Review of Friends Don’t Fall in Love by Erin Hahn

Music. Best friends romance. Written by Erin Hahn. This should be an absolute favorite and yet . . . ?

Blurb: Erin Hahn’s Friends Don’t Fall in Love is about long-time friends, taking chances, and finding out that, sometimes, your perfect person was right there in your corner all along.

Lorelai Jones had it all: a thriving country music career and a superstar fiancé. Then she played one teenie tiny protest song at a concert and ruined her entire future, including her impending celebrity marriage. But five years later, she refuses to be done with her dreams and calls up the one person who stuck by her, her dear friend and her former fiancé’s co-writer and bandmate, Craig.

Craig Boseman’s held a torch for Lorelai for years, but even he knows the backup bass player never gets the girl. Things are different now, though. Craig owns his own indie record label and his songwriting career is taking off. If he can confront his past and embrace his gifts, he might just be able to help Lorelai earn the comeback she deserves―and maybe win her heart in the process.

But when the two reunite to rebuild her career and finally scratch that itch that’s been building between them for years, Lorelai realizes a lot about what friends don’t do. For one, friends don’t have scratch-that-itch sex. They also don’t almost-kiss on street corners, publish secret erotic poetry about each other, have counter-top sex, write songs for each other, have no-strings motorcycle sex, or go on dates. And they sure as heck don’t fall in love… right?

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Much like The Chicks a decade or so earlier after they took a stand, Lorelai Jones, country music superstar, finds herself on the outs after singing CSN&Y’s “Ohio” to protest school shootings. Within days, her fiancé dumps her via an Instagram post, her agent ditches her as does the record label. The only person who doesn’t is her good friend, Craig Boseman who seeks her out to console her.

Years later, Lorelai is a school teacher in Michigan but has too much music inside of her to totally give it up so she’s thinking about making a come back. She wants to do it on her own terms and is not a fan of the suggested “apology” circuit that her new/old agent lines up for her. But, as always, Craig is in her corner, and helps her find a way to make the kind of music she wants to make in Erin Hahn’s Friends Don’t Fall in Love.

There is a lot to like about Friends Don’t Fall in Love. First, the characters are different from the norm–although, yes, Lorelai is still beautiful. But Craig is a nerdy, nice musician who writes great songs and erotic poetry and wears glasses. A musical Clark Kent? ha. I did grow a little frustrated with Lorelai’s character though. But maybe I am just getting generally frustrated with the push and pull of relationships depicted in romances and the lack of communication.

I also loved the amount of music Hahn interjects into the story although I disagree heartily with the claim that Miley Cyrus’ version (although I am a Miley Cyrus fan) of “Just Breathe” is emotionally superior to either Pearl Jam’s (which is not really grunge at this stage) or Willie and Lukas Nelson’s version, which is not even mentioned.

And, I think anyone who wants to protest mass shootings has my support.

Now, my main issue with the novel is the big fat dollops of what felt like filler exposition. The case of tell vs. show. With first person POV’s we are privy to everything they’re thinking. Every. Little. Thing. I am a fan of less equals more, especially when exposition makes a novel feel much, much longer than 336 pages.

As always, your mileage may vary.

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for sending me a copy.

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