The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez @AuthorAbbyJim @PiatkusBooks

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

He’s the best man . . . and that’s the problem.

Kristen Petersen is perfectly fine. She has friends she’d fight to the death for and the very best dog in the world: Stuntman Mike. In fact, everything’s calm in the world of Kristen, until she starts to plan her best friend’s wedding and meets the best man, Josh Copeland.

Josh is funny, sexy, stands up to her sarcasm, and is always one snack ahead of her hangry. Even Stuntman Mike adores him. But he wants a big family, and Kristen knows children are probably not a part of her future.

She’s sure he’d be better off with someone else, someone who can give him everything he wants, so Kristen keeps him at arm’s length: in the Friend Zone. But as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to resist falling for the man who seems to be everything she’s not allowed to have . . .

‘Harnessing sass, heartfelt struggle, and unapologetic sexuality, Jimenez’s debut is as hysterical as it is tear-jerking’ – Publishers Weekly

‘A deliciously hot, sweet debut. This book is an absolute treat’ L.J. Shen, USA Today bestselling author

Abby Jimenez is a Food Network champion, motivational speaker, and contemporary romance novelist living in Minnesota. Abby founded Nadia Cakes out of her home kitchen back in 2007. The bakery has since gone on to win numerous Food Network competitions and has amassed an international cult following. Abby’s wry literary wit was spotlighted as the admin behind the hilarious viral comments on the now famous Nadia Cakes Vageode™ cake.

Exclusive Author Feature

When I sat down to pen this novel, I knew I wanted to write a story that felt real—a story that could include hangry, neurotic women who actually get periods, and the men who love them (lol).

With infertility being a serious and prevalent issue, I felt like I had a responsibility to tell this not only compassionately, but also authentically. So for this I went to someone who lived it.
         
While Kristen’s love story with Josh is fiction, her infertility journey is inspired by real events.

Kristen’s character is based on my best friend, Lindsay, and her struggle with infertility. I talk about it now with her full per-mission, the same way I wrote about it.

Lindsay had a full hysterectomy at the age of just twenty-nine after dealing with debilitating reproductive issues for years. While she was able to conceive her two children naturally (and much like Kristen, without medical intervention and to her complete surprise), she dealt with secondary in-fertility due to severe uterine fibroids. She had all—if not more—of the physical and emotional challenges Kristen experiences in my novel. Much of what I wrote was verbatim, as Lindsay described it to me.

You may or may not have seen your own infertility journey in these pages. The thing I realized doing research for this book—and the truth you might already know if you’re going through this yourself—is that there is no universal story to tell. No two experiences are the same, and any measure of this challenging diagnosis is heartbreaking to endure.

What does unify these stories are the feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, and despair that come with this very common, but often not discussed, health issue. And so that is what I strove to tell in The Friend Zone.

Just one final note.

Kristen’s happy ending was never about getting pregnant. It was about her allowing herself to be loved, despite what she felt were shortcomings. It was about her recognizing that she wasn’t defined by her ability to have children, and that her worth went beyond the state of her uterus. That was her happily ever after.

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