Review: Don’t Want You Like a Best Friend by Emma R. Alban

Posted May 6, 2024 by Lola in Historical, Review, Romance / 2 Comments

Review graphic

Don't Want You Like a Best FriendDon’t Want You Like a Best Friend (Mischief & Matchmaking #1)
by Emma R. Alban

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Historical Romance
Age Category: Young Adult
Type of romance: f/f

A swoon-worthy debut queer Victorian romance in which two debutantes distract themselves from having to seek husbands by setting up their widowed parents, and instead find their perfect match in each other—the lesbian Bridgerton/Parent Trap you never knew you needed!

Gwen has a brilliant beyond brilliant idea.

It’s 1857, and anxious debutante Beth has just one season to snag a wealthy husband, or she and her mother will be out on the street. But playing the blushing ingenue makes Beth’s skin crawl and she’d rather be anywhere but here.

Gwen, on the other hand, is on her fourth season and counting, with absolutely no intention of finding a husband, possibly ever. She figures she has plenty of security as the only daughter of a rakish earl, from whom she’s gotten all her flair, fun, and less-than-proper party games.

“Let’s get them together,” she says.

It doesn’t take long for Gwen to hatch her latest scheme: rather than surrender Beth to courtship, they should set up Gwen’s father and Beth’s newly widowed mother. Let them get married instead.

“It’ll be easy” she says.

There’s just…one, teeny, tiny problem. Their parents kind of seem to hate each other.

But no worries. Beth and Gwen are more than up to the challenge of a little twenty-year-old heartbreak. How hard can parent-trapping widowed ex-lovers be?

Of course, just as their plan begins to unfold, a handsome, wealthy viscount starts calling on Beth, offering up the perfect, secure marriage.

Beth’s not mature enough for this…

Now Gwen must face the prospect of sharing Beth with someone else, forever. And Beth must reckon with the fact that she’s caught feelings, hard, and they’re definitely not for her potential fiancé.

That’s the trouble with matchmaking: sometimes you accidentally fall in love with your best friend in the process.

My Review

I received a free copy from the publisher through Edelweiss and voluntarily reviewed it.

I don’t read a lot of historical romance books, but this one caught my eye and I am glad I gave it a try. It definitely helped how much the language felt modern while the setting was historical, which made it easier for me to get into the book. This was such a sweet romance story and I enjoyed reading about Gwen and Beth as they fall in love. I really enjoyed this one and already got book 2 as well!

Beth and Gwen meet at the start of the season, they come up with this plan to get their parents together and become best friends. Slowly they fall in love with each other too. I liked reading about both Beth and Gwen and especially seeing them together. I also liked the friends to lovers vibe to their romance. The plot line to bring their parents together was a fun one too as it was obvious from the start that there was a connection between them, I liked seeing their parents romance play out as well.

The romance was so sweet and I really liked seeing Beth and Gwen together. I also appreciates how there is little drama surrounding their feelings, no going back or forth or hiding their feelings. They are pretty forward about them and it’s clear they want to be together. There is a bit of steam as well, but the whole vibe is just super sweet and cute. There is however plenty of heartache too as the two get separated for a chunk of the book, which was the hardest part for me to read. Their pain was so clear and I felt for them and how sad it is that living in that time period means the only road to security is marrying a man. Reading queer historical romances always make me a bit sad with how much they have to hide and not be accepted. I appreciated the found family vibe even more because of that and how they have friends who are totally accepting of their romance. I liked the ending and how things got resolved. The epilogue was great and I really liked it and it sets things up for book 2 as well. I am excited to read that one!

There are some fun and interesting side characters as well. Both Gwen’s Father and Beth’s Mother have a prominent role in the story and I liked seeing their romance play out as well. I did at times wanted to talk some sense in each of them, but the wait was worth it in the end when the two get together. Then there are Albie and Bobby, Gwen’s cousins, who were fun to read about. And Albie and Meredith’s romance plays out on the background too which was fun to see.

To summarize: This is a super sweet historical romance book with a bit of steam as well. I had a great time reading this one and liked reading about both Beth and Gwen. Seeing them grow closer and fall in love was great and I appreciated the lack of drama when it came to their feelings. There is however some heartache with a chunk of the book spend with them apart which was the toughest part for me to read. It made me sad reading about how women and queer people were treated in that time period. Luckily they have some very accepting friends and it has a bit of a found family theme there. Besides the main romance, I also liked seeing their parents romance play out as well. Albie, Bobby and Meredith were fun side characters as well. And I look forward to the next book in the series!

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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2 responses to “Review: Don’t Want You Like a Best Friend by Emma R. Alban

  1. I remember chatting about this one and how good it sounded. Not too many f/f historical romances – though I’ve seen a few release last year- so I added it to my list.

    • I hope you’ll enjoy it if you decide to give it a try. I had a lot of fun reading this one, hopefully I can get to the sequel soon. I’ve also seen a few f/f historical romances pop up recently, but this is the first one I’ve read/

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