Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2
When Winter Renshaw’s ARC for The Best Man hit my Kindle, I was salivating for it. Unfortunately, I had other more pressing ARCs to read so as to meet my deadlines for those reviews. Yesterday, when it went LIVE EARLY was the first time I could finally sit back and read it. I was nervous. It’s 50ish chapters. I knew I needed it read by last night, and I worried that I would have to pull an all nighter.
Yet, I needn’t worried BECAUSE in true Winter Renshaw fashion, The Best Man is a book that you simply cannot put down. It’s pacing and story draw you in, and you keep reading until you have gobbled every page.
The story follows Cainan and Brie. Initially, these two meet in a bar where Cainan proceeds to “hit on” Brie, and she spurns his one-night stand intent. He ends their connection with a comment: “Next time we meet, we won’t be strangers.” Unbeknownst to them both, Brie and Cainan meet when she witnesses a horrible crash and saves the life of the man in the crash, not realizing it is Cainan. Worried over him, she stays in the hospital to receive updates on his status and meets Cainan’s best friend, Grant. These two live in the same state and end up engaging in a relationship.
Cainan wakes up from his coma and believes he is married with two kids. His visions/dreams while sleeping are so vivid that he can’t believe he isn’t. For weeks and months after his surgery, he thinks about this woman in his dreams. Eventually, after healing and therapy, he returns to his life where one night he runs into her again at the same bar, only he doesn’t remember their first meeting, but he knows her face. She ends up leaving him again out of duty to life, and he struggles to move on from her. When his friend, Grant, tells him that he is getting married, Cainan eventually sees a photo of Grant’s fiancee, only to realize it’s the woman of his dream and the woman in the bar. Knowing that she is Grant’s, he resolves to move on from her. However, circumstances conspire to make it difficult.
Above all, this story is a slow-burn romance. If you are looking for $exy bedroom scenes, this isn’t the book. The beauty of this book is its story that keeps you suspended in anticipation because Renshaw designs characters that MUST be together. As the reader, you NEED Brie and Cainan to find their happy ending because Renshaw forms them to complete each other. If you’re worried that Brie cheats on Grant, you need not worry. Even more, this romance doesn’t even read as a romance where she must choose between two men. This isn’t the point of Renshaw’s The Best Man. Her purpose is telling a story of two people completely fated for each other that it takes on almost a paranormal feel. I hate using that word as it instantly reduces this story because that isn’t this story. Brie and Cainan are completely made for each other that their story reminds us that love shouldn’t be an obligation, but a source of power, pleasure, and peace.
Renshaw’s style is such that it almost feels quiet at times. I’ve observed this in her other books. Even when the hero (actually, usually the hero) or heroine is raging in the story, the romance whispers across the page. It’s this quietude that allows for the story to flow, so that a reader like me easily crushes the book. Like I said at the beginning of this review, I began it in the early evening hours and finished it before I went to sleep at midnight. As I also mentioned the number of chapters in this book, you should know that many of them are short, so that you breeze easily through them on your way to the ending. Every chapter seemed necessary as it lays out both Brie and Cainan’s point of views. The structure of this story along with her prose offers up The Best Man as an extravagant read.
Winter Renshaw’s The Best Man is a perfect read for our times. It allows you to fall into Cainan and Brie’s journey as you pass your time at home. It will grab your heart and pull you into its charms, as it reminds us all that we should always choose love first.
In love and romance,