it is tear-jerking. Kristen Peterson is a woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to speak her mind. She meets every situation with sarcastic humor—except the devastating news that she’ll never be able to get pregnant. While Kristen is planning her friend Sloan’s wedding, she meets the groom’s best friend, Josh Copeland. He’s sexy, funny, and always on board for her shenanigans, but he is hoping for a large family. Despite her best efforts to keep Josh at arm’s length, Kristen can only fight their attraction (and her unresolved feelings around her infertility) for so long, but questions about their future loom large. Jimenez manages to fulfill all expectations for a romantic comedy while refusing to sacrifice nuance. Biting wit and laugh-out-loud moments take priority, but the novel remains subtle in its sentimentality and sneaks up on the reader with unanticipated depth. Readers who have wrestled with infertility will find Kristen’s anxieties and sorrows deeply relatable. Agent: Stacey Graham, Red Sofa Literary. (July)
"Jimenez's dazzling debut is a brilliantly written romantic comedy that seamlessly toggles back and forth between scenes of laugh-out-loud, snarky wit and serious emotional issues without missing a beat, all the while delivering maximum reading satisfaction."—Booklist, Starred Review
"Harnessing sass, heartfelt struggle, and unapologetic sexuality, Jimenez's debut is as hysterical as it is tear-jerking...Jimenez manages to fulfill all expectations for a romantic comedy while refusing to sacrifice nuance. Biting wit and laugh-out-loud moments take priority, but the novel remains subtle in its sentimentality and sneaks up on the reader with unanticipated depth. Readers who have wrestled with infertility will find Kristen's anxieties and sorrows deeply relatable."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Jimenez tackles a myriad of issues in her debut and hits each one with depth and sensitivity. Kristen's take-no-prisoners attitude is smart and sassy and perfectly balanced by Josh's easygoing resourcefulness...An excellent debut that combines wit, humor, and emotional intensity."—Kirkus
"This romcom novel will have you feeling the falling-in-love autumn vibes."—Buzzfeed
"The Friend Zone is a deliciously hot, sweet debut full of banter I couldn't get enough of. I loved all the characters, from Kristen and Josh, to the supporting cast, and even Stuntman Mike. This book is an absolute treat."—L.J. Shen, USA Today bestselling author
"The Friend Zone gave me belly laughs, shook me up, and made me feel hopeful about love and the human strength of spirit. A romance for the ages!"—Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author of Fix Her Up
"Your next favorite romantic comedy...The Friend Zone is that rare beach read with tons of heart that will make you laugh and cry in equal parts."—PopSugar
"You can expect to laugh and cry during this one."—Good Housekeeping
"The Friend Zone is heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and emotional. Abby Jimenez wrote a difficult story line with sensitivity, heat, humor, banter, and unwavering friendship."—Harlequin Junkie, Top Pick
"The Friend Zone is a beautiful tale of learning to accept the love you deserve and finding a path to self-acceptance along the way....a zippy, instantly recognizable voice and fresh, funny characters."—Entertainment Weekly
"This new romance novel will have you both laughing and crying throughout its entirety."—Women.com
"Zingy dialog, laugh-out-loud humor, and plenty of sass temper the heartbreak of infertility in this modern, well-grounded debut that is sure to satisfy."—Library Journal
"The Friend Zone is a laugh-out-loud, wickedly clever book that sneaks up on you with a cathartic emotional payoff."—Jenny Holiday, author of Three Little Words
"This novel doesn't shy away from anything - it's fiercely loving all the way to the HEA."—NPR
"A debut novel that has it all-tears, sarcastic humor, romance and the heartbreaking issue of infertility."—Greenville News
"I think I've found a new favorite contemporary romance novel with The Friend Zone. ...This book made me laugh and cry, and it filled my heart with so many emotions. ...I'll be recommending this book to everyone."—Bookish
A woman refuses to be with her soul mate, but life intervenes, making her choice harder and more heartbreaking.
Josh meets Kristen with a bang, literally, when she slams on her brakes and he runs into her. There's minimal damage, so she disappears. Minutes later they discover that their best friends are engaged to each other and they were slated to meet that day at the fire station where Brandon and Josh work. Josh is immediately smitten, but Kristen has a boyfriend, Tyler, who's deployed overseas. Counting down the days until he gets home for good, Kristen adamantly puts Josh in the friend zone, refusing to acknowledge their growing closeness and her spiking attraction. Then Tyler reenlists, effectively breaking up with her. Kristen and Josh sleep together, but she slams the door on his hope for a real relationship, telling him it will never be more than a friends-with-benefits situation. Josh thinks Kristen is mourning the end of her relationship with Tyler, but really, Kristen realizes Josh is her perfect match. Unfortunately she also knows Josh wants children, which would be nearly impossible for them due to her malfunctioning reproductive system. The two reach a painful impasse, but when tragedy strikes, they find themselves reevaluating their relationship. Josh knows he'll never be happy without Kristen, but he'll have to think outside the box to convince her to take a chance on them. Jimenez tackles a myriad of issues in her debut and hits each one with depth and sensitivity. Kristen's take-no-prisoners attitude is smart and sassy and perfectly balanced by Josh's easygoing resourcefulness, though at times her lack of transparency while jerking him around makes her seem more immature than self-sacrificing.
An excellent debut that combines wit, humor, and emotional intensity.
DEBUT There's nothing like a fender bender to get a relationship off to a smashing start, but discovering that the guy who rear-ended your borrowed truck (gently, to be honest), firefighter Josh Copeland, is the best man to your maid of honor at your best friend's wedding makes it worse. Snark flies, but the attraction can't be denied—an attraction that Kristen Petersen is determined to keep at bay for a number of reasons. "Friends only" is the order of the day—until it isn't. A hero who wants a big family and a heroine who probably can't have children struggle to understand what love really means and what they both want in a realistic story that cuts to the quick. VERDICT Zingy dialog, laugh-out-loud humor, and plenty of sass temper the heartbreak of infertility in this modern, well-grounded debut that is sure to satisfy readers. Jimenez is a baking expert and former Food Network champion; she lives in Minnesota.