Meet Amanda Wyatt - she had an eight-year plan and accomplished so much more. Attractive, talented, she was a success whether she was designing high fashion or running her own elegant shop in New Orleans. And she had a friend-with-benefits relationship with Lucas Crosse, her lawyer and the brother she never had, for 12 years. He knew her intimately - well almost. Now, he's decided he wants that, too.
And he's ready to fight for Amanda with Wade Lloyd. He entered Amanda's life by accident. Now he wants to be a permanent fixture. But can he handle her success? Can he handle Amanda? Can he handle her friendship with Lucas Crosse?
As for Amanda, she has choices to make. A new, exciting love? Or a best friend whose benefits she's begun to dream about?
©2012, 1982 Elaine Raco Chase (P)2013 Elaine Raco Chase
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"Fun and steamy"
Amanda and Lucas have been best friends for twelve years. When Lucas comes to visit after not seeing one another for two years, they start to discover feelings they never noticed before. But will getting together ruin their friendship? Then a new guy steps into the picture and Amanda has some decisions to make. This was a lot of fun, with 80's fashions and decorating, bantering between comfortable friends, and plenty of steam. They were both great characters and I was rooting for them to get together, waiting for them to get their act together already. But they had to adjust to seeing one another in a new way.
Jill Arehart did a nice job on the narration. She has a great voice for it. She brings the characters to life and does an admirable job with the French that is thrown in.
"Travel back to the 1980's"
Time travel back to the 1980’s and let Elaine Raco Chase be your guide. Meet Amanda, driven and accomplished businesswoman, with a flair for all things fashion. Her long-term friend Lucas, now a lawyer and her ‘go to’ for all questions of business has invited her down to his Texas home, under the auspices of a vacation / decorating trip.
While their relationship dances between ‘just friends’ and perhaps more, other entrants to the game of romance dance about the edges, creating conflict and choices until ultimate decisions must be made.
Again, Elaine has created a winner: from the overt feel of the 80’s in reference and innocence, to the beautiful use of alliteration and description that enforce the visual imagery created, this story has so many elements to enjoy that choosing just one is near impossible. As always, her dialogue is spot-on, banter is quick, sharp and realistic, with plenty of humor derived from words and situations . The narration by Jill Arehart is pleasant and smooth, without creating distraction from the story, and enhancing the emotion through small timbre and pitch changes. Her voice seems to delight in the luxe and verdant descriptions of fashion greats, and provides the simple note of tentative hesitation through the spotlighted descriptions that fit so well with the questioning nature of bot h Lucas and Amanda’s reactions to one another as the romantic ante is increased.
This is a description rich story, that allows the reader or listener to visualize each element, setting a scene beautifully, and again, presenting the hesitation as they slowly test the waters with one another’s reactions. Phrases like “the hand moved left” and “the eyes roamed” all reinforced their internal questions about moving the relationship onto another plane, and were particularly effective for Amanda in all of her encounters, as she is reticent and reserved, not willing to share herself or her heart with men.
Secondary characters are a mixed bag: while I did not like Wade, and found him overbearing and arrogant, Kitty was truly a non-entity both to the story and in Lucas’ estimation of her. As a spotlight to the question of platonic or romantic, this story worked on all fronts, and was a wonderful listen for an afternoon, especially for those of us who remember the 80’s.
I received an audiobook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Best Laid Plans is well written and Ms. Chase easily drew me into the story, with descriptions of people, places, and things that allowed me to feel like I was right there with the characters. I could see the fashion designs and decor she described. The storyline was sweet and I was happy to see that Amanda made the right choice in the end! I love a happily ever after! :) The only improvement I would offer is with narration, which I thought could have been better (smoother, more connected, and with better inflection). All in all, a great listen.
"This was painful"
With a better reader this pretty standard contemporary romance could have been o.k. The reader's voice was nice but her reading was one of the worst I've ever listened to. This was poorly produced with laughable pronunciations throughout.
I love contemporary romance fiction but good ones are hard to find. I will keep looking.
A producer or someone should have gone through to help with pronunciation.
Well I finished it, mostly because I was knitting and didn't have anything else to listen to. This was an ordinary story, not that well written, but would have been o.k. with a decent reader. A great reader can really help most books. This book suffers from less than great writing and a poor reader.
"Good but way too descriptive"
I liked the storyline, it was predictable but a cute story
The story was, but it was way way too descriptive, so much that it bored me at times. The author described everything, even things that really didn't matter or in any way add to the story. I also felt like she was repetitive in her descriptions. She would describe something every single time she mentioned it. Like the character's beautiful skin for example, I get she's got nice skin, but I don't need the author to remind me and describe it the same way EVERY time she mentions it.
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