Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing on 18th June 2020
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Cooper Reeves was the boy-next-door. Every milestone, every memory of my youth was entangled with his.
We were inseparable... until college.It wasn’t his friends, girls or even sports that came between us— it was me.
Tired of being in the friend zone, I finally made a move. Turns out it was the wrong one.
Cooper walked away to play his first year of professional football and left me behind with a broken heart.
It’s always been her. Even before I really knew what love was, Reese Latham was by my side, making me swear we’d be best friends forever.
And we were... until one night changed everything. I knew how she felt because I felt it too, but I pushed her away to save our friendship.
The longer we’re apart, the more I realize she’s not only my best friend, Reese is the love of my life.
I was kidding myself thinking I could let her go because now I know that living without her is the worst kind of agony.
‘Agony’ by Kaylee Ryan is an angst-fest from start to end; having gone into this without realising that this is a duet made it worse because it ends on an unhappy cliffhanger, despite you know that this has an HEA down the end of the line when the second book finally releases.
The childhood-best-friends-to-lovers trope is a long, drawn-out one here and isn’t entirely fulfilled in this book, as poor timing and drastically-changing circumstances finally shift the game…and that is where the book ends.
‘Agony’ was surprisingly easy to read however, maybe because of Cooper Reeves’s repetitive emphasis on best friends only and nothing more despite the growing feelings and attraction that he denied up until the very end. In contrast, Reese seemed more enlightened even as she dealt with a broken heart and a willingness to move on after finding out that friendship seemed like the only end game for Cooper.
What I didn’t entirely get was the necessity of having this push-pull stretched over a full-length novel with early scenes of their college years that felt superfluous, some of which could have easily replaced by a faster-paced second half that could have dealt with conflict resolution. In fact, Cooper/Reese’s interactions felt more of the same as the pages wore on and their individual stances on their best-friends relationship which had obviously long crossed the line started to ring hollow given the multiple affirmations of their holding pattern.
As eager as I am for their resolution however, having this end unsatisfactorily (while knowing there is a happy ending to come) dimmed my enjoyment quite a bit – blame me perhaps, for needing it all wrapped-up nicely from start to end.