Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 5 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: and One Time I Kissed Him First
When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.
As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.
When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.
Review: Evan and Scott have been best friends since the day they met. Over the next two and a half decades, that friendship is explored and tested. One gay, one not as straight as thought; kisses, surprises, hurt and separation all play their part until they find their second chance at love. I don’t want to list what happens with each kiss, I found it too delightful to discover that as I was reading to give away any of the details for anyone else. All I will say is that each chapter covers one of five windows in time with Scott and Evan, with the sixth chapter being their HEA.
Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me (and One Time I Kissed Him First) gives snapshots of five pivotal times in Evan and Scott’s relationship, followed by a further chapter of where they went from there. The author states in the Author’s Note at the end that this book is a homage to her writing roots in fan fiction, where the 5+1 (five times something happened, and the one time it was the opposite) is a popular writing technique, and I think it was utilised quite well here. I did find the non-linear telling of Scott and Evan’s story a little distracting in that it took me a moment to adjust to where we were in their timeline after each jump, and it made the pacing feel a little choppy. However, once I settled into that timeframe I got back into the story quickly.
The story is told from Evan’s POV and I thought both characters were engaging and easy to love as I got to know them. Evan and Scott’s journey from childhood inseparable best friends to lovers was beautifully told with so many wonderful moments, and just a little heartache. The balance, for me, was spot on. As seven year olds, Scott and Evan were impossibly cute together. The author got their speech and mannerisms down perfectly for their age. The scene of their first kiss as kids was so sweet and entirely adorable. Before being given the details of their falling out several years ago, it did feel like Evan was letting Scott back into his life too easily. At that point, I could only assume that if two such close best friends had parted ways, it would have been something fairly dramatic and painful to cause that to happen. It seemed a bit too glossed over and easy. Once I had the full picture, it fell together and I was happy and excited to see their relationship develop. They really were so gorgeous together.
The last chapter had so many wonderful, happy-tears moments that brought a smile to my face. It beautifully captured how they were building their lives together as a couple. It felt real, not a perfect fantasy where everyone is perfect. It showed how they had learnt to compromise with each other to accommodate their individual personalities, because that’s life and that’s how real relationships work. It also showed the love that they have for each other. I loved the ending so much. I loved the entire story. It was a fun, sweet, and thoroughly enjoyable read that left me feeling completely happy and satisfied. I can see this book becoming a firm favourite of mine. Oh, and I also have to mention the gorgeous cover!