Never Have I Ever
By: Lauren Blakely
Narrated By: Amanda Ronconi & Jason Clarke
Publication: July 30th 2019 by Audible Studios
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--What happens when two frenemies can't stop pushing each other's buttons? Find out in this tender, laugh-out-loud funny romance from number-one New York Times best-selling author Lauren Blakely, available in audio first!
Never Have I Ever been so infuriated by a man I wanted to kiss.
They say opposites attract, but I beg to differ. Combust is more like it. Because every single time I talk to Zach Nolan, I see red.
The too-good-looking, too-smart, too-effortlessly-charming single dad who works down the hall from me has turned getting under my skin into a sport. Call it the battle of wits between the wedding planner and the divorce attorney. Trouble is, when we’re forced into closer quarters, planning an engagement party for our best friends, I start to see his other sides.
And I fear I’m falling for the enemy.
I’m not out to make friends. My goals are simple -- fight till the end for my clients, and my family. The last thing I need is a vibrant, outgoing, snarky, and surprisingly big-hearted wedding planner to spend my precious free time with…except, watching Piper bond with my daughter just might break down the cinder block walls I’ve built around my heart these last few years. Second chances don’t come around for guys like me…or do they?
I listened to the majority of this book while mowing the grass one day after Husband had his Lasik procedure and cutting grass wasn't allowed. It was so relaxing to be productive and enjoy a good book at the same time.
Never Have I Ever is a dual narrative. I enjoyed both the male and female audiobook narrators. The only times I didn't enjoy this as an audiobook was during the steamy scenes. I prefer those to be kept to a minimum or non-existent, and there were only two maybe three scenes max so I wasn't affected too terribly much by that. But even less would have better fit my reading preferences.
I wasn't sure how the game "Never Have I Ever" would fit into a story about wedding planning and divorce lawyers. But Lauren Blakely worked it in in a classy manner. It started with a bride wanting to play the game with her wedding party, and Piper tactfully explains why this would be a terrible idea. It's hard for me to believe that adults still play this game, and to try to work it into your wedding events kind of blows my mind, but I can also see that a very specific type of person might very well try to do just that. But then Piper ends up playing the game with Zach's daughter in a very light and G rated way. The game, of course, works its way into Zach and Piper's interactions, but I felt like this could have even been played up a bit more.
Zach was what you would think and more at the same time. He sounds like a typical male Romance lead, but he's not a player. He's not some bad boy out sleeping around until he finds the one who will make him change his ways. No. He's always been a one-woman man. He loved deeply his first wife before she died. And now that he has kids, he's not even interested in becoming anything different. I respected him for that. He wasn't about trying to sow his wild oats now that his wife was gone. He was more concerned about his children and their needs than anything else.
Piper was easy to like. She's built her business from the ground up. She's made a name for herself. She cares deeply for her clients and pulling off the wedding of their dreams, even if that means stepping into roles that shouldn't really be needed of a wedding planner. But she's got their backs. I loved how Piper first established a relationship with Zach's daughter before softening to him at all.
I could have done without Piper's sister's side story. I suppose she was there to round things out and give Piper a little added conflict and tension for making everything in her business work. But I think just simply needing and wanting to succeed might have been enough for me.
All in all, I very much enjoyed Never Have I Ever. It wasn't perfect for me, but it was a fun, cute book that inspired me to try and fit more audiobooks back into my life. The characters were easier to respect and thus like than I sometimes find from the adult romance genre. Never Have I Ever gets 4 Stars. Have you read (or listened) to Never Have I Ever? What did you think? Let me know!