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Book Review: Persuading Lucy by Tammy Mannersly

Lucy Spencer has everything, a successful career in advertising, good friends, and a quiet life. For fourteen years, she’s pushed aside her feelings for a childhood friend, Callum Hawthorne, and become a strong, independent woman, burying her hurt over his betrayal and creating her own life free of the drama of Cal’s womanizing ways–that is until he saunters back into her life.

Callum Hawthorne only wants one thing, to reconnect with his former best friend, Lucy. Cal has done everything he can think of to worm his way back into his Lucy’s life even enlisting the help of one of their mutual friends, but he can’t get Lucy to agree to meet him. With no idea what he did to create the rift between them, Cal doesn’t know how to make amends, but he does know one thing for sure: His life will never be complete without Lucy.

When his father’s first acquisition, a failing resort on the Gold Coast, is threatened, Cal hires Insight Marketing to help him save the crippled business. Lucy has no idea who the new, ultra-rich client is until she sees Callum. With no choice but to do the job she was hired to do, Lucy must find a way to put aside her old hurt and work with Cal, who hopes his high school crush can evolve into a grown-up relationship.

Friendship is an endearing theme in this well-written, fast-paced novel. It exists in every form, long-time friends, new friends, the kind of friends who will help drown your sorrows in wine, and the kind who will literally and figuratively rescue you from yourself. Lucy’s friends often ride to her defense. From Madison’s refusal to divulge Lucy’s whereabouts to Mia and Steph showing up at her door, pizza and booze in hand. Lucy’s female friends make a strong nexus, but the entire premise is based upon the friendship of Lucy and Cal, a lasting friendship that holds both love and hate.

Cal is the typical hot, rich protagonist (yes this is a familiar trope), but his friendship with Lucy sets him apart from the norm. He realizes quickly that he must win her back through that friendship. In order to win her, he must set aside the fiery passion he feels every time they are together and re-establish their friendship. He vows to gain her friendship, then her love, a love for which he’s pined most of his life. In fact, his surface philandering began as his way to preserve their friendship, fearing that admitting his feelings in high school would push her away.

Lucy quickly realizes she can’t just give up on Cal’s friendship again. He was once her closest confidant and letting that go proved to be a huge mistake. Nearly every happy memory she has includes the delectable Cal, and her traitorous heart refuses to release him without trying to be what they once were (and maybe more). They both have to take a headlong plunge into something that could prove heart wrenching and disastrous, but isn’t that the duality of this crazy emotion called love? The ability to heal and kill all in one. With only one month to save their childhood memories and to resurrect a dead friendship, Cal and Lucy will take the reader on a face-paced, romantic adventure.

Persuading Lucy won 1st Place in the 2018 CIBA in the Chatelaine Awards for Contemporary Romance.

This review was written for Chanticleer Reviews.