Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Boyfriend by Sarina Bowen is a charming fake boyfriend story that melts your heart. Situated in Bowen’s World of True North universe, in the Moo U world, it follows Weston and Abbi. Weston is a handsome playboy hockey player on the esteemed Burlington University team. Like his hockey peers, he spends quite a bit of time at The Biscuit in the Basket as all good Moo U hockey players do. It is there where Abbi and Weston connect. Abbi is a server there, and she admires Weston from afar. Before Thanksgiving, Weston decides to, once again, put himself up for the highest bidder to escort a lucky person, acting as a boyfriend in return for a Thanksgiving meal. Weston’s home life is problematic in the wake of his parents’ divorce; therefore, he avoids it. Abbi, secretly longing for Weston, applies for his assistance for her own Thanksgiving dinner. When Weston chooses her and then realizes she is the gorgeous server from the ‘Biscuit,’ he’s excited for the opportunity to do more than act as her fake boyfriend. However, he realizes quickly that Abbi is more than a good time; she’s perfect. As their story goes, Weston and Abbi decide to have a “friends with benefits” relationship. Yet, as they spend more time together, the temporality of their relationship isn’t enough. Eventually, they realize how suited they are for each other.
Adding Bowen’s voice to this world that has been recently developed by other authors is a major flex for this series of stories. That her hero and heroine are charming reminds us of Bowen’s ability to create relationships that feel grounded in friendship as well as infused with $exiness. Abbi and Weston illustrate this truth beautifully. For me, their chemistry isn’t purely physical; instead, it’s grounded in their ability to get along, to connect. Their banter and connection are what make this book a fantastic read. Bowen builds the tension of their relationship around its eventual end, yet she makes it clear that they are well-suited to each other.
One of the other aspects of Boyfriend that affected me deeply is Bowen’s characterization of Abbi. I’m a sucker for people who find themselves alone in the world. While Abbi has a step-father, he is a remnant of a past life, and their relationship is fraught with outside complications. This aloneness makes Abbi strong in ways that cause her to be the best character in the book. Over and over again, you find yourself enamored with her tenacity, resilience, and, believe it or not, ease with others, specifically Weston. He cannot help but fall in love with her because, while the most complicated characterization, she isn’t the most complicated character. She’s easy to love, and you find yourself rooting for her happy ending.
Boyfriend is another reminder that Sarina Bowen can write thoughtful, engaging, entertaining romance. It’s a perfect addendum to the World of True North, and you’d be missing out on a day of giggles and sighs if you don’t grab it quick.
In love and romance,