When we say "Harlequin," what word comes to mind? Cheesy? Corny? Predictable? Most of us associate Harlequin books to be cheap indulgences for lonely nights--and maybe that's true. But, see, I think of them as a tiny piece of chocolate--that extra jolt you need to get you through pain, misery, life. Face it, sometimes you're in the mood for a little Harlequin.
Recently, I have been reading Her Best Friend--a Super Romance--by Sarah Mayberry.
Plot: What's a girl to do when she's secretly in love with a friend and he's married to someone else? She gets over it. That's what Amy Parker has done. Rather than lose her best bud Quinn Whitfield with an ill-timed, crazy confession of affection, she's taken the smart route. She's eased away from him. Just enough to get past the unrequited bits. And you know, it's working.
Until the day Quinn announces he's now single. That's right. He's single. And he wants to hang out. With her. Get reconnected the way they used to be.
Oh, this is so not good for Amy's equilibrium. Daily doses of Quinn remind her of everything she loves about him. But if he's free…and she's free…well, maybe the time has come for one of those crazy confessions.
My thoughts: You feel an instant connection between Amy and Quinn. I thoroughly enjoyed the re-living of their childhood, like when Amy first noticed Quinn's transformation from boy to man. Your sympathy goes out to Amy for her unrequited love for Quinn. I mean, c'mon, we've all had that feeling where you like someone and that person doesn't give you a second peek. And when Amy loses Quinn to her other friend! Well, that just sucks! After all, nobody likes being the third wheel.
Even though this story was predictable--a Harlequin book always is--I was happy when Amy and Quinn finally got together because they worked. I've always said that the best relationships stem from a friendship because no one is trying to impress; all the sags, moles, and wrinkles are there. And that's okay because it means that these two people are hanging out with each other because of who they really are on the inside. And that's important. I'm reminded of the "Jerry and Elaine" relationship on Seinfeld. They went out, broke up, and became the best of friends--the kind you can't imagine living day-to-day without. Can you imagine that? Most people who break up can't be friends, even if that's where it started, because it's just too weird for them. But Jerry and Elaine pulled it off. Friendships are the best!