Three’s a Crowd by Everly Ashton hit the spot for me as a reader! I love a frenemy type story and this has that aspect in spades, at least at first. Fiona is not happy that her best friend’s older brother, Keane, is forced to move in but she can hardly deny him a room when a fire destroyed a lot of his apartment for the time being. He needs to live somewhere after all.
Keane isn’t thrilled to be living with his sister and her best friend either but he has bigger things on his mind. He has the opportunity to help launch a new restaurant with his current boss, Jacques. Keane needs to come up with $200,000 and the dream of creating his own menus and being the head chef with his skills could be his. Unfortunately, the location that Keane and Jacques are looking at also happens to be considered for historical building status and Fiona is on the opposite side of Keane. The sparks are about to fly.
It is obvious from the beginning that the constant bickering between Keane and Fiona is a cover-up for deeper feelings. And while it can be a bit tedious in the beginning, it isn’t long before I was rooting for these two. They are both passionate about their work (Fiona works with the homeless) and Keane is determined to prove himself as a chef. I liked how slowly but surely as they lived with each other, they let their guard down. There are a lot of good moments of growing intimacy and tenderness that shows they have the capacity to make a relationship work. They also are definitely enjoying each other in the bedroom! Unfortunately there are a few classic communication mistakes along the way and the appearance of an one-night stand in Keane’s life. These plot turns aren’t anything new but I feel like the author handles them well. Annabelle, the one-night stand, isn’t totally villainized anyway.
Three’s a Crowd kept my attention and introduced me to a new author I am intrigued by. I would like to read about Marlowe’s happy ending in the next book.
Keane and I have been enemies since childhood.