Review: Save the Date by Carrie Aarons

save the dateTitle: Save the Date

Author: Carrie Aarons

Year of publication: Released today! I was kindly given an ARC to read and review

The heroine: Editorial director/blogger Erin Carter

The hero: NICU nurse Reese Collins

The blurb: You know that pact you make with your childhood best friend of the opposite sex? The one where, if you’re both still single, lonely and hopeless at thirty, you’ll marry each other?

This is the story about what happens when you hit the big three-oh and have to make good on that pinky promise.

Personally, I think love, romance and all of that nonsense is a crock of, well, you know. And Reese Collins, the boy who used to put worms in my hair at backyard barbecues, knows that better than anyone.

But when he moves to the same city I’ve happily, and singly, inhabited for years, memories of oaths past resurface. Reese is like a dog with a bone; a really hot dog and that bone just happens to be me.

He won’t stop hounding me, and the crazy thing is, my frigid, traitorous heart is starting to cave. For my best friend.

It seems so far off, when you’re a kid playing Monopoly in your treehouse. But when that clock strikes midnight on your thirtieth birthday, and you’re standing alone in front of a grocery store-bought cupcake, a childhood deal to walk down the aisle doesn’t seem so silly anymore.

Standalone or series: Standalone

The review: As you probably know by now, best friends to lovers is my very favourite romance trope. Erin Carter and Reese Collins have been best friends for over half their lives, and when they were fifteen they made a pact that if they were both single by the time they turned thirty, they’d marry each.

Since they were born only two weeks apart, their thirtieth birthdays are looming and they’re both reminded of the pact. Erin still lives in their home town of Philadelphia, slaving away at a job she hates. However, she has been cultivating a fashion blog she’s been keeping a secret from all but her family and close friends, and it’s now finally starting to take off in the way she’d hoped. She has two hundred thousands followers on Instagram and companies wanting to make deals with her.

Reese works as an NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) nurse in Dallas, where he’s been based for almost four years, but he’s applied for a job at a hospital in Philly, which means he’d be near his family – and Erin – again. Reese has a secret of his own – he’s been in love with Erin since they made the pact, and since he thinks she’ll forever be out of reach he’s bounced from one relationship to another.

When he moves back to Philly, the pact looms large. Reese persuades Erin to go on a date with him, sure he can convince her to go through with it. Erin, however, is much more wary; five years previously, her parents divorced and she’s completely against the notion of love and marriage.

Will Reese be able to convince Erin that he’s been the one for her all along? Can Erin get past her fear of love? Will they actually go through with the pact and find their happily ever after? I’m not going to spoil it for you… you’re going to have to read the book yourself to find out!

There were a lot of things that I liked about the book – Reese was adorable and I *loved* that he was a nurse, an occupation I’ve never seen in a romance book before for the hero. He genuinely loved his job, too, which made it even better. I loved the cover – using a wedding invitation was perfect! Erin had some funny lines in the book that made me laugh out loud.

There were also some things that really didn’t work for me, such as their nicknames for each other – peas and carrots (apparently a Forrest Gump reference) and what I felt to be Erin’s over-the-top reaction to her parents’ divorce. I think a stronger edit would have made it that much better. But overall, I enjoyed the book. And guess what? You can get it for just US99c for release day only, so there’s no excuse not to buy it!