Emma Harris wakes up from a coma and learns that her best friend and her fiancé are now a couple, she broken most of the bones in her body, and her insurance bills are adding up. The doctors told her that she’d never walk again but with the help of her physical therapist she is finally able to move out of her apartment that she shares with her ex-BFF and into her own place. No one will hire her because she hasn’t had a job in a year when the pet store that she trains dogs in goes up for sale. Unable to get a loan she ends up with an unlikely partner. Her frenemy from high school, and Simon’s cousin, Ali Pratt. Love for Beginners is a tale about perseverance, falling in love, and making new friends.
Emma, as the main protagonist, was completely likable and easy to root for. Out jogging when hit by a car seems like pretty bad luck but it brought the delicious physical therapist, Simon into her life and it changed her from a person who may have let people walk on her to learning to have a backbone and to stand up for herself. Something she probably should have done a long time ago. I loved her inner voice that always reminded her that she wasn’t the old Emma but the new Emma 2.0. Her budding romance with Simon while lacking heat (at least for me) did help Emma grow as a character. I looked at it as part of her healing process. Sex with hot PT- check! Of course, there were feelings involved but their romance wasn’t really what this novel was about. It was about Emma’s challenges and how she was facing them.
Ali’s story was secondary but I found it just as interesting. She too needed to grow but it was in the reverse of Emma. From an early age Ali has put a wall up, not letting anyone get close. She always considered Emma a rival. Probably because from the outside Emma’s life seemed charmed but just like what you see on Facebook, nothing is as it seems on the surface. Their partnership allowed them both to see the other side of each other. I thought Jill Shalvis did a good job of showing the growth of a female friendship!
I’m a big fan of Jill Shalvis’ novels. She always writes great secondary character and/or groups of friends that you always want to get to know. Love for Beginners was no different. I do wish the romance had brought a little more sizzle to the page but upon reflection it kind of fit. Simon had his own story that made him a little distant too. Luckily, he had Emma and his cousin Ali to help him work through his emotions and give him a kick in the butt.
If you’re in the mood for a good friendship novel I think Love for Beginners is certainly that. If you want a romance, there is some of that too but I really feel like that was secondary to all of the other stories that were being told in this novel. It wasn’t what I expected but I did like it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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