Strictly Friends

Brilliance Audio. Mar. 2023. 9:37 hrs. ISBN 9781978699489. $42.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Ruby Lamont’s young son Jake has started telling big tales at school about who his father is. To keep him from getting in more trouble, Ruby takes her son to meet his father, Kenny, who abandoned them six years ago to go live on Sorrel Island in the Caribbean. Though Ruby doesn’t want to reconcile with Kenny, she does want to understand why he left so long ago. With the support of her aunt Pearl and best friend Griffin, Ruby sets off to spend a month on Sorrel Island. When Ruby learns the real reason Kenny left, heartbreak seems inevitable. Narrator Ione Butler perfectly captures the tension in Ruby as she struggles to reconcile the past with the present, all the while enjoying life in paradise. Butler entertains with her ability to capture many different accents, and her lively characterizations strike the right note.
VERDICT Williams’s (The Second Time We Met) latest romance is perfect for listeners who enjoy love triangles, miscommunications, and character growth. Despite a somewhat far-fetched ending, this summer read satisfies.
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